Phelps Military Hill Veterans Lookout Tower
US 1055, WI 5
Eugene McCaslin photo

Eugene McCaslin photo

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 1055, WI 5 (view other lookouts in United States, Wisconsin)
Date Registered December 16, 2014
Nominated by Eugene McCaslin
Location Vilas County, Wisconsin
Coordinates N 46° 04.002' W 089° 04.679' (view using Google Maps)
N 46° 04' 00" W 089° 04' 41"
N 46.066703° W 089.077976°
Elevation 1,862 ft (568 m)
Built 1936
Administered by Town of Phelps


This tower is an Aermotor MC-39 Series tower standing 120 feet tall including a 10-foot tall cabin creating a total height of 132 feet to the peak of the roof. It has 153 steps.

The tower was constructed in 1936, one of 38 Depression-era towers built throughout the Chequamegon Nicolet National Forst. In the early 20th Century, wildfire was rampant throughtout northern Wisconsin as a consequence of unwise havesting methods. Use of the tower ended in 1960.

In 1978, the U.S. Forest Service was approached by Lowell Buell who asked to purchase the Military Hill Fire Lookout Tower. Following purchase it was his his stated desire to donate the tower to the Town of Phelps. On April 11, 1978, Mr. Buell completed this donation.


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September 2023 photo

September 2023 photo - courtesy of Mitchell Moore

Visit Reports

September 2, 2023: Mitchell Moore


Needs paint? Yes
Shutters OK? No
Condition of wood OK? No
Stairs OK? Yes
Glass intact? No
Good condition? No
Comments: Cab looks as though it will need replacement

Electronics and Enroachments

Are electronic sites enroaching on tower? Yes
Comments: Yes, a FM radio transmitter is attached to the tower

Access and Signs

NHLR sign posted?
Directions to tower signed?



Opportunities for Volunteer Support

Volunteers staffing opportunities?
Volunteer maintenance opportunities?