Kentucky Fire Tower


Originally constructed in the 1940's, transported and erected here on the property in 2012, this tower stands six stories tall, oversees miles of Missouri countryside, and is rich with history of its own.

Known as the Howland Lookout Tower, there were 165 known lookout sites in the State of Kentucky.  This particular Howland Tower was one of the last 13 towers standing in Kentucky and stood on Signal Knob in Greenup County.  It was one of three newly erected towers in the 1940's.  

Its purpose was to help protect the thousands of acres of forest near Portsmouth.  The towers were equipped with a shortwave radio, map, and an Osborne Fire Finder.  When smoke was spotted from one of the towers the spotter would use the "fire finder" that was positioned on top of a topographical map to get a bearing. The spotter then used a shortwave radio to contact the other towers to give them the coordinates of the fire.

This particular Howland tower was identified by the call sign KIA-895.  Using clusters of three towers and the "fire finders," the spotters could accurately pinpoint where the smoke originated.  They would then call in fire fighters and equipment to put out the blaze.