July 1909: A lookout was established on this point at a cost of $1,559.31. (Sixteenth Annual Report of the Forest, Fish and Game Commission - 1910)
Fall 1918: "Sam Cheltham was a caller in town last week, his work as fire observer on Whiteface having terminated November 1st." (Adirondack Record)
May 9, 1919: "Sam Cheltham, who for several years has been fire observer on Whiteface, returned from New York city Saturday to resume his work for the Conservation Commission." (The Adirondack Record)
July 4, 1919: "There will shortly be placed on the summit of Whiteface mountain, one of the highest and most noted of the famed Adirondack peaks, a steel tower 22 feet high for the use of the fire observer stationed there. For several years there has been a fire observer there, but he has never had a tower such as crowns the lofty summits of nearly all the other fire observation stations. Now, however, it is determined that Whiteface shall also be equipped with the needed tower. The difficult and exacting task of getting the material to the summit and the erecting and anchoring the tower to the rocks, has been entrusted to District Forest Ranger James H. Hopkins of Saranac Lake and the men under his command, who, for several days, have been cutting a trail to the summit from the Franklin Falls side. The material for the tower is to be shipped by rail to Au Sable Forks. It will then be hauled through the hamlet of Franklin Falls and along a lumber road to the logging camps upon the lower slopes of Whiteface. It is from this point upwards that the District Ranger and his men have their work cut out for them. However, despite the steepness and roughness of the ground, it is thought that horses will be able to drag the small steel beams to the summit over the rude trail that has with the greatest difficulty been prepared for them. Once the material has reached its final destination at 5,000 feet above sea level it is expected that the tower will be quickly assembled and anchored." (The Adirondack Record)
August 1, 1919: "The new steel towers to be erected on the tops of Whiteface and Hurricane mountains arrived in Au Sable Forks on Tuesday of this week. These towers are for the use of the fire observers located on these two peaks. The total weight of the two towers was 11,300 pounds. The tower for Whiteface was taken to Tario's camp on Whiteface by Frank Demar. Mr. Tario has the contract for delivering the tower at the top of the mountain, where it will be erected by Conservation Foreman Pond, assisted by Fire Warden McKenzie, John Dupraw of Clayburg and Albert Tebo of Owl's Head." (The Adirondack Record)
August 6, 1920: "George Marshall, state fire observer on Whiteface mountain, says that this is a good year for hedgehogs. He has killed over 40 already. They also appear to be flourishing well in different parts of Essex county. Upper Jay reports that the strange looking animals are seen frequently in the streets and many people in Lake Placid report seeing a number of them in the woods near there." (The Adirondack Record)
1922: A new cabin for the observer's living quarters was constructed. (Twelfth Annual Report of the Conservation Commission - 1922)
August 1, 1929: "Punishment that fitted the crime was meted out to five caddy boys who damaged the state's fire tower on top of Whiteface Mountain. These fire towers are favorite objectives for hikers and mountain climbers during the summer on account of the magnificent views obtainable from the glass enclosed rooms at the top. Thousands of visitors climb the towers every summer where they are always welcome and complaints of damage to the towers or meddling with the observer's instruments are practically unknown. On July 10, the observer gave permission to the boys to visit the tower while he went down the mountain to bring up supplies. Upon his return he found that one of the four-light window sashes in the observation room was broken in the center. Instead of prosecuting the boys, District Ranger James H. Hopkins of the conservation department told them that if they would buy a new sash and all five of them deliver it to the observer on the mountain he would call it square. Two days later the boys delivered the new sash and further proceedings were dropped." (The Adirondack Record-Elizabethtown News)
September 27, 1934: "After laboring for the past several weeks on the rocky summit of the Whiteface mountain, a group of 40 CCC youths from company 257 at camp 63 will within a few days complete the new telephone line from the base to the fire tower. The work of recent weeks has been in drilling holes in the rocky peak in which to set steel poles, necessary to withstand the windy blasts which sweep the rugged mountain top. In an attempt to provide the fire ranger stationed on the mountain with adequate and fool-proof telephone service in times of emergency, utmost care has been taken to make sturdy the line and its carriers thru the miles of timber up the mountain side. Wooden poles were used on the lower levels where they could be set in the earth, the change to steel supports being made as the crew of conservation youths reached the rocky regions. The steel-poled line carries six or seven thousand feet up one side of the rock and down the other to the ranger's cabin. A cable has been installed for a mile back from Cone's camp on Lake Placid. The boys have been encamped on the mountain since the middle of June to be close to the base of operations, living in tents and being served by their own kitchen staff." (The Adirondack Record-Post)
June 27, 1935: "After a long session of dispute over the jurisdiction of the fire tower on the summit of Whiteface Mountain between the state highway department and the conservation department, word has been received from Governor Herbert Lehman by the conservation department that the latter will have control of the observation point. Preliminary controversy commenced with the planning of a monument to be located at the peak, which met with disapproval of Lithgow Osborne, conservation commissioner, and others interested in the preservation of the Adirondack wilderness. It was their contention that the tower would mar the natural beauty of the forest by the location of electric beacons. To have a fire tower to serve conservation purposes and yet be as inconspicuous as possible, was their aim. The legislature passed a bill permitting the erection of the illuminated monument, but it was vetoed by Governor Lehman. The new highway up Whiteface Mountain gave the highway department partial jurisdiction of the tower, but with Governor Lehman's message, the conservation department will be the governing body." (The Adirondack Record-Elizabethtown Post)
July 18, 1935: "The Whiteface mountain road starts at Wilmington at the base of the peak and is 8.05 miles long. It is of macadam construction, 20 feet wide. Safety marks the construction job from top to bottom. At no point does the grade exceed ten per cent, and the average is approximately 8 1/2. Stone steps lead from the end of the highway near the top toward the summit. The last few hundred feet to the fire tower must be negotiated on foot." (The Adirondack Record-Elizabethtown Post)
August 15, 1935: "The depredations of souvenir hunting tourists on Whiteface Mountain has prompted the State Conservation department to adopt a set of regulations to end petty vandalism. The new rules state that no person shall cut, remove or destroy any trees, timber, plants or flowers on certain state lands, nor shall any person leave rubbish thereon. Department officials said persons climb to the fire observation tower at the summit, and then decide to carry off as a souvenir wild flowers, pieces of stone, moss or anything else that can be moved. Officials feared that within a short time the entire mountain top would be denuded of any wild vegetables or floral growth and the new regulations were promulgated to forestall such a possibility." (Adirondack Record-Elizabethtown Post)
May 31, 1946: "U.S. weather observers on Whiteface said last week that the official low temperature for the past winter at the station on the peak, was 35 degrees below zero, as compared with 51 below in the winter of 1944-45. Peak velocity for wind was 85 miles per hour. Men stationed on Whiteface include Gordon Zengerle, in charge; G.R. Gerhig, assistant; Raymond Wright, observer and John T Merrit, observer. For the balance of the season Riley Lawrence is fire observer on the conservation tower located on the extreme top of the peak. The weather men take observations every three hours during each 24, and also keep in contact with Mt. Washington in the White Mountains by radio, every three hours." (Essex County Republican)
May 24, 1972: "At 9:15 a.m. yesterday, 16 men crowded into the subterranean elevator at Whiteface Mountain parking area and went aloft another several hundred feet to bring down the disassembled parts of the fire tower. The Historical structure, built in 1909 and the second one to have been erected in the Adirondacks had been taken apart and lay in about 200 pieces. Rangers and state workers loaded the shorter pieces into the elevator but the longer steel struts and supports had to be carried down to the trucks over a steep and irregular stone path. The tower on Whiteface is not considered of primary importance now because the observation function can be carried out by men on duty at the meteorological station which is only a few feet from the old tower location." (Adirondack Daily Enterprise)
National Geodetic Survey
DESIGNATION - WHITEFACE MOUNTAIN LOOKOUT TWR PID - PG2106 STATE/COUNTY- NY/ESSEX COUNTRY - US
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1942 (FBQ) STATION IS LOCATED ABOUT 6 MILES W OF WILMINGTON ON THE SUMMIT OF WHITEFACE MOUNTAIN.
STATION IS A STANDARD LOOKOUT TOWER CONSTRUCTED OF STRUCTURAL STEEL WITH A GLASS-ENCLOSED CROWS NEST. IT IS SUPPORTED BY 4 STEEL LEGS AND THE STAIRWAY IS LOCATED IN THE CENTER OF THE STRUCTURE. IT IS APPROXIMATELY 50 FEET HIGH.
POINT OBSERVED WAS THE CENTER OF THE CONICAL ROOF.