Parsons Mountain Lookout
US 837, SC 7

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 837, SC 7 (view other lookouts in United States, South Carolina)
Date Registered November 17, 2009
Nominated by Ron Stafford
Location Sumter National Forest
Abbeville County, South Carolina
Coordinates N 34° 04.984' W 082° 21.767' (view using Google Maps)
N 34° 04' 59" W 082° 21' 46"
N 34.083060° W 082.362780°
Elevation 824 ft (251 m)
Built 1935
Administered by U.S. Forest Service
Cooperators Long Cane Ranger District


This 73' LS-40 Aermotor tower with 7'x7' galvanized sheet metal cab with hip roof was constructed in November 1935 and used by the Forest Service actively until 1989. The Parsons Mountain Lookout is the oldest remaining tower standing on the Sumter National Forest and was the third tower built within the Long Cane Division. It is one of several lookout stations used in the comprehensive fixed-point fire detection of the earlier years of the Forest Service.


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Photo courtesy of Ron Stafford

Photo courtesy of Ron Stafford

Visit Reports

September 16, 2020: Christopher Armenti


Needs paint? No
Shutters OK? Not Applicable
Condition of wood OK? Yes
Stairs OK? Yes
Glass intact? Yes
Good condition? Yes
Comments: The structure and stairs were in good condition with only sporadic surface rust. The windows in the cab are all broken and some of the window framing is missing. The security fence around the base shows signs of being pulled down to get access to the tower. All of the steps are present and the Jeep Road to the summit was in good condition as was the trail to the summit. There was some vegetation starting to attach to the lower part of the structure and the support building.

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? No
Comments: No towers nearby
Other enroachments? Low vegetation growing over fence and attaching to tower supports.

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted? No
Directions to tower signed? Yes
Comments? There is no access and the tower is signed as no trespassing. The support building has a radio emissions warning and a high voltage sign. The ground inside the fence shows signs of recent activity. The trash can at the summit was overflowing with beer bottles. Seems to be a drinking hangout


Staffed? No

Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities? No
Volunteer maintenance opportunities? No
Needs someone to perform minor site maintenance, empty trash and cut back vegetation. Cab would need work but since i didn't climb up due to the access restriction I am not sure how much damage has been done to the window frames.