Memories from Richard Crammond April 12, 2013

Cornell Hill Luther's Forest Fire Tower

When I was a young pup, early sixties, my Uncle Jim would pick me up at home so I could stay the weekend and spend some time with him and Aunt Olie, his common law wife at the Cornell Tower for Luther's Forest. What a peaceful place for a while. Good sand for my toy trucks to make roads. Olie fed me good too. My favorite dish was fried potatoes and pork and beans, yummy!

There were nice sunny days and terrifying lightning other days also.

I don't remember much about the lightning in the camp, there may have been electric lights, but can't say for sure. I do however remember the kerosene lamps for sure.

Spooky at night for sure too!

Sometimes before the 3 of us would head in to the tower, Uncle Jim would pull his big old black car up to the Buckhorn Bar, corner of Brightman and County Road 76, concrete block building still there but not for long – closed now. He with his beer and crème de menthe, Olie with her soda and me with my chips and soda at that little table all to myself in the corner, I was a happy camper for sure.

One day we got stuck halfway in to the tower on that dirt and mudhole road. I can still here my Uncle yelling at me and Aunt Olie, “push, push, push damn it all” and other not so nice words too.

Aunt Olie and I would go for walks and Uncle Jim would have to take my hand ¾ of the way up that 60 foot tower cause I would freeze up from the height.

We could see Willard Mt, Saratoga Lake and all over the place.

I also saw my Uncle's stack of girly books up there too. I guess they helped him to spot fires.

The raccoons woke us up one night and man was I scared, bear was all that came to my young mind.

I remember looking up at Uncle Jim one time leaning out of the tower window on a calm sunny day and him saying nice day hey? Uncle Jim, Aunt Olie and me, at peace on an early summer morning enjoying the Great Luther Forest!

That tower was moved to camp Saratoga on Scout Rd Wilton from Cornell Hill and will always be a part of me that will never die with age.