Mount Nimham Fire Tower Restoration Project
More complete information can be found here
The Firetower on top of Kent's own Mount Nimham, itself more than 1200 feet high, stands 90' above the mountain top making it the tallest existing fire tower in New York State. While Mount Nimham is not the tallest peak in our County (that honor goes to Bull Hill, sometimes known as Mount Taurus, in Phillipstown) the view from the tower is all-encompassing, taking in NYC to the south through to the Berkshires and the Catskills 75 miles away.
Currently under volunteer restoration by the Kent CAC, PlanKent and other organizations (and always looking for volunteers!) the tower will serve as a focal point for tourism in our community and as a lovely and exciting place for a family outing.
Great fires in the early 1900s destroyed millions of acres of forest in New York, leading to the creation of state fire districts. Fire Towers were erected on mountains in these districts from which spotters could quickly locate potentially dangerous fires sparked by railroad locomotives, careless hunters or residents burning brush.
Located in the Taconic Hills about 60 miles north of New York City and in the heart of Putnam County, Mount Nimham Fire Tower was built by the State of New York and the CCC in 1940. The 90' Aermotor tower with a 7' x 7' metal cab is located on state forestland. The tower is listed with the National Historic Lookout Register.
Although not used for fire detection in many years, the Fire Tower site is maintained as a radio repeater site for Putnam County Emergency Services. However, in 1994 vandals burned the observer's cabin and damaged the steps of the Fire Tower, making it unsafe for visitation.
When the restoration efforts are complete, the tower will again offer majestic views of the area. On a clear day you can see south to New York City, west to the Catskills and north to the Taconics and Berkshire foothills. Also visible in this scenic panorama are Poughkeepsie, Beacon, the entire Croton watershed, all of Putnam County and parts of Connecticut. In the distance to the west, the Shawangunks, Marlboro Hills and Harriman State Park form a virtually unbroken line of impressive heights and preserved recreational open spaces.
In the middle of the 1990s, The Town of Kents Conservation Advisory Committee (CAC) and PLAN Kent, a group of interested citizens, met to discuss the deteriorating condition of the steel fire tower, in the hope of organizing a restoration.
The Friends of Mount Nimham was formed at that meeting, and with the endorsement of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation was granted stewardship of this historic Fire Tower.
The Friends of Mount Nimham are raising funds to restore the tower to bring back the thrill of the climb and the joy of the wonderful views, and return to Putnam County a valuable resource for all its citizens. Wont you join us?
Send Your Tax Deductible Contributions to:
Friends of Mount Nimham
(Please, make your check payable to PLAN Kent and write Fire Tower in the memo space.)
Send Email To Fire Tower Restoration Project.
Please note that the fire tower is closed until restoration efforts are complete!
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Wednesday, January 5, 2005