Celebration planned Oct. 23 for restored Mt. Battie Tower

Oct 18, 2016
Photo by: Kelly Woods Visitors to the summit of Mt. Battie check out the newly reopened Tower, which has been undergoing repairs much of the summer and fall.

Camden — The all-volunteer group Friends of the Mt. Battie Tower announced Oct. 17 that repairs to the deteriorating portions of the Mt. Battie Memorial Tower in the Camden Hills State Park have been completed.

In March 2016, the Friends of the Mt. Battie Tower presented a check for more than $67,000 to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry to begin restoration work. Repairs were done by Tito Masonry of Portland, and the State of Maine donated $10,000 to assist the project.

Millions of residents and visitors have hiked or driven to the summit of Mt. Battie, and feel a special connection to the mountain, the trails, the views and the Tower.

As a thank you for their support, the Friends of the Mt. Battie Tower would like to invite the community and donors to join them on the summit on Sunday, Oct. 23, at 1 p.m. for a re-dedication ceremony.

The Friends of the Mt. Battie Tower Steering Committee formed in December 2014 with an aggressive fundraising goal of $100,000 by the end of 2015. The project was jumpstarted by a generous $10,000 gift from the Messler Family Foundation followed by another $25,000 from an anonymous donor. However, it was donations that came in from community members from near and far that made the project a success.

“It is an amazing feeling knowing that the work has been completed and we can hand over this beloved Tower to the next generation knowing it will be in good shape for another 50 to 100 years,” said Randy Stearns, chairman of Friends of Mt. Battie Tower in a news release.

“We are only $3,000 away from our goal and are still working to raise funds to continue the maintenance of the tower in the future,” Stearns said. “We have an account earmarked called the Legacy Fund that will be used for future repairs to the tower later on down the line.”

The Tower has been an iconic part of the community throughout the Camden Hills and Penobscot Bay region since the end of World War I. It was constructed from the stone foundation of the Mt. Battie House in 1920 as a monument to World War I veterans and their families on the home front and dedicated in 1921. The auto road was constructed by the Maine State Park Commission in 1963. The Mt. Battie community star has been lit annually since 1966, beginning Thanksgiving evening and continuing nightly thru New Year’s Eve, with the generous local donations of supplies and volunteer labor to make that possible. The 50th anniversary of the community star on Mt. Battie is this year, making this restoration project historically significant.

The all-volunteer committee members include Jim Bowditch, Jim Christie, Dawn Emery, Ronna Emery, Jeremy Howard, Parker Laite Jr., Heather Moran, Anneli Skaar, Randy Stearns, and Chris Wolf. Donations may be mailed to Save the Tower, c/o The Town of Camden, PO Box 1207, Camden, Maine 04843 with “Save the Tower” on the memo line. For more information, visit facebook.com/savethemtbattietower.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Oct 18, 2016 16:57

I have fond memories of Bob Oxton and his faithful trips to keep the star atop lit. I remember enjoying the lit star while driving into Camden from Route 105. Bob and other loyal firemen kept the star lit and contributed their labors for many years. Thank you for keeping up with tradition. Christmas would not be the same without the star. Thanks to all the year round volunteers who keep this project open to the tourists. Thanks too for the present volunteers who are raising monies to repair the monument structure.

Mary "Mickey" (Brown) McKeever



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