Writer seeks vintage photographs of Appalachian fire towers

Published 8:41 am Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Fire lookout towers have been iconic landmarks in the southern Appalachian Mountains for nearly a century. Now a Northeast Tennessee writer is hunting for vintage photographs to document those landmarks.
Robert Sorrell is collecting photos of fire towers to be used in an upcoming book for The History Press, a national publishing company in Charleston, S.C.
“I am looking for any old photograph of fire towers in the mountains,” Sorrell said. “Photos with people building, manning, visiting, or restoring the towers would be ideal.”
In addition to vintage photographs, Sorrell is looking for individuals with stories to share about the history of fire towers.
“Fire towers are an important part of our regional history,” Sorrell said. “Countless individuals have manned the towers, to protect our vast forests.”
The book will cover the history of past and present towers from Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.
Submitted photos may be used in the book, but the use of the photos is at the discretion of the publisher and cannot be guaranteed. Personal stories and recollections of the towers are also appreciated.
Sorrell is currently a reporter at the Bristol Herald Courier, and a former reporter at the Elizabethton Star and Erwin Record.
To contact Sorrell for photo or story submissions about fire towers in the southern Appalachian Mountains, call him at 423-620-4781 or email him at rsoftn@yahoo.com.

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