Fire Tower Presentation at Delhi Library October 4th

Marty Podskoch, the author of The Fire Towers of Catskills: Their History and Lore, will give a presentation at the Cannon Free Library in Delhi on Tuesday, October 4th at 6:00 PM. 

Podskoch has done extensive research on the history of all 23 fire towers in and near the Catskills, including the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower which we are in the process restoring. His work focuses on the compelling personal stories of the observers and rangers who worked tirelessly to protect the Catskill Forests from being devastated by fires.

This presentation is free and open to the public. 

For more information, click the link here.

We are so excited to tell you the exciting news!

The Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower recently received major funding from two sources and, added to the $60,000 already raised, we are moving closer and closer to actual construction.
We received

  • A $25,000 Capital Improvement Grant from the Delaware County Economic Development Office’s Tourism Grant Program
  • $30,000 for reserve funding from The Catskill Watershed Corporation

We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from the Delaware County Economic Development Office and The Catskill Watershed Corporation. This funding gives us about 65% of the total amount we need to return the tower.  We hope to raise the remaining 35% in the next few months and to begin the reconstruction of the tower in August.

Delaware County Economic Development Office’s Capital Improvement Grants are aimed towards construction on properties owned by municipalities and non-profits which have a direct relationship to tourism in Delaware County.  Glenn Nealis, the director of The Economic Development Office said, “Outdoor recreation is a key attribute of Delaware County for tourists and residents alike.  The redevelopment of the Bramley Mountain fire tower will significantly enhance the hiking experience of the current trail and create a true tourism asset for the community and surrounding area”.

The Catskill Watershed Corporation supported the fire tower by earmarking $30,000 as a reserve fund in case the Tower ever needs to be disassembled.  Jason Merwin, the executive director of the CWC said, “The Catskill Watershed Corporation is happy to assist the Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower. This project will have a tremendous positive impact on the local economy, tourism, and outdoor recreation in Delaware County and surrounding Watershed communities.”

A new fundraising milestone

We have raised over $50,000 from individuals, families, local community organizations and businesses. As of November 1, 2021, we have raised $50,178 in donations. We have also raised money through the sale of our fire tower t-shirts and have received 3 grants totaling $6,250. We continue to work on raising the funds needed to make the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower a reality!

We still have a long way to go to raise the approximately $200,000 needed to restore and return the tower. We still need your contribution! Help us raise the tower – you can even make a donation using your smartphone through Venmo, PayPal, ApplePay, GooglePay or your credit card (click Support the Project or Smartphone Donating above, or here!)

Or send a check to FOBMFT, PO Box 63, Delhi, NY 13753

New $1,500 Donation Challenge met

As we approached the $50,000 fundraising milestone, FOBMFT President Ann Roberti and her partner, Tom Miano, offered us a $1,500 challenge to push us over that goalpost and beyond. They will donated $1 for each $1 donated to FOBMFT and this amount was met.

Our previous donation challenge of $5,000 from supporter Gale K. was quickly reached back in January. We are happy this one was similarly successful!

Fire Towers, including Bramley Mountain Fire Tower featured in Kaatscast podcast

Check out this great Kaatscast podcast featuring Brett Barry doing an on-trail interview with FOBMFT board member Laurie Rankin. Besides talking about our project and its origins, Laurie gives a short history of New York State fire towers. Laurie is the daughter of Larry Bake who was the observer at the Balsam Lake Fire Tower, and her deep, personal  knowledge of fire towers makes this podcast extremely compelling.

Not to be missed!   Listen here.

While you’re there, check out the other great Kaatscast podcasts from Silver Hollow Audio.

Major Contribution made by Wayne Bank!

The Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower (Friends) is excited to announce an important contribution from Wayne Bank. Lewis J. Critelli, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wayne Bank, has committed $10,000 to a sponsorship of The Bramley Mountain Fire Tower Restoration Project.

“Wayne Bank is proud to support this valuable project, as the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower is a significant part of Delaware County history,” remarked Mr. Critelli.  “We are so pleased to contribute to its restoration so that it can once again be enjoyed by residents and visitors as a prominent local landmark.” 

Wayne Bank, based in Honesdale, PA, has local Delaware County Community Offices in Andes, Franklin, Hamden, Roxbury, Stamford and Walton.  Bank of Cooperstown, with Community Offices in Cooperstown and Oneonta, is also a unit of Wayne Bank.

The Friends are very grateful for this very generous donation from Wayne Bank. This support will go a long way towards us reaching our goal of raising the funds necessary to reconstruct and then maintain the fire tower on Bramley Mountain.

In addition to the generous donation from Wayne Bank, the Friends have received a number of significant donations from businesses, and grants from organizations.  That critical support has included $5,000 from the Laura Jane Musser Fund, $2,500 from Outsource Consultants, $1,000 from the Delaware County Department of Economic Development and $1,000 business

Another grant!

We’re so happy to be one of the recipients of Delaware County’s Tourism Promotion and Development Grants. With these funds and the Musser Grant we received in February, we were able to contract for the engineering drawings necessary to move the project another step forward! Preliminary drawings have been received!

We did it! We met the matching gift challenge!

In only a few weeks time, supporters of the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower project met our $5000 challenge grant, raising a total of $10,000! 

We owe a huge THANK YOU to our benefactor Gale K. for her generous matching gift, and to each of you who stepped up to get us to the top. 

Every dollar puts us that much closer to climbing the stairs of the actual tower, so don’t stop now. We’ve still got a ways to go.

News Coverage Raises the Profile of the Bramley Mountain Trail and the Fire Tower Project

FOBMFT board member Laurie Rankin and her husband, Tom Rankin, recently took Oneonta Daily Star reporter Rick Brockway on a winter tour of the Bramley Mountain Trail, including a visit to the fire tower site on the summit. The trail saw a 65% increase in use in 2020, reaching a record 3294 hikers. It is certain that use will continue to grow, especially when the fire tower opens in a couple of years. You can read about their adventures in Rick’s article linked to below.
https://www.thedailystar.com/sports/local_sports/outdoors-by-rick-brockway-bramley-mt-fire-tower-in-a-winter-wonderland/article_848e3610-f724-54a7-9b65-2e2ce9b8365f.html