Old Grant Firetower Traditional Geocache
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The old firetower site is a popular camping spot and unfortunately many muggles have signed the log book but failed to record their find. When I changed the log book I counted 22 entries that were not recorded here so I decided to move the cache to help ensure that muggles are not a problem.
In the early days of firefighting, fire towers were built and manned on the top of hills and mountains to watch for smoke in the early stages of a forest fire. They were equipped with bearing tables and sighting vanes (Osborne fire finders) so that the lookout could obtain a bearing on the smoke plume. Primary Fire Towers were placed within 8 miles of each other so that bearings could be crossed between lookouts. Bearings from two or more lookouts were crossed on a map to fix the location of the fire. The lookout would contact the Ranger Station to report fires by phone, but in the case of this tower, since there were no nearby phone lines, communication was by radio. Once the location was determined, fire fighters were mobilized to fight the fire. At one time, there were many fire towers located across the nations national forests to detect and locate fires. As aeronautical technology improved, this function was gradually taken over by patrolling airplanes and the fire towers abandoned and dismantled. For several years untill I retired in 2001, this was my job during the fire season. I still do this on a part time basis when the fire danger is high or otherwise I am needed.
You can park at the old firetower site N44 07.445 W86 22.492. The access road isn't snowplowed in the winter and the cache shouldn't be considered winter friendly, but otherwise one can drive right up the "hill" to the tower site in a 2 wheel drive vehicle. The "road" continues north and if you pick the right two track you can exit that way but I wouldn't drive my street van.
The Grant Fire Tower was made out of wood and approximately 75 feet tall. I'm not sure of the construction date but it was mentioned in a newspaper article in the Manistee News Advocate on July 31, 1937, so its construction predates that article. It has long ago been torn down but the four concrete bases for the legs are still in place. In addition about 60 feet off each base is another set concrete bases use to anchor support cables that stabilized the tower in high winds.
The cache is just a short walk from the old tower site. It is a black tin box approximately 6"x6"x6". Be sure to leave the cache covered to prevent muggles from finding it and for the enjoyment of the next searcher.
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