Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Game and Fish tower

The 1940ish list from the DNR places a tower at SE NE 2 157 36 in the Beltrami Island State Forest. The tower, named Game and Fish, was also indicated on a 1935 Project Development Map for the Northern Minnesota Beltrami Island Relocation Project - Resettlement Administration.

The area is accessible by taking the Moose River Forest Road east from the Dick's Parkway Forest Road to McDonagh Corner. A walking trail runs south from that point. I didn't find any tower remains but there are some nice trails in the area.

I was guessing the tower to have been located about a half mile south of McDonagh Corner.

McDonagh Corner

Hunter-walking trail sign

Old CCC walking trail

Friday, September 12, 2014

Camp Ripley, third time a charm?

November 2017:
Extant maps and archaeological records show quite distinctly an "observation post" feature apart from a lookout tower feature. The Goose Lake lookout was a 100 foot steel tower built by the CCC in 1934 and removed 1953. It was probably a stairway tower like many of the other towers built by the CCC around that time. 

It seems it was a dedicated fire tower and was not used for other purposes.

In conjecture, it may have been It was moved to and became the Molde tower in St. Louis County. Molde was erected in 1956 and remains standing. It most likely replaced an older ladder tower at the Molde site which was later moved to and became the Bankton lookout.

I do not think the tower in the photograph below is related to the Goose Lake lookout in Camp Ripley. 

November 2016:

The tower photo below is quite similar to an extant photograph of the Brule Lake tower from 1966. 

Jan 2015:

The Goose Lake Forestry Lookout tower had a "14 foot square enclosed shelter" and is clearly described as a "Forestry Lookout Tower" erected in 1934 and removed in 1953.
- On Lands Set Apart: A Phase I Survey of Selected Archaeological, Historical, and Architectural Resources at Camp Ripley, Morrison County, Minnesota,Submitted to: United States Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District and the United States Army National Guard, Douglas A. Birk, 31 December 1986

Sept 2014:
While looking through the collection of 1936 county sectional maps at MnDOT I noticed, among several things, this part of the Morrison County sheet No. 2 -

Sheet 2, 1936 Morrison County MHD map

- I put that circle there. What I saw are the letters O.P. next to the tower symbol. 

That tower was previously described as the Goose Lake Forestry Lookout. A line from within the description of that tower always bothered me a bit - "The enclosed observation shelter at its top had a design capacity of 14." That hasn't made sense to me. Fourteen people in a tower cab? 

The description when considered viewing the map above got me wondering about this tower.

Now, the Mn Historical Society has a photograph captioned "Civilian Conservation Corps camp fire tower Plainview? Date:  ca. 1940." Seen below...

Minnesota Historical Society
Civilian Conservation Corps camp fire tower
Plainview? Date:  ca. 1940
by permission

The Plainview? comment led me to include this with the Elba tower information, noting that the photograph did not look like the Elba tower. The tower in this photograph doesn't look like any of the fire towers I have visited or seen in photographs. It appears to have a large open deck at the top like what I imagine a observation platform could look like.

So it got me wondering if the photograph above could be a photo of the Goose Lake Forestry Lookout built by the CCC at Camp Ripley and that it was a tower primarily used as a O.P. or observation post by the military but also used for fire watch during fire danger times.