Reconstructed on this site, this lookout tower once stood off S.R. 278 southwest of Nelsonville in Athens County. Known as the Snake Ridge Lookout Tower this tower was originally built in 1939.
Many of the lookout towers were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. Construction included a 75-100 foot steel tower with either wooden steps or a steel ladder, a log guard station with outhouse and garage to provide housing for the lookout, and telephone lines to the tower. The towers were actively used until the 1970s.
Towers were manned during spring and fall when fires were most prevalent. Of the original eight towers on the Forest, only the Shawnee Lookout Tower near New Straitsville remains at its original location. Shawnee, Snake Ridge, and Iron Point Towers once stood on the Athens Ranger District and Kimble, Long Hollow, New Castle, Pilot Knob, and Telegraph Towers were on the Ironton Ranger District.
The New Castle Lookout was the first on the Forest and consisted of a platform built on the top of a tree trunk until it was replaced by a metal structure.
This sign was erected to commemorate the Centennial of the USDA Forest Service. Funding for the sign was paid for by the Eastern National Forest Interpretive Association. A time capsule was buried here to be opened in 2055.