WINTHROP — Vandals have struck the Mount Pisgah fire tower for the second time this season.

A metal railing installed around the access hole in the cab atop the tower was yanked out and tossed to the ground. It was found Sunday by members of the Kennebec Land Trust, who were hiking there.

Winthrop Town Manager Jeffrey Woolston said the destruction was reported to police the following day.

“If I find who did the guard rail, I’m going to prosecute them,” Woolston said. “They should have known they were doing something wrong when they ripped it out.”

The 60-foot steel tower was put up in 1949 by the Maine Forest Service and decommissioned in 1992. The town-owned tower is on the National Historic Lookout Register.

The tower is a popular destination for day hikers, especially those with young children.


The railing was recently installed by the town to prevent people from falling through the access hole as they took in the vista from atop the 810-foot mountain, which can include a view of New Hampshire’s Mount Washington.

“The ironic thing is the town had just put that in after repairing the stairway and various platforms,” said Jim Connors, Kennebec Land Trust volunteer steward for the property. “The town has put a lot of time and effort into the tower to keep it open and safe. Vandalism like this jeopardizes people’s opportunity to climb it and see the view.”

Connors, who lives nearby and checks on it frequently, said the earlier vandalism occurred last spring when someone spray-painted a message in four-foot-high letters.

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The person who did it was identified and made repairs, Woolston said. He said the town will replace the guardrail.

Connors also said there has been some vandalism to the kiosk in the parking lot at the bottom of the trail that leads up the mountain to the tower.


“I don’t understand it,” he said. “It’s beyond my comprehension why they do it and what’s in people’s minds when they do it. They’re just ruining the opportunity for others.”

Connors said most visitors are careful to help preserve the site.

The land trust has a conservation easement on the 94 acres of town-owned land that contains the tower.

Winthrop Police Chief Joseph Young said the site has been vandalized occasionally over the years.

“It’s just a crying shame that (some) people don’t take care of it,” Young said. “Just enjoy it. Nobody’s asking you to do anything special, but let other people enjoy it as well.”

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