Custer, Sd. August 14, 2017 – Preservation work continues at the historic lookout tower located on Black Elk Peak, August 14 – 18, 2017. The last several years, Forest Service preservation specialists from Missoula, Montana, Forest employees and volunteers have installed doors and windows, in addition to masonry repairs.
New windows and doors will be installed this week to protect the interior from continued weathering and structural deterioration. Future projects will focus on installation of the cupola floor and interior wall mortar.
Work performed in the wilderness area and at the tower will be traditional in technique, meaning no motorized equipment or wheeled tools will be used.
The Black Hills Backcountry Horsemen of South Dakota will be assisting with the project using their mules to pack materials via Harney Trail 9 North.
“The Forest Service is working to protect and preserve this structure to ensure future generations will have the opportunity to enjoy it,” said Sara Erickson, Hell Canyon Recreation & Wilderness Specialist, Black Hills National Forest.
Officials said they greatly appreciate the expertise of the R1 Historic Preservation team.
The Lookout was constructed by employees of the Civilian Conservations Corps that were stationed at Camp Doran. The site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is renowned by South Dakotans and visitors for its landscape views of the Black Hills and beyond.
For more information on the Black Hills National Forest, visit http://www.fs.usda.gov/blackhills.