Fire tower lookouts were built in the early 1900s and workers or volunteers manned them to keep an eye on any potential fire outbreaks following camping season and electrical storms. They are lovely solitary buildings that create a romantic notion of being in a bird's nest away from the hustle and bustle, king of the forest.
If you think about it, they are the lighthouse equivalent of the forest....
In the early days, they utilized phones, carrier pigeons and heliographs, but later on with advancements in airplanes, helicopters and radios, the towers became the first victims of budget cuts. Today, the forest service is working to preserve some of these beautiful memorials.
Some lookout towers are for rent! Yes! This is Bald Butte in Oregon. See link below for other lookout rentals by state.
Best creepy Lookout Tower scene in a movie? "Wrong Turn."
More info on Lookout Fire Towers
New York's history of towers
More fire towers converted into homes
Lookout rentals by state
Lookout Towers for Sale