Kiosk dedicated to longtime Pequot Lakes fire tower ranger
Art Savage's family members attend event
PEQUOT LAKES — On a warm, sunny and blue-sky September day, Art Savage’s family members gathered with others to honor his memory at the base of the Pequot Lakes fire tower.
It was a fitting location because Savage staffed the fire tower and lived in the three-bedroom cabin under it with his wife and three children from 1939-47. The fire tower ranger worked in forest protection and management in Pequot Lakes for 40 years, from 1939-79, battling fires and educating people about forest management and wildfire prevention.
Now anyone who visits the Paul M. Thiede Fire Tower Park off County Road 11 can hike up to the fire tower and read all about Savage’s service as a forest ranger from 1939-71 on a kiosk that was dedicated Wednesday, Sept. 7.
Sherry Savage, Art’s daughter-in-law, was at the dedication with her daughters, Elise and Laurie. Her late husband, Bill, was one of Art’s sons. She thanked Crow Wing County Administrator Tim Houle, Crow Wing County Commissioner Bill Brekken and the Pequot Lakes Area Historical Society for their work, time and donated money to make the kiosk a reality.
“Without you it couldn’t have been done,” she said.
The county owns the park and has done much to spruce it up. The historical society donated money for the kiosk.
Mark Jurchen, with the historical society, also thanked county representatives for the fire tower park, which he called an asset to the community.
Among others attending the dedication were Pat Bible, the first wife of Art’s son, Tom; and their daughters, Beth (Savage) Schmid and Mary Savage; representatives from the historical society and county; and others.
Keith Simar, retired forester who took over for Savage when he retired, spoke about his mentor.
Simar spent a week working with Savage.
“When you’re young - I was only 23 at the time - you don’t appreciate what’s gone before you,” Simar said, noting he wishes he’d asked Savage more about history.
Savage died 21 years ago, and Simar wrote a eulogy that he read at the funeral. He read that eulogy again for those gathered at the kiosk dedication.
Simar said Savage would climb the fire tower, spot a fire and then climb down to put out many fires himself.
According to information on the kiosk, Savage used his own vehicle to chase fires. As needed, he enlisted the help of the Pequot Lakes High School Forest Fighting Crew.
He was active in the community and a well-known musician. He played fiddle while his wife, Bea, played piano at local clubs.
Nancy Vogt, editor, may be reached at 218-855-5877 or email@example.com. Follow her on Facebook and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/@PEJ_Nancy.