|Don's Home History Wars American Revolution Signal Beacons|
Signal beacons, located on high points in the area, were used to summon local militia in time of danger and invasion.
General William Alexander (Lord Stirling) to a better idea. Capitalizing on the Watchungs' roughly 400 foot altitude, he ordered 23 beacons to be erected at strategic points along the ridge during the spring of 1779. Each was to be constructed as a wooden pyramid with a 14 foot base, using Alexander's precise directions for height and type of logs used. Uniformity was key: if they were to be reliable signals, they had to burn equally as well and put out an adequate volume of smoke to be visible for long distances during the day.
The beacons were used several times to call out the militia to ward off the British, including the June 1780 battles of Connecticut Farms and Springfield. They served their purpose: while the Redcoats made several raids in the eastern lowlands, they were never able to reach the Watchungs or Washington.
According to "The Blue Hills Beacons - Journal of the American Revolution",