3 Things about an Iconic Ulster County Landmark Celebrating a Special Anniversary
Over my many years in New Paltz there is one question I have probably answered the most for people who are "not from around here". That question is "What's that tower on the mountain"? Usually followed up with the question, "How do you get to it"?
The answer of course is that is Sky Top Tower and I tell most people you are going to want to go to the Mohonk Mountain House and walk from there, However I have known folks who have gotten there solely by foot.
The Sky Top tower that sit on the edge of the Shawangunk Ridge has been a symbol of New Paltz for decades. It's image has been used in so many area logos I don't think it is possible to keep track of them all. But it is also so much more. So what is this tower that can be seen from spots all over in Ulster County that has so many tourist and local residences fixated?
Sky Top's Back Story
According to the Mohonk Mountain House website the spot that Sky Top tower now rests on was the exact spot that Alfred Smiley found and was so taken by he informed his brother Albert by telegraph that he had to come immediately to see the spot he had found perfect for retirement. It is no wonder that this later became the spot that Sky Top Tower would be built on to honor Albert.
According to a story published today (August 30th, 2021) by About Town it was the fourth tower built. Tower one fell due to wind, tower two was destroyed by wind and then fire while under construction and then the third tower burned down in 1909
The Significance of August 30th
August 30th 1921 is the day they laid the cornerstone for tower number four, the one you still see to this day sitting atop Paltz Point with a view of 5 states on a good day. It would take until 1923 to finish the tower and dedicate it but they managed to make it by the anniversary date of August 30th.
Sky Top is Known Around the World
According to a post shared on Facebook today by the Mohonk Mountain House Sky Top Tower served as a fire tower from 1921 thru 1951, since then it has become world reowned. Outdoor Project wrote a story about the stone structure at the top of the trails and referred to Sky Top Tower as an Internationally known landmark. And I don't doubt it. Like I said in the beginning this story if we had a dime for every time the likeness of the tower has been used to signify the area or an area business we'd most likely never need to win the lottery.
Mid Century Modern Panoramic Mountain View House in Gardiner