In 1948, AT&T Communications constructed a television relay tower on Gander Mountain. AT&T’s relay towers provided a one-way television route from Chicago to Milwaukee, and U.S. long distance telephone service. The concrete towers built in Lake County (including one in Lake Zurich) resembled farm silos with their circular, tapered shape. AT&T only used this design for six of its towers, perhaps initially sympathetic to the farm country in which they were built. The Lake County towers were 101 feet tall. They had steel stairways alongside and within the silo to access the different floors. The sixth floor of each tower housed TE-1 microwave equipment. There were also antennas installed on the lower deck, one facing each direction of the route.
In 1961, an acre of land, which included the tower, was donated to us by a local developer and became the first parcel for Gander Mountain Forest Preserve. By this time, the Gander Mountain tower was no longer in use by AT&T. Ham radio operators leased the use of the tower until the late 1980s, installing their own antennas on top. From the sixth floor you could see all the way to Waukegan.
The Gander Mountain tower was demolished around 1990 for safety reasons.