WISE COUNTY, Va. - It's taken five years and a lot of community support to bring back an icon of Southwest Virginia.
The new High Knob tower is nearly complete following the malicious arson fire that brought the original down on Halloween night in 2007.
Following the fire, the region pulled together with the goal of rebuilding and now its back even better than ever.
Even from a distance the new tower high atop High Knob is a striking majestic testament to the will of the people of the region to bring it back.
It was destroyed by arsonists on Halloween in 2007. Soon after that, people began to organize and find a way to rebuild after finding a piece of their lives had disappeared. "That icon that everybody had known, many had grown up around, picnicking and going to see and bringing visitors when they came into Wise or Norton," said Lu Ellsworth with the High Knob Enhancement Corportation.
Just last year enough funds were raised and work began on a new tower. The new tower is not exactly like the old one, but enhanced with an ADA-accessible ramp and spectacular stone work. "It's still within the heritage of the area. The building materials are all native to the area and its actually a little taller than the old one, the same view on the same site," Ellsworth said.
It's that view that first created a fire watch station to look out for forest fires, but it soon became a beautiful place to visit and enjoy the incredible natural beauty of the mountains.
A celebration and ribbon cutting is being planned for August 22, highlighting those who have helped bring it back, from school kids to corporations.