Sunday, July 30, 2017

Revisiting Prosper Fire Tower

Prosper is the relocated Peets tower and is probably one of the older towers in the state. My weekend place is just a few miles away so I revisited the tower 7-29-17.

The old tower is still in pretty good shape.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hovland Down

The Hovland tower, the 80 foot ladder tower erected in 1931, was unceremoniously pulled down July 20, 2017.

courtesy C Jones


Monday, June 19, 2017

The Anchor Hill Fire Tower

Reader J. Hultquist submitted this photograph of the Anchor Hill tower. The photograph hung in her parents home.

courtesy J Hultquist

courtesy J Hultquist

This appears to be the second tower at the site which was probably erected in 1952 and was an 80 foot ladder tower 1. The photograph looks to be from the 1960s when people had access to color film and processing. The last survey report from 1965 indicated the tower was standing.

That truck track is still there:


Thinking about the build date and tower style I wonder if this tower stood at a different location originally. In 1952 the forest service may have had a number of these ladder towers in inventory after being replaced by stairway towers during the CCC era. The Cambridge (1955) and Linder (1953) towers, for example, were relocated from their original sites.

1 Information from a DNR tower list believed to be from the 1960s.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Have tower, will travel. Can you help fill in the blanks?

Forest Service employees were skilled at erecting towers and some became skilled at disassembling and moving towers. I  suspect the record would indicate more tower relocations than what is noted below.


  • Forestry Headquarters    Aiton Heights (standing)
  • Pine Island # 1  → West Pine Island  → Dentaybow
  • Remer #1  →  Blueberry Hill #2
  • ______  →  Bunker Prairie/Anoka
  • ______ (Warman?)  →  Cambridge (standing)
  • Waskish #1  →  Cuyuna #1 or Turner site
  • ______  →  Elephant Lake (standing)
  • Grand Marais  →  Eliason
  • Ely  →  ______
  • Steamboat  →  Farris
  • ______ (Morrison County?) →  Molde (standing)
  • Boy River  →  Hillview
  • Littlefork  →  Happyland
  • ______  →  Linder (standing)
  • Rail Prairie  →  Motley
  • Peet  →  Prosper (standing)
  • ______  →  Sand Dunes (standing)
  • ______  →  Shoepack 

Dave Quam video


  • Pinewood  →  Beltrami County Fairgrounds
  • Bemidji  →  Wilderness
  • Boulder Hill  →  Forest History Center
  • Isle Harbor/Wahkon  →  Mille Lacs Kathio SP
  • Pine Island #2  →  Big Bog SRA

The Carlos Avery, Stony Ridge, and Woodland towers were  purchased by individuals and relocated to the Linwood area of Anoka County. The second Waskish tower was purchased and relocated to a site near Bemidji. The Cotton and Lawson towers are likely privately owned now and at last check were still at their original site. The Shoepack tower was purchased and awaits restoration.