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Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Smoke Rise Tower Restoration

Several of you have inquired about the Smoke Rise Tower - most recently Jim Rohrer in Smoke Rise Memories. Last Sunday, Emma and I went to investigate - camera in hand.  We are here to confirm that the Tower is indeed surrounded with scaffolding as you can see from the photos and in the midst of restoration.

Coincidentally, the October 15, 2020 Smoke Rise Newsletter shared the following:

"Today the Tower belongs to us and once again is under construction.  The work on the Tower is to remedy the decaying concrete and metal work which has deteriorated over many years.  A new vertical staircase will replace the old structure.  Emergency Services antennae will be installed to service all First Responders and Smoke Rise Security."

The article nicely contrasts the current day restoration scaffolding with the scaffolding created when the Smoke Rise Tower was first being built in 1904 [see Tom Kline's post referenced below].

That then answers the question about the Tower.

By the way, Jim, I appreciate your mentioning it. We hadn't gone by the Smoke Rise Tower in a while so weren't aware that anything was going on.

Here are the photos we took from all angles of the Smoke Rise Tower.  We couldn't have picked a more picture-perfect afternoon to do so!

Smoke Rise Tower stonework with scaffolding

Marvelous scaffolding!


Notice Emma at the base.
What I particularly like about this photo of Emma is how it somewhat echoes the photo in Smoke Rise Tower with the young woman standing at the base.

Magnificent PuddingStone rock!
If you haven't already, definitely read Tom Kline's post about The Smoke Rise Tower on Kitty Ann Mountain.

2 comments:

Shepherd Jim said...

Sidebar Comment: PuddingStone

Your last picture including the "magnificent PuddingStone" reminded me of these mysterious purple and white boulders that seem to be peppered all over Smoke Rise. My parents on Pepperidge Tree La. had several treasured examples featured in the rock walls lining the driveway and the rock garden.

As a kid, with limited understanding of northern NJ's geologic history, I did know that glaciers had stopped their southernly slides right over Morris County, and that all the small stuff they had been pushing ahead of themselves was deposited on Smoke Rise as they melted. Anyone who tries to dig a hole big enough for a Rhodedendron's root ball will discover ample evidence of the glaciers' droppings ...and maybe break the blade of their shovel!

It wasn't until the late-70's that I discovered EXACTLY where the PuddingStones came from. I had a friend who lived on Pine Cliff Lake in West Milford. While hunting deer north of his house, we were hiking along a power line on Bearfort Mtn. Coming to the top of a ridge, we could see the next ridge ahead of us ...and it was totally, completely SOLID PuddingStone! I felt like Stanley having come face to face with Dr. Livingstone!

You can actually see the ridge in Google Maps' satellite view http://bit.ly/95DpmZ as well as the power line clearing which runs from Union Valley Rd across Bearfort Mtn. to Clinton Rd. As I remember, on foot this is an energetic hike -- very "technical" on a mountainbike.

And now 35 years later, with the wonder of the internet at my fingertips, I learn that there always were smarter people than me who knew where our PuddingStones came from. It turns out that "PuddingStone" is not, in fact, its correct scientific name -- how about: "Late Devonian Skunnemunk Conglomerate"?! You can read all about it at the U.S. Geological Survey's website http://bit.ly/auqF75

But, even now that we're all so much more well-informed, I hope you'll remember how you felt when you came across a 600 lb speckled purple boulder sitting beside the S.R. Tower, or maybe balanced on top of a grey, granite outcropping in the thick woods on the other side of the Lake -- "Where the heck did THAT come from?"

C. B. Whittemore said...

Shepherd Jim, love your description of puddingstone magic! Thanks for sharing. I sense the need for an energetic hike to get to the Beaufort Puddingstone Ridge...

BTW, we now think of you when we come across puddingstone.

Best,
CB

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