As a young boy growing up in the southern Catskills, Barry Knight enjoyed running up the trail to the Overlook Mountain Fire Tower and meeting with the Observer. Decades later he learned that five towers were being restored in the southern Catskills and volunteered to help on the Overlook Tower. After his first season, interpreters and staff held a party near the tower during where he overheard someone mention that there were a number of fire towers upstate which were abandoned. Knight said to himself, 'I must have one of those towers, and bring it to my property'. He mentioned this to their leader, Dick Veloshen, who contacted Mary Podskoch, a local author and FFLA member who is an authority on fire towers in New York.
Shortly, Knight was informed that a Mr. Al Moulin saved the Petersburg fire tower from going to scrap by arranging to have the tower trucked over to his property in Esperance, NY in 1999. Knight met with Mr. Moulin in 2002 and took possession of the over 300 pieces of steel, along with all the nuts, bolts, and washers and treads (steps). Knight then retrieved all the steel (out of the mud and grass) which had been sitting there for three years. All was loaded and trucked to their new home location in West Hurley, NY. Knight then prepared each piece using a wire brush, wiping with mineral spirits, applying a metal etching primer, and finishing with a coat of aluminum weather proofing paint. Knight then transported all finished parts uphill by hand, wheelbarrow or four wheel garden cart to the tower site. Knight needed help with the very heavy stair stringers. Thirty Four 80 pound bags of cement were needed for the four piers. They were poured in September of 2004 and after all four cured, Knight built his dream, the Knightower, piece by piece.
In July 2006, Knight completed his opus, opening it to 'share with all who dare'. The tower is 43 feet to the top railing and is situated on the Ashokan Ridge which parallels the eastern basin of the Ashokan Reservoir and offers and outstanding view of the reservoir and southern Catskill Mountains.
To visit, contact Mr. Knight at 845-331-1214