Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Lookout Towers Stand Vigil

A thing of the past, the old fire lookout towers that were strategically placed around our county side. 

From these towers, the person on duty could be on the alert for suspicious-looking clouds of smoke.  Reaching skyward on the highest hill in the vicinity, the glass enclosed lookout tower provided a place to observe the surrounding country side.  Wisps of smoke seen rising in the distance could easily be seen from this height.  

The towers had telephones installed in each of them, when the first sign of a suspicious looking smoke starting to rise you could call for the additional help if needed to extinguish the fire.

In 1955 Crittenden had two of these towers, the Tribune Tower, set 5 miles east of Marion on what is appropriately named today, the Tribune Tower Road.  Mrs. Mina Walker was the supervisor. The second was located near Oak Hall School, on the Forest Grove School Road, J. W. Duvall was the supervisor.

I believe they were taken down in the 1980's.  With the aid of helicopters  for spotting smoke and better communication available they were thought to not be needed any more.

The picture above was made right before they were taken down.

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