Shelburne Fire Tower
US 557, MA 7
Tom Ashton photo

Tom Ashton photo

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 557, MA 7 (view other lookouts in United States, Massachusetts)
Date Registered February 2, 2004
Nominated by Henry Isenberg
Location Franklin County, Massachusetts
Coordinates N 42° 36.416' W 072° 43.000' (view using Google Maps)
N 42° 36' 25" W 072° 43' 00"
N 42.606940° W 072.716670°
Elevation 1,569 ft (478 m)
Built 1909
Administered by Mass. Bureau of Forest Fire Control
Cooperators Mass. Bureau of Forest Fire Control, District 9

Description

Stone fire towers of this height are a rarity in the U.S. Shelburne Lookout was constructed by the Massaemet Tower Committee in beginning in 1909 and went into service in 1911. It is the oldest continually active lookout in Massachusetts, and probably the U.S. The stone for the tower was cut at a quarry on the site. The 63’ tower has a 10’x10’ wooden cab that has been upgraded several times. It is operated by the MA Bureau of Forest Fire Control.

Map

Change Basemap

Photos

1920 photo

1920 photo

Visit Reports

April 9, 2016: Jack Kelley

Condition

Needs paint? No Response
Shutters OK? Yes
Condition of wood OK? Yes
Stairs OK? Yes
Glass intact? Yes
Comments: The tower is too high to need shutters, as the only access is by interior stone stairs. The interior of the cabin has chipping paint, though it is only due to the years of usage the tower has endured.

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? No
Other enroachments? The electronic equipment on the tower is only used for the tracking of songbirds in the area.

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted? No
Directions to tower signed? Yes
Comments? The NHLR sign was moved from the cabin interior in 2009 to the Erving fire station due to it warping because of a leak within the cabin.

Staffing

Staffed? Sometimes
The lookout is staffed by Herman "Butch" Meattey seasonally, starting in late March and ending in early September.

Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities? No Response
Volunteer maintenance opportunities? No Response

Other Comments

Comments There are many trails to the tower, and the lookout is very accomodating.

February 29, 2016: Jack Kelley

Condition

Needs paint? No Response
Shutters OK? Yes
Condition of wood OK? Yes
Stairs OK? Yes
Glass intact? Yes
Comments: This tower, being stone, is in amazing condition. It looks good from the outside. Some trash on interior steps, but otherwise okay.

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? No

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted? No
Directions to tower signed? No
Comments? There are no signs posted, but there are brochures for the wildlife sanctuary the tower is in that have directions.

Staffing

Staffed? Sometimes
This lookout is staffed starting March 30th and ending sometime in September.

Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities? No Response
Volunteer maintenance opportunities? No Response

September 25, 2013: Tom Ashton

Condition

Needs paint? No Response
Shutters OK? Yes
Condition of wood OK? Yes
Stairs OK? Yes
Glass intact? Yes

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? No

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted? Yes
Directions to tower signed? No
Comments? NHLR signage posted inside of the cabin due to vandalism concerns.

Staffing

Staffed? Yes
Staffed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities? No Response
Volunteer maintenance opportunities? No Response