Pillsbury Mountain Fire Tower
US 645, NY 27

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 645, NY 27 (view other lookouts in United States, New York)
Date Registered July 31, 2005
Location Town of Arietta
Hamilton County, New York
Coordinates N 43° 34.883' W 074° 30.662' (view using Google Maps)
N 43° 34' 53" W 074° 30' 40"
N 43.581380° W 074.511030°
Elevation 3,597 ft (1,096 m)
Built 1924
Administered by NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Cooperators NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation


Constructed in 1924, the 60' Aermotor Model LS-40 tower, with a 9' high cab, is typical of the "heavier type" tower with integral shaircase built by the Conservation Commission between 1917 and 1950. The structure consists of a square steel and glass cab with a hip roof enclosing the observation platform atop a riveted and bolted frame of angular steel.

Additional information courtesy of Bill Starr, NHLR State Registrar: "This was the fire tower at which I worked in the late 1970s. The station was first established in 1918 by the land owner of the time, the Champlain Reality Company. The facility was equipped with a wood tower made from mountain top timbers, and a log cabin was built to house an observer. The station was operated by the company in conjunction with Forest Fire Control as a secondary station during periods of dry weather. In 1924 operation of the facility was turned over to the state. The company purchased the steel tower, and had it erected, before the station was turned over to Forest Fire Control. Today the tower houses, and supports a solar powered two-way radio repeater, and the cab is closed to the public. Excellent views are still possible from the top landing of the fire tower. This is the only fire tower in which a person can see West Canada Lakes. In 2005 minor restoration work was performed."


Change Basemap


Tower facility 9/10/2005 (by Bill Starr)

Tower facility 9/10/2005 (by Bill Starr)

Model 1941 cabin (Bill Starr photo)

Model 1941 cabin (Bill Starr photo)

Visit Reports

November 12, 2016: Laurie Rankin


Needs paint? Yes
Shutters OK? No
Condition of wood OK? No
Stairs OK? No
Glass intact? No
Good condition? No
Comments: Pillsbury Fire Tower needs paint, wooden stair and landing replacement and paint, the inside of the cab has radio equipment with shutters and plexiglass over the windows which need repair. Safety netting needs repair. Footings need repair. Fire Tower cab needs paint inside and out. Observers cabin has been vandalized, is open to the elements through a hole in the roof and door. Porch needs to be replaced. Other out buildings need repair.

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? Yes
Comments: Radio repeater equipment is present in and on the tower.

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted? No
Directions to tower signed? Yes
Comments? Roads and trail to fire tower are fairly well marked, though they go through active logging areas which sometimes make travel by road difficult or very busy with heavy equipment. On the date of our visit, the roads were in good condition. In winter the roads are closed and make the trip a very lengthy walk.


Staffed? No

Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities? Yes
Volunteer maintenance opportunities? Yes
Volunteer assistance in restoration, upkeep and routine maintenance would be helpful for this remote tower. Staffing may be helpful during the busy summer months, but generally due to the remoteness of this tower, visitors are uncommon in all but the summer months.