Tower memories sought

With Phase One of the renovation of, and addition to, the Fort Frances Museum well underway, plans for the lookout tower and “Hallett” are in the planning stage.
The firm of Hilderman, Thomas, Frank and Cram is being engaged to design the redevelopment of these sites.
The lookout tower has been a landmark at Pither’s Point for 34 years. Newspapers show the 1972 project being raised at its current site.
Originally used by the Department of Lands and Forests for detecting forest fires, this tower was located at Pal Lake, about 100 miles northeast of Fort Frances near Atikokan.
In 1972, Industrial Development Commissioner James Wrench Towse paid a $1 moose hide cheque for the attraction that became known as Towse’s Tower.
In 1975, the Fort Frances Historical Committee arranged to put artifacts on display at the site. With the establishment of the Fort Frances Museum in 1978, the tower became an attraction that operated until 2002.
The tower closed that year due to safety concerns related to the building code (i.e., stair inclines and railings).
The early photos illustrate the moving of the tower was quite a task—the ultimate mechano set at 100 feet tall. The tower also has become the ultimate puzzle as engineers plan for its relocation.
With only two or three newspaper clippings illustrating the puzzle, community input on the initial “Tower going up” are being sought.
Any further information, photos, or comments recalling the original move of the tower would be greatly appreciated.
If you can help out, contact museum curator Pam Hawley at 274-7891 or e-mail phawley@fort-frances.com

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