Learn about Yellow River State Forest Fire Tower National Historic Register Nomination Project in pair of meeting options this week


Yellow River State Forest Fire Tower ... Submitted photo.

Friends of Yellow River State Forest is exploring the possibility of restoring Iowa’s first and only fire tower and making it accessible to the public. To that end, a volunteer with the Friends group, Vicky Peterson, is working with Jennifer Price of Price Preservation Research, a historic preservation consultant, and the Iowa State Historic Preservation Office to get the fire tower listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Friends group requests public input at either a Zoom meeting or a meeting at the fire tower itself. Both the Zoom meeting and the in-person meeting at the fire tower will provide information on the steps needed to prepare a National Register nomination of the fire tower and how the public can assist in the process. The history of the fire tower - from the year it was built in 1963 to the 1970s - will be the focus of the nomination.

The Friends group is interested in locating and collecting copies of old photos, news clippings, and anecdotal stories of people’s visits to the tower (especially from the 1960s and 1970s), which may be included in the National Register nomination with owners’ permission. Feel free to bring these items or stories to share at the outdoor meeting, or make arrangements for submitting photos and stories after the meeting. The public is invited to attend either one or both options below:

Zoom Meeting: The public Zoom meeting will be held online Thursday, October 8 at 6 p.m., and will be hosted by Jennifer Price, the historic preservation consultant who is preparing the fire tower nomination. Zoom requires a free download of the app to a cell phone, tablet or computer. “Zoom is convenient and can take place within your home with no COVID worries,” said Peterson. “People living anywhere in the United States can take part in a Zoom meeting since it occurs on your computer screen, phone or I-Pad. If you have questions or just a general interest in hearing about the National Register nomination process, please join in. We welcome your input.”

After opening Zoom on a computer or phone, enter Meeting ID: 891 6197 4282, Passcode: 554959. Links to the Zoom meeting will also be available on the Friends of Yellow River State Forest Facebook page.

In-Person Outdoor Meeting: Saturday, October 10 (note: rain date of October 17) at 1 p.m., the Friends Group will host an in-person meeting at the fire tower. Because the fire tower is not on private property and because we all want to ensure each other’s health during COVID, it is strongly requested that participants wear a mask and social distance. The gathering and parking site at the fire tower is rather large, so it should be easy to distance. It is hoped (no guarantee) that there will be accommodations for those who would like to stay in their cars and listen. The meeting at the fire tower will also describe the National Register nomination process and how individuals can help, and will also include very brief comments from the forest ranger on the structure’s integrity given by a fire tower restoration expert who visited the site. Anyone who would like to contribute stories, photos, etc. can contact Vicky Peterson at 568- 563-7100. Questions about the meetings can be directed to her as well.
 

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