Bear Swamp Hill Photos

Furball1

Explorer
Dec 11, 2005
378
1
Florida
Does anyone know where I can obtain photos from the firetower (pre-1971 jet crash) at Bear swamp Hill? I was thinking that if I could get in touch with John McPhee, but don't have a clue how to get in touch with him. In the first chapter of his book, "The Pines", he mentions the view---my first discovery of the place was in 1974, so too late for a great photo opportunity!
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
Guy has some, he posted them, but I believe they are newpaper articles/photos just after the crash. I'm not sure. If anybody would have the photos it would probably be Guy.

Jeff
 

Teegate

Administrator
Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
23,149
5,027
I have photo's of the wooden 1900 and 1915 lookouts but I am reluctant to post them. Here is some info on the hills history with fire lookouts

Originally the Bear Swamp Hill lookout was just boards tied in a tree until the first actual wooden lookout was built around 1900.

It was ironically destroyed by fire and another one was built around 1915.

Again destroyed by fire don't you know! This occurred in the late 1920's and they again had to resort to boards in a tree.

In 1960 the "Farmingdale" tower became available and it was erected on Bear Swamp Hill in 1960. And just 11 years later in 1971 disaster struck again when the jet fighter crashed into it. It has become apparent they have given up on Bear Swamp Hill as a location for a lookout. I can't understand why :)
 

Furball1

Explorer
Dec 11, 2005
378
1
Florida
Bear Swamp

The tower really doesn't interest me, though even an observation platform to replace it would be cool; it's the swamp--any recent photos? Thanks everyone for your responses.:)
 

Teegate

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Site Administrator
Sep 17, 2002
23,149
5,027
Furball1 said:
The tower really doesn't interest me, though even an observation platform to replace it would be cool; it's the swamp--any recent photos? Thanks everyone for your responses.:)


Be a little more specific. What kind of swamp photo's do you want from there?

Guy
 

bobpbx

Piney
Staff member
Oct 25, 2002
12,225
2,458
Pines; Bamber area
Furball1 said:
Specifically, I would like to see photos of the surrounding terrain FROM (not of) the firetower.

Thats almost impossible furball. The trees are tall right up to the tip of the hill. I climbed a tree there this year and could see quite a distance but all I saw were the tops of cedars. You can see quite a distance "over" them, but nothing close.

PS: are you in Florida?

Duh, I'm sorry, I just noticed you said pre 1974 "from" the tower. My mistake.
 

Furball1

Explorer
Dec 11, 2005
378
1
Florida
Thanks!

OK, thanks Bob. I am curious about this view because I am well acquainted with the view from Apple Pie Hill, which to me is breathtaking. I am VERY curious how the view would be from a tower on a 200 ft. elevation hill overlooking all that beauty!

I grew up in South Jersey. And yes, I am in Florida, which in many respects, is VERY similar to New Jersey. I plan to take a canoe trip next week on Juniper Creek, through the Juniper Creek Wilderness area in Ocala National Forest. The topography, tannin-stained water, and sandy soils are very similar to the pinebarrens. Cypress replaces atalntic white cedar, and palms are abundant, which gives the place an ancient "look".

Anyway, photos from atop that firetower on BSH would be, I am sure, unbelievable.
 

onehand

Explorer
Apr 11, 2005
374
0
potter co. pa.
if you hiked or drove out to the gereral area of "spring hill" at the coords below you can see for miles and "bear swamp hill"

and sometimes watch the planes making runs at "warren grove"

n 39 46.062 w074 26.769

that according to my gps tracks it should be a good vantage point
 

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
7,914
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
Furball1 said:
Hay Boyd, is it possible to get another image facing southeast?

Here ya go:

http://greenmist.com/misc/bearswamp3.jpg

You should really download the program for yourself if your computer supports it - it's free. In addition to static views it lets you "fly" over the terrain which is phenomenal. It is giving me a whole new perspective on the pines - literally!

Here are a couple real photos of Bear Swamp Hill from the location that Onehand described:

http://greenmist.com/misc/bearswamp1.jpg
http://greenmist.com/misc/bearswamp2.jpg

But to really appreciate it you need to see the full panorama from up there in person! (someday when I have the patience to figure out the new gallery software I'll upload some more photos) :)
 
onehand said:
if you hiked or drove out to the gereral area of "spring hill" at the coords below you can see for miles and "bear swamp hill"

and sometimes watch the planes making runs at "warren grove"

n 39 46.062 w074 26.769

that according to my gps tracks it should be a good vantage point

That really is the better view. The trees on Bear Swamp Hill block your view. Of course nothing beats Apple Pie Hill.

Steve
 

Furball1

Explorer
Dec 11, 2005
378
1
Florida
Thanks, everyone, these views are great! Someday I might get my hands on photos taken from BSH prior to the 1971 crash and demise of the tower. I believe the latest edition of McPhee's "The Pinebarrens" actually has a photo from the tower at BSH--you can see it at Amazon.com--I recently ordered a copy for a friend back home. Thanks again!:)
 

woodjin

Piney
Nov 8, 2004
4,274
244
Near Mt. Misery
I have a 1981 hard cover edition of The Pine Barrens, with photos by Bill Curtsinger. I leafed through it but did not see a photo of Bear Swamp Hill. Maybe this lastest printing has what you are looking for.

Jeff
 

Boyd

Administrator
Site Administrator
Jul 31, 2004
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Ben's Branch, Stephen Creek
I loaned all my favorite pine barrens books to a friend! But I think you're right about that book cover. Pretty sure that it is the view from Bear Swamp Hill and there is a note somewhere about that.

IIRC, there's a trail that skirts the hill and a branch off from it that goes to the top. Along the way you can see some nice vistas through the trees. You can see it faintly in this view, starting at the clearing to the right of the old firetower location and leading off in the 10 o'clock direction: http://greenmist.com/misc/bearswamp3.jpg
 

Furball1

Explorer
Dec 11, 2005
378
1
Florida
More intrigue!

The cover of the newest edition (The Pine Barrens)--check it out on amazon.com. Does anyone know the history of the NAME of the place---does the grove of cedars to the southeast represent Bear Swamp? I can't find this named landmark on any maps---althought they do show a swamp---but one does ponder its origins. It makes one wonder if bears frequented this area centuries ago--maybe they're back now!:bear:
 
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