Nimham Fire Tower restoration gets a boost
By Eric Gross
October 19, 2000
1994, vandals burned the observer's cabin and damaged the steps
of the fire tower making it unsafe for visitation.
The old adage "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" was
never more defined than it was when Assemblyman Willis Stephens
joined members of the Kent Conservation Advisory Committee on
a field trip to the Mt. Nimham Fire Tower in Kent.
The Putnam-Dutchess lawmaker brought with him a check for $7,500
which was turned over to the committee for use in the tower's
George Baum, chairman of the committee, said the 90-foot tall
tower was constructed in 1940 by the Civilian Conservation Corps
and by New York state and is currently listed with the National
Historic Lookout Register.
Although not used for fire detection in many years, the tower
is maintained as a radio repeater site for the Putnam County Bureau
of Emergency Services. In 1994, vandals burned the observer's
cabin and damaged the steps of the fire tower making it unsafe
Mr. Baum and his colleagues Jim Baker and Thomas Morgan have spearheaded
a drive to restore New York state's tallest fire tower.
you are on top of this tower, you are at the pinnacle of Putnam
County," said Mr. Baum. Mr. Baum said on a clear day, the
Empire State Building was visible from the tower along with the
twin peaks of the World Trade Center in Manhattan. "The view
is majestic," he said.
Mr. Baum said the entire restoration will cost in the neighborhood
of $15,000. "Slowly but surely we have proceeded but thanks
to the efforts of Assemblyman Stephens, a grant will move the
project forward much more rapidly," he said.
Mr. Stephens said he was "really taken by the enormity of
the project. This tower is a remarkable structure. It is a piece
of history that people who enjoy the out-of-doors are attracted
The assemblyman said he was fortunate to be able to secure "some
member initiative funding that will help these volunteers with
their very aggressive goal."
Mr. Stephens also encouraged others to "contribute both your
time and money so that the tower may become a reality."
Tax deductible contributions may be forwarded to Friends of Mt.
Nimham, Box, 191, Carmel, NY 10512.
Mr. Baker has requested that checks be made payable to PLAN KENT
and the words "fire tower" be written on the front of