Near Winamac in Pulaski County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Indiana's Fire Towers
In 1930, Indiana began constructing a series of fire towers with the goal of having no visibility gap. By 1952, Indiana had 33 towers, most of them in the southern half of the state.
Tools of the Trade
Fire towers were generally equipped with:
Communication equipment (radio and telephone)
Psychrometer to measure humidity and determine fire danger
Alidade to determine the exact location of a fire.
Osborne Fire Finder: pinpointing a fire
An alidade, sometimes referred to as an Osborne Fire Finder, consisted of an oriented topographic map on a circular disk. Moveable sighting apertures were opposite each other on the disk. The fire lookout lined the apertures on a plume of smoke and determined the line on which the fire was located. Another fire tower lookout did the same process. The fire was located where their two lines crossed.
Many Indiana lookouts were local farmers, recruited when the fire danger was high. Sometimes a wife or other family member would serve as lookout. Lookout duties included: watching for smoke, locating and reporting suspicious smoke plumes, taking weather readings, communicating with fire crews during a fire,
Lookouts had to pass a vision test and be able to climb the tower several times. During WWII, many of Indiana’s lookouts were women.
By the 1970s, planes replaced fire towers as the means of locating fires. Today, fires are reported by local residents.
This fire tower stands as a sentinel, reminding us of the time when Indiana was protected by a series of towers staffed by dedicated lookouts.
Erected by Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
Location. 41° 6.942′ N, 86° 35.632′ W. Marker is near Winamac, Indiana, in Pulaski County. Marker can be reached from Base Road North (U.S. 35) half a mile north of County Road 350N. Touch for map. Marker is located in Tippecanoe River State Park and adjacent to parking lot for fire tower trail; directions are to the park entrance. Marker is in this post office area: Winamac IN 46996, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 17 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Teacher (approx. 4½ miles away); Pulaski County (approx. 4½ miles away); U.S. Civil War Honor Roll (approx. 4½ miles away); Pulaski County Honor Roll Memorial Frank H. Ono Memorial (approx. 11.7 miles away); Starke County Honor Rolls (approx. 12.7 miles away); Lincoln's Gettysburg Address (approx. 12.7 miles away); Trail of Death (approx. 16.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Winamac.
Also see . . . Tippecanoe River State Park. Indiana Department of Natural Resources website with link to park map. (Submitted on February 10, 2014.)
Categories. • Disasters • Horticulture & Forestry •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 10, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 588 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on February 10, 2014, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.
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