Loading Events

« All Events

Seeking Volunteers for High Knob Fire Tower, WV

June 2 - June 14


Start: June 2
End: June 14
Event Category:
Event Tags:
, ,


High Knob Fire Tower, WV
High Knob Trail
Brandywine, WV 26802 United States
+ Google Map

This is a HardCorps project, which will involve a higher degree of difficulty for participants.

SESSION DATES: June 2-7 and June 9-14


CREW LEADER: Karina Burbank

Rising atop the crest of Shenandoah Mountain is the High Knob Fire Tower, a one of kind stone-constructed lookout tower built in the 1930s that symbolizes a pivotal era of forestry management and labor force cooperation. Formerly the Shenandoah National Forest from 1917-1932, the now George Washington and Jefferson National Forests has been a pioneer in forest fire prevention, establishing an early precedent for the era to prevent, detect, and suppress wildfires.

During the 1930s, fully metal fire towers were being erected as the forest shifted policy to counteract the damaging effects of forest fires. In 1939, construction began on the High Knob Fire Tower which sits directly on the border line of Virginia and West Virginia, rising just over 4,000 feet above sea level. As with many labor projects sprouting during the 1930s, President Theodore Roosevelt’s New Deal was keen to put out of work men to use, and the forest engaged post-war Veterans of World War I as a labor force while also partnering with the local Civilian Conservation Corps Camp #2 of North River to build the stone fire tower.

By the late 1960s the forest began rethinking their fire prevention systems and would ultimately conclude their towers to be an ineffective resource, ordering their widespread removal and decommissioning rangers as they shifted to a modern aerial fire detection approach by 1972. HistoriCorps is excited to engage volunteers on our first “HardCorps” project as we get set to restore High Knob Fire Tower. For more in-depth information about the history of the fire tower and those who operated it, please visit Friends of Shenandoah Mountain’s website.

HistoriCorps is committed to educating and training volunteers in preservation skills, with an overarching mission of inspiring a preservation ethic in all those involved. Learning and working alongside expert HistoriCorps field staff, volunteers and applying the traditional skills necessary to restore the High Knob Fire Tower:

  • Selectively pull up cat walk decking for assessment
  • Re-glazing and repairing all windows surrounding observation room
  • Minor carpentry repairs


*HardCorps Details – Please Be Prepared Before Registering For This Project*

  • Volunteers will work from an unstable staircase and catwalk utilizing fall protection systems
  • Due to the position of the fire tower on top of the ridge along with the unstable conditions of the tower, volunteers will experience significant exposure to heights
  • There will be no bathroom at the fire tower, but volunteers will have access to a temporary camping toilet during the work day


Click here to register!