December 1, 2023
Major Steps forward for The Bramley Mountain Fire Tower Project
Over the past two months, The Bramley Mountain Fire Tower Project has taken many positive steps forward.
In October, the A. Lindsay and Olive O’Connor Foundation approved a $10,000 grant towards the construction of the fire tower.
On November 8th, the owners of EIGHTYMAIN, James Arafut and Will Johnson, put on a fundraising dinner for the tower. At the dinner, a tasting menu which featured dishes using flora and fauna that can be found on Bramley Mountain was served. Over 40 people attended the dinner, and over $2500 was raised for the tower.
During the first half of November, NYC DEP workers improved the Summit Trail Road, a former logging road so that the fire tower components and the equipment needed to build the tower can get up the mountain more easily. They also cleared the summit area to make room for the construction of the tower. Finally, they built a second parking lot just uphill of the existing trailhead and parking area on Glen Burnie Road.
The new parking lot is at least four times as big as the original parking lot, and it should be able to handle the expected surge in hikers that the fire tower will draw.
On November 30th, the Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Delaware County formalizing their partnership and specifying the duties for the tower construction and for the tower’s ongoing operation.
In May 2024, concrete footers for the tower will be set and, in June, construction of the tower will begin. Construction should be completed within a two-week period.
Every weekend, from late June to Indigenous People’s Day, stewards will be present at the summit. The stewards will provide:
- Historical information about the tower
- Basic outdoor education
- Information about the surrounding area
The stewards will also take people up into the cab of the tower. The cab will only be open on weekends when a steward is present.
After many years of planning and work, the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower Project is, finally, very close to fruition.
About Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower
The Friends is an all-volunteer 501c3 corporation, formed to restore and reconstruct the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower on the summit of Bramley Mountain and to manage the tower after reconstruction.
Working with the Friends on this project is Delaware County and the New York City DEP.
About Bramley Mountain Fire Tower
In 1950, an 80-foot Aeromotor Company LS40 fire tower was erected on the summit of Bramley Mountain by the New York State DEC. For 20 years, Fire Observers and Forest Rangers monitored the local area for fires from this tower, triangulating locations in conjunction with the Mt. Utsayantha and Balsam Lake Fire Tower Observers. According to the DEC, the Bramley Mountain tower was also visible from the Hunter Mountain and Tremper Mountain towers. A vital part of protecting the surrounding region from forest fires, the tower stood prominently on the summit for 25 years. The tower was decommissioned in 1970 and in 1975 it was sold to Pete Clark, a local farmer and removed. The Clark family has offered the tower to FOBMFT to return it to the summit of Bramley Mountain.
Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower