The Essex Community Historical Society
PO Box 8388 Essex, Vermont 05451
The Essex Community Historical Society wants to tell you about a special project the ECHS Board is undertaking
and to ask for your help.
As many of you know, ECHS used to open the Tower located at Fort Ethan Allen twice a year to the public. Each time the tower was open, around 100 adults and children walked up the 103 stairs to see the view of the Champlain Valley from the top. Board members told the story of the Tower - the first structure to be built at the Fort in 1893 - and the history of the Fort from its beginning as a United States Calvary post to its ending as a United States Air Force base.
However, the 100-plus-year-o1d stairs have deteriorated to the point where it is no longer safe to climb them, and ECHS is unable to open the Tower to the public. The ECHS Board wants to preserve a very important part of the Town of Essex's history and to pass on the history of the Tower and the Fort for generations to come. In keeping with our mission to preserve Essex history, we have decided to embark on our largest historic preservation project since our founding 25 years ago - the 'Restore the Tower Campaign' to raise the $325,000 needed to repair and restore the stairs, roof, and masonry of the Tower.
The Restore the Tower Campaign will include soliciting donations of money and in-kind goods and services and submitting applications for historic preservation grants. Most of the historic preservation grants require a 50/50 match and many have a stipulation that work needs to be started, and sometimes completed, within a year of receiving the grant funding. Therefore, it is imperative to have our 50 percent available before submitting the application. Also, having local monies available at the time of the grant application shows local support which is sometimes asked about by granting agencies.
We are planning a public kick off of the Campaign in May at the Tower. At that time, we would like to show advance support of ECHS membership for the project. Enclosed is a donation form and we hope you feel preserving the Tower is as important as we do - remember the amount of your donation is not as important as your monetary support in any amount. Volunteer help is also needed and there is a place on the form for you to include your willingness to do so.
We will let you know the day of the May kick off, here on this website when it has been scheduled, and either via the Echo or another mailing. We hope to see you there, and we thank you for any support you can give ECHS for the Restore the Tower Campaign.
Below are links to historical information about the Water Tower.
If you have any questions, please contact the ECHS President, Eva Clough, or ECHS Treasurer, Ann Gray.
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The Water Tower
Fort Ethan Allen Museum
Pictures of The Water Tower - Page 1
Pictures of The Water Tower - Page 2
Pictures of The Water Tower - Page 3
At the Town Meeting promoting the Restore The Tower campaign