Fox Hill Memorial Tower / Henry Park
44 acres in Vernon, CT
- Closest for Tower/Overlook: Pull-off for a dozen cars near Tower Rd Vernon, CT
- For Henry Park: Small lots near 120 South St, Vernon, CT
Trail Map Trails: Large park to stroll around but no trails Rating: ★★★☆☆
The tower is closed for the 2020 season
It is usually open 1-4pm on Saturday and Sunday Memorial Day to Veteran’s Day
Henry Park is a popular town park with the standard set of ball fields, courts, picnic pavilion, and open lawns for strolling. The hottest spot on my visit wasn’t the tower, but the pull-off picnic overlook on Tower Rd with several groups were enjoying the view. There aren’t any trails within the park, but plenty of room to wander.
The actual road up to the tower appears to have been recently redone and was closed on my last visit in September 2020. I walked up the hill to the tower and had the entire place to myself. A 200ft stone promenade leads up to the tower which sits on a wide observation platform. The 72 foot octagonal Romanesque tower is constructed of local granite and was completed in 1939 by the WPA as a historical monument to Vernon and Rockville Veterans.
The sides of the tower have bronze plaques dedicated to each branch of the military. Below each plaque is a shallow alcove that likely held lists of the names of veterans, but have long since been removed. Currently, they are covered in cracked and peeling paint carved with a single word each like ‘freedom’ or ‘justice’.
The view is northwest making it a good spot to view the sunset.
The tower can be rented for $75 for a 3 hour block. Rental information and application can be found here.
Sometime around 1920, E. Stevens Henry (local merchant and politician) donated the land to create to Henry Park. The tower was designed by a New York architect, Walter B. Chambers. He modeled it after a 1500 year-old Romanesque tower near Poitiers, France. It was constructed by the WPA over a period of two years (1937-1939) at a total cost $71,200.
A pre-tower history of Fox Hill can be found here.
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Last updated September 27th, 2020
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