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.

We’re a 501(c)(3) now!

Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower has received its 501c3 tax exempt designation so all donations are deductible from income taxes to the extent provided by law. Another step in the effort to restore the tower to Bramley Mountain has been accomplished!

A small step forward in the Fire Tower Project

While the novel coronavirus pandemic caused the Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower to scale back our fundraising efforts on the project, we have continued to take important steps to move the project forward, where practical.

–We submitted our application to become a 501(c)3 organization back in June and are awaiting approval from the IRS.

–On August 25th we performed an inventory and inspection of the fire tower components to help us to determine the total cost of reconstruction, which will then allow us to begin to apply for grants and do other fundraising when the time for that is right.

It was so wonderful getting to meet and talk to Pete Clark, the man who saved the tower in 1970, and his grandson Kyle who is taking this 5th generation family farm to new heights with the opening of their creamery.

It was a big job, moving, sorting, counting and inspecting all the hundreds of pieces of the tower but thanks to Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower volunteers, Forest Fire Lookout Association volunteers, Davana LLC (fire tower restorers) and the Clark family (owners of the tower), we got it done before severe thunderstorms rolled in.

Because of the care the Clark family took in taking the tower down, moving it and storing it, the parts were all accounted for and were generally in excellent condition. A few components had pack rust on them and will have to be replaced – a result of too tight crimping during the manufacturing process that did not allow the hot dipping material to penetrate and protect the metal. More than 90% of the parts were accounted for and in excellent condition!

Thank you to Laurie, Rick, Bob, John, Wendell, Jim, Bill, Tom, Dave, Chris, Tom C and Kyle for all the hard work!

roof panels
sides from the fire tower cab
The original alidade from the fire tower. This device contained a map which was turned to sight smoke from a distant fire, helping to determine the location of fires.
component marked as railing for the 4th landing
The staircases. Photo courtesy of FFLA
Sorting like pieces with like pieces. Photo courtesy of FFLA
The window frames from the cab. Photo courtesy of FFLA
Looking through the leg components. Photo courtesy of FFLA