Wednesday, February 21, 2018

The Dentaybow Fire Tower, again.

The available records for the Dentaybow lookout are limited to a 1960s tower list which has this:

Dentaybow FT#77  FAS#389  Crane-Woodsmanse  Ladder  80'
(Moved to Dentaybow from West Pine Island in June 1952)

Dentaybow was recorded standing in 1967 survey notes.

We have previously discussed "West Pine Island." The "West Pine Island" origin has been carried forth with little explanation. Although attempts have been made.

A hitch became apparent when comparing state tower lists. The 1939 list and the 1960s list have the designated tower numbers included.

In the 1939 list Rapids[sic] River lookout was designated tower #77. That tower was along what is now Highway 72 just north of the Rapid River. A ranger station was at the tower. In the 1960s list Dentaybow lookout is tower #77. There is no good reason to doubt these records. So the Dentaybow tower looks to have originally stood at the Rapid River Ranger Station.

Rapid River Ranger Station, lower sections of FT#77 right of building.




About that "moved from West Pine Island," yes, the Rapid River Ranger Station was west of Pine Island, northwest. And maybe it was called "West Pine Island," why not?

That leaves the lookout between Pine Island and Ludlow indicated on MHD maps between 1948 and 1950. Three ideas:

  1. That tower could very well have been the first Pine Island tower, moved to the site of  an "emergency ranger station" along the new Pine Island-Waskish road. 
  2. Or, tower #77 was moved from the Rapid River Ranger Station to this site and stood for a few years as the "West Pine Island" tower before going on to Dentaybow. By the 1960s of course, it is just the Dentaybow tower #77.

What happened to the first Pine Island tower then is open to speculation.*

1948 Highway Map, Minnesota Highway Department

~~~~~

The tower moved to the present Rapid River site (tower #146) in 1941 is a 94' ladder tower. Where that came from isn't known and needs more study. Tower number 146 is 26 towers past the total in the 1939 list.

~~~~~

* Not all towers were reused. Some were stored, sold, or scrapped. Also it wasn't unheard of that towers were damaged during take-down or moving. Some towers just didn't survive. The 1960s tower list has no tower that could be construed as the first Pine Island tower.



Saturday, February 17, 2018

Warroad - NW Angle Fire Towers

The Warroad Lookout Tower and the NW Angle Lookout Tower were the same tower. Warroad was likely built in the late 1920s. It was a tower similar to Smoky Hills or Birchdale (and many others); a ladder tower with the mesh wire cage around the ladder, probably around 84 feet tall. It stood along the railroad tracks near the Warroad Depot, now the city offices. In 1946 it was dismantled and apparently put in storage.

In 1951 the tower was erected at the NW Angle site on state forest land along Stony Creek.

Warroad was tower number 75 in a 1939 state list. NW Angle was tower 75 in a 1960s list.

The NW Angle tower was, in its time, the northernmost fire tower in the lower 48.

1950s at the NW Angle site
courtesy N. Richards

1960 new station buildings at NW Angle site
courtesy N. Richards

The tower originally stood in Warroad a bit north of the depot (on the left)
along the C.N. and Great Northern tracks.

1936 MHD county sectional map







Friday, February 9, 2018

Moving the Peet lookout, another photograph

Another photograph of the Peet tower being removed.

Courtesy D. Carlson

This photograph is from 1957 and shows a crew of four (counting the photographer) working on the tower at the Peet site. 

This would be re-erected as the Prosper lookout tower in 1962. 








Tower data files

These are location data files for use in mapping apps

GPS mapping apps:

Zipped GPX - Mn Fire Tower 2-7-18 gpx 
ExpertGPS display

 Google Maps:

Zipped KML - Mn Fire Tower 2-7-18 kml  
Google Maps display

GIS Software:

Zipped SHP - Mn Fire Tower 2-7-18 SHP 
QGIS display



Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Forestry Tower Records, 4 of 4

2010 Forestry Tower Inventory

This list represented the state inventory in 2010. The report included an assessment of each tower for usability, historical significance, repair needs and an opinion as to whether the tower should be retained. The report also listed the legal description of the site, manufacturer and the height and type of the towers. Forty-five towers were listed.


Tower
Co
Type
Notes
LaSalle
Clearwater
AM / 80' ladder
Leased to Clearwater County Sheriff; Itasca Vol FD.
Norris
Lake of the Woods
BS / 100' stairway
In WMA mgr yard
Pequot
Crow Wing
BF Co. or MM / 100' stair
On NHLR, stop on Paul Bunyan Scenic Drive
Badoura
Hubbard
M-M / 100' stairway
on NHLR, MN#04
Ball Bluff
Aitkin
ID / 100' inside ladder
Converted to communications tower
Quadna
Aitkin
AM / 81' ladder
telephone tower
Elephant Lake
Saint Louis
Crane / 80' ladder
Radio lease
Gheen
Saint Louis
MM / 100' stairway
Converted to communications tower
Kabetogama
Saint Louis
MM / 80' stairway
Radio repeater
Mirror Lake
Saint Louis
AM / 100' stairway
no cab - telephone tower
Finland
Lake
ID / 120' stairway
telephone tower and wind Anemoeter
Molde
Saint Louis
MM / 100' stairway
New microwave lease
Rusheba
Chisago
AM - stairway
Emergency Service Ham Radio Repeater
Linder
Beltrami
80' ladder
fence and restore
Clear River
Roseau
ID / 100' ladder
fence and restore
River
Roseau
AM / 80' ladder
fence and restore
Birchdale
Koochiching
81' ladder
could fence and restore
Faunce
Lake of the Woods
AM or MM / 100' stairway
was restored 5 years ago
Prosper
Lake of the Woods
AM or PD / 80' ladder
could fence and restore
Rapid River
Lake of the Woods
AM / 94' ladder
could fence and restore
Nimrod
Wadena
AM / 94' ladder
on NHLR, MN#06, used annually
Sandy Lake
Aitkin
PD / 93' stairway
on NHLR, MN#03
Side Lake
Saint Louis
PD / 93' stairway
Radio repeater, used annually
Jasper Peak
Saint Louis
MM / 60' stairway

Vermilion Dam
Saint Louis
MM / 80' stairway

Cromwell
Carlton
AM / 100' stairway
Good shape
Cotton
Saint Louis
MM / 100' stairway
Good shape
Floodwood
Saint Louis
AM / 100' stairway

Black Bay
Koochiching
PD / 100' stairway
Voyagers Nat Park Radio??
Pine Island
Koochiching
AM / 100' stairway
To Parks & Trails Big Bog Recreation Area 2/10/10
Nickerson
Pine
not standard / 86' stairway

State Fair Grounds
Ramsey

Fully rehabed in 2005
Sand Dunes
Sherburne
60' ladder (octagon cab)
used annually
Ben Draper
Cass
AM / 100' stairway
on NHLR MN#05
Ash River
Saint Louis
PD / 81' ladder
No power, very remote, boat needed to cross Ash River.
Cloquet Forest Sta.
Carlton
AM / 80' stairway
Poor shape
Height of Land
Clearwater
ID / 80' ladder

Schoolcraft
Hubbard
ladder
poor condition
Tulaby
Mahnomen


Emily
Cass
AM / 68' ladder

Longville
Cass
AM / 81' ladder
No cab
Smokey Hills
Becker
WM

Coleraine
Itasca

No longer used for radio communications. lots of work needed.
Devilfish
Cook
PD / 80' ladder
no cab
Hovland*
Cook
AM / 80' ladder

Pomroy
Kanabec
AM - stairway 95'

* Hovland removed 2017

Lawson was sold in 2012 and must have been taken off inventory at the time this list was made.

Record courtesy DNR-Forestry Heritage Sites Program