The newly formed Friends of the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower group held its first meeting on the evening of January 6th at the O’Connor Hospital in Delhi. The Friends were formed to organize the reconstruction of the fire tower that was decommissioned by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation in 1970 and removed in 1975. The tower was purchased by Pete Clark, who meticulously stored the tower’s parts right down to the nuts and bolts in his barn. It is well preserved as a result. Three years ago Tom Clark, the current owner, approached the Catskill Mountain Club with an offer to allow the tower to be restored if the CMC could lead the effort. With the formation of the Friends group, the effort to raise funds and complete the resurrection of the tower has officially begun.
In 2008 the NYC Department of Environmental Protection acquired the Bramley Mountain parcel and in 2016 the DEP allowed the Catskill Mountain Club to build a trail to the summit. The trail has been very popular with the public, drawing over 1500 hikers a year, some of them from as far away as Europe and Africa. Now, with the support and cooperation of the Town of Delhi and of the DEP as well as widespread support in Bovina, Hamden, Kortright, Andes and other local communities, the CMC has formed the Friends of the Bramley Mountain Fire Tower to move the project to completion.
Among those agreeing to serve on the Friends’ board of directors are Ann Roberti, who will serve as president. Ann shepherded the project through the approval stages with Rick Roberts, who will serve as Vice-President. They will be joined by Amy Beveridge, David DeForest, Wendell George, Don Harris, Jillienne LaFever, Laurie Rankin, John Sandman, Jeff Senterman and Doug Sluiter.
Right now, the view of the Western Catskills from the ledge of the mountaintop is impressive, but when the tower is rebuilt, and hikers can climb it to see above the treeline, the 360-degree views of the Catskills and of the Delaware River Valley will be spectacular. Based on evidence from other Catskill Mountain Fire Towers which have been restored, once the fire tower is up, the number of out-of-town visitors to the trail will grow exponentially. Many of those visitors will shop, eat and stay in the surrounding towns, and they will spend a considerable amount of money with local businesses.
To help the effort to bring the Fire Tower back to Bramley Mountain with your donation, click here.
Click here to be added to the Friends of Bramley Mountain Fire Tower’s email list, to get more detailed news on the progress of the fire tower project and to learn about volunteer opportunities. Volunteers will be needed throughout the project, to assist with fundraising, to help sort the components of the tower for inspection, painting components, assistance during construction as well as work afterwards staffing the cabin for visitors. Sign up and be part of the fun! For more information about the project or volunteer opportunities email us at firstname.lastname@example.org