June 18, 1925: "A new lookout tower is being built on Bell mountain in Tillamook county and a new telephone line is being built to the station." (La Grande Evening Observer)
September 14, 1925: "Work on the Bell mountain lookout tower is progressing, according to R.S. Shelley, supervisor of the Siuslaw National forest, who has just returned from a week's field trip to the timber in Tillamook, Yamhill and northern Lincoln county. The new tower, which is being erected for the use of Lookout William Land, is 70 feet high, of peeled fir poles, with 24-foot base and eight-foot square top platform. Telephone and trail work is also reported progressing." (Eugene Register-Guard)
January 23, 1926: "A lookout tower was built on Bell mountain at a cost of $406.00." (Morning Register)
May 11, 1926: Dear Mr. Garwood: As you know, we have a lookout tower on Bell Mt. on reverted O. & C. land. I have been assuming all along that this matter could be handled when the tower was completed, in accordance with instructions on page 145 of the lands handbook. I have recently written to the District Forester, however, in another similar case, and he advises that we should prepare a report on Form 271, in accordance with pages 82 and 83 of the Lands Section of the Manual. In preparing this report you will doubtless have to make a survey in order to determine the exact location of the tower. The only thing I have on it, is that it is approximately 500 feet north of the south 1/4 corner of Section 11. I do not consider this sufficiently accurate to base a withdrawal on it, since the hill is quite steep and the tower was not in sight from the quarter corner and I did not run the line through. I believe the line it may be desirable to withdraw more than one forty since, as I understand it, the stake at this quarter is not the original stake but a cruiser's stake and may not be entirely accurate. We also need to have this work done in order to tie in the tower to a section corner, so it should be carefully done while you are at it." (Letter to District Ranger, Hebo from Supervisor, Siuslaw N.F.)
July 8, 1927: "This is somewhat similar to the station at Wells Creek where Lot #6, Sec. 7, T.22 S., R. 9W. was set aside for administrative use, except of course, that no power withdrawal is involved. We would like to have a withdrawal which would protect the areas against other disposal. This tract is essential for tower and lookout purposes. You will note that it is at a remote distance from the Forest but it overlooks a large body of O. & C. area which we are protecting, as well as other private lands and some National Forest lands. It is the most suitable tract available in that vicinity." (Letter from Forest Supervisor, Siuslaw N.F. to District Forester)
July 19, 1927: "A lookout tower has been erected upon the summit of Bell Mountain, which is used by the Forest Service in the protection from fire of National Forest lands, and also of O.& C. revested lands and privately owned timber in that vicinity, which the Forest Service is protecting in cooperation with your Department and with the State of Oregon. The top of the mountain extends through Section 11, T.4S., R.7W., the tower being located very close to the line between the two forty acre tracts on the grant land which has been opened to homestead entry. Because of the importance of this mountain as a lookout point in the protection of timbered lands in that vicinity, it is desirable that these lands be withheld from disposition as long as they may be needed for this purpose. I request therefore that, if consistent with the views of your department, the two forty acre tracts above described be withdrawn from disposition as provided by the Act of Congress approved June 25, 1910, as amended August 24, 1912, and reserved for use of the Forest Service as a lookout site." (Letter to the Secretary of the Interior)
August 5, 1927: "Executive Order" Under authority of the act of Congress approved June 25, 1910 (36 Stat., 847), as amended by the act of August 24, 1912 (37 Stat., 497), and on recommendation of the Secretary of Agriculture, it is hereby ordered that the NE 1/4 SW 1/4 and NW 1/4 SE 1/4 Sec. 11, T.4S., R.7W., W.M., Oregon, containing 80 acres, be temporarily withdrawn from settlement, location, sale or entry, subject to the conditions and limitations of said acts, for use by the Forest Service as a lookout station in the protection from fire of national forest and other timbered lands in the vicinity. This order shall continue in full force and effect unless and until revoked by the President or by act of Congress. (signed Calvin Coolidge)
March 13, 1934: Panorama photos taken.
May 3, 1934: "New lookout houses and towers will be built in the Siuslaw national forest this summer, it is announced by R.S. Shelley, supervisor. A tower on Bell mountain on the headwaters of the Willamina will either be rebuilt or replaced by a new one. It will be 70 feet high." (Morning Oregonian)
June 1934: "A number of towers are being planned on our summer program. Those include the rebuilding of the Bell Mountain tower, which is a 70-foot wood tower." (Six Twenty-Six)
October 1934: "Nearing completion on Bell Mountain in the Three Rivers R.D. is an 80' tower with a 10'x10' house on top. Douglas fir timbers hauled in by cat and truck from the near vicinity were used in construction. The base is 30'x30'; construction is diagonal sway-brace with ledger ties. From the tower looking north, over the adjacent timber, we recognize the Nestucca and Testament water drainages; to the south is the Willamina River drainage; east the Willamette Valley; and to the west the tower on Buzzard Butte relays our view to the Pacific Ocean. Wallace Wheeler" (Six Twenty-Six)
September 18, 1936: Panorama photos taken.
September 1936: Plans for a garage, woodshed and storage building were being drawn up.
August 22, 1958: "A two-way radio is perhaps responsible for Jim Holman, 19, Grand Ronde, being alive. Now hospitalized in a McMinnville hospital, Holman suffered a broken leg when the Forestry Department pickup he was driving plunged over a 50-foot embankment. The two-way radio in the truck still worked allowing him to call back to Bell Mountain Lookout for help." (The Oregonian)
The NGS Data Sheet
DESCRIBED BY US FOREST SERVICE 1936 THIS OCCUPIED STATION IS CENTER OF LOOKOUT TOWER ON HIGHEST POINT OF BELL MOUNTAIN, SITUATED ABOUT 16 MILES AIR LINE W OF MC MINNVILLE AND 10 MILES N OF WILLAMINA.
REFERENCE MARK CONSISTS OF U.S.C. AND G.S. DISK MARKING STATION BELL MOUNTAIN (USFS) AND IS 14.39 METERS (47.2 FEET) SOUTHERLY FROM CENTER OF TOWER, U.S.C. AND G.S. INSTALLED STATION AND REFERENCE DISK AT THIS POINT IN 1935 BUT DID NOT OCCUPY.
TO REACH FROM WILLAMINA, GO N ON WILLAMINA CREEK ROAD, THENCE LEFT ON BELL MOUNTAIN ROAD TO STATION.