BALSAM LAKE MT.
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Balsam Lake Mountain Fire Tower

 US 9, New York 1

Balsam Lake Mountain
Ulster County, New York

Elevation:  3720
Coordinates:  N42.045395 W74.594604
Administrative Unit:  New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Cooperators:  New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Region 3

To Topographical Map

Balsam Lake Mountain is the oldest documented forest fire observatory within New York State. In 1887 the land was owned by the Balsam Lake Club, and fire was a serious concern to large land owners such as the club. They erected a tower made from timbers found on the mountain top and paid a man to staff the tower during dry conditions. This tower was struck by lightning and burned down about 1901. The club built a similar wood tower on the mountain in 1905. When the state began their fire tower system in 1909 operation of the Balsam Lake Mtn. facility was transferred to the state. The tower has been fully restored and is open to the public. It is also registered on the National Register of Historic Places, and the National Historic Lookout Register.

Additional photo courtesy of Bill Starr, NHLR State Registrar:

1910--1905 Wood Tower (NYS-DEC photo)

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