Someone who reads this website recently sent me a message via Facebook that was a bit disheartening. It seems that the South Carolina Forestry Commission is selling several of its lookout towers to the highest bidder. These include the Kelly Tower in Union County, the Silverton Tower near Jackson, SC, the Edgefield Tower, the Riverside Tower near Lancaster, the Johns Island Tower, and the Duncan Tower, right here near my office.
Bidding for the towers starts at $500. Most of these currently have no bids, and the auction is scheduled to close July 16. The purchaser is responsible for removing the tower. Costs to have to tower removed, then reassembled somewhere else could be astronomical, so it’s not surprising that there haven’t been many bids.
I can understand why the Forestry Commission would like to be rid of these. They have been decommissioned for many years, now, and most are just liabilities. However, I hate to see this bit of history lost. That’s especially the case with the Duncan tower. It has stood as a sentinel over I-85 for these many years, and I’ve found its presence oddly reassuring. I really hate to see it go.
Half-joking, I asked one of our assistant superintendents, Greg Wood, if our school district could purchase it and move it to our S.C.A.L.E. outdoor classroom. I think it would be a great addition, but the expense and liability would be more than our district could afford in this lean budget year. Greg said it would be great if we could even just have the cab set up three feet off the ground, but I’m afraid that even that much would be too great an expense. Oh well, it was an idea.
When I get a change I’m going to try to get some more photos. Perhaps I can pretend to be a prospective buyer and get more access to the site. Regardless, our community is losing one of its most prominent landmarks. I will be sad to see it go.