1912: The Conservation Commission established a lookout station at this point. (Second Annual Report of the Conservation Commission - 1912)
April 23, 1914: "The conservation commission announces the following appointment: District No. 5--Mohawk Mountain, Samuel J. Schoonmaker, High Falls." (The Kingston Daily Freeman)
August 31, 1923: "The Albert K. Smiley Memorial tower on Sky Top at Lake Mohonk was dedicated at 11 o'clock Thursday morning with appropriate ceremony in the presence of about three hundred of the guests at the famous summer resort. The tower, which was constructed as a memorial to the founder of the famous summer resort by guests at the Lake Mohonk House, was presented by Charles F. Miller of Lancaster, Penna., chairman of the committee in charge of the memorial, and was accepted by Daniel Smiley of Lake Mohonk House. The principal address was delivered by President Faunce of Grand University, Providence, R.I. The tower, which is of stone construction, is 65 feet in height and can be easily seen throughout the Rondout creek valley, and from the high points in Kingston. It is square in construction and a massive structure, each face being thirty feet in width. While the tower was erected by the guests at Lake Mohonk as a memorial to Mr. Smiley it will also be used by the state conservation commission for the fire warden as it commands a magnificent view of the Shawangunk Mountain." (The Kingston Daily Freeman)
July 25, 1924: "Mr. And Mrs. A.C. Clarke and Mr. And Mrs. L.O. DePuy motored to Lake Mohonk Wednesday. While there they saw Nathan Osborne, well known in this place, and who has charge of the fire tower there for the state conservation commission." (Catskill Mountain News)
September 23, 1924: "State Forest Ranger Osborne, who is stationed at the Conservation Commissioners' observation tower on Sky Top, near Lake Mohonk, reports that 11,200 visitors' have registered at the Albert K. Smiley memorial tower, where the fire observation station is located. According to the records of the Albany office of the commission, this is the largest number of visitors recorded at any station in the state." (The Kingston Daily Freeman)
December 12, 1924: "14,000 visitors at Mohonk tower. N.R. Osborne close Sky Top after entertaining numerous tourists. N.R. Osborne, well known in this village, closed his lookout station near Lake Mohonk recently and with Mrs. Osborne has taken up residence in Kingston. Mr. Osborne is stationed in the Albert K. Smiley memorial Tower on the Smiley estate. This tower is built of stone in imitation of an Irish Castle and cost $50,000. Mr. Osborne's office is at the very top, enclosed in plate glass imported from England. There is a brilliant electric light in the dome which shows for many miles, as the tower is built on Sky Top, a high mountain peak which over looks three valleys: Hudson, Mohonk and Wallkill. 14,000 people have registered at the tower this summer, including tourists from all over the world, England, Ireland, Wales, China, South Africa, etc., for Mohonk Lake is considered the second most beautiful place in the United States. Besides the beautiful buildings and grounds there is a forest of seven thousand acres. A bridle path of 65 miles over the mountain is traveled by people on horse back. There has been thirty-six fires reported from Sky Top Tower this summer, only one being on the Smiley estate." (Catskill Mountain News)
October 28, 1926: "A man who spends his waking hours in a lookout tower watching for signs of smoke that tell him a forest fire is raging some place has plenty of time to think. Nathan S. Osborn knows this well and in his little tower on Sky Top, the lofty cliff above the Lake Mohonk Mountain House, he was discovered by a representative of the Associated Press, reading the classics. While Mr. Osborn has finished the Commentaries of Caesar and now engrossed in Cicero's Orations, he has not the difficulty in doing them that the average high school student has because he reads English translations. Skytop is 1,500 feet above sea level and is one of the highest elevations of the Shawangunk Mountains, a long narrow spur south of the Catskills and separated from that chain by the broad and fertile Rondout Valley. On a clear day can be seen from Osborn's retreat, 67 feet above the ground, one of the finest panoramas in the east. The scene embraces hundreds of square miles in all directions and one can see the Green Mountains in Vermont, far to the northeast, while Graylock, in the Berkshires, can also be observed. From Osborn's post is a telephone line which connects him with the world spread out below him. His duty is to watch for signs of forest fires." (Poughkeepsie Eagle-News)
National Geodetic Survey
DESIGNATION - SKYTOP LOOKOUT TOWER PID - LY2422 STATE/COUNTY- NY/ULSTER COUNTRY - US USGS QUAD - MOHONK LAKE (1964)
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1942 (GWL) THE LOOKOUT TOWER IS A GLASS-ENCLOSED ROOM ON THE SW CORNER OF THE ROOF OF A MEMORIAL MONUMENT TO ONE OF THE SMILEY FAMILY. THE MONUMENT IS OF STONE AND MASONRY CONSTRUCTION. IT IS ABOUT 75 FEET HIGH AND IS ON THE SUMMIT OF THE SHAWANGUNK MOUNTAINS, ON A PROMINENT POINT ABOVE LAKE MOHONK, A MOUNTAIN RESORT. IT IS ON LAND OWNED BY SMILEY BROTHERS.
DISTANCE - 5.374 METERS.
A TRAVERSE CONNECTION WAS MADE TO THE FIRE FINDER IN THE SKY TOP LOOKOUT TOWER.