1949 - Oregon Department of Forestry Collection
1940: "A one room guard station is needed at this secondary lookout." (1940 Annual Report to Oregon Department of Forestry)
March 1986: A visit found that the three legged open platform tower had blown over the side of the point. This structure appeared to be of a temporary nature.
GREEN MOUNTAIN (STATE)
1935: A 14x14 cab was constructed on a tower of unknown height
1942: AWS construction consisted of a 20x24 woodshed with a 12x12 sleeping room.
1955: New steps and guard rails were installed.
1956: Interior and floor were repainted.
1957: A 65-foot wood tower with a 7x7 Amort cab was erected.
1957: Constructed a new cabin for Green Mountain Lookout. Cost of labor was $630.66. Materials were purchased the previous fiscal year. (Northwest Oregon District Annual Report - 1957)
March 28, 1986: A visit found the lookout tower broken up on the ground. Most of the cab was still on site, however the tower legs had been removed. Also on the site were two walls and window frames from the 14x14 hip-roofed ground cabin. Nearby were ruins of a cabin.
GREEN MOUNTAIN (USFS)
1950 - Oregon Department of Forestry Collection
1943: A 10x12 room was built onto the present house for the AWS.
1947: A 14x14 lookout cabin was constructed on a tower at a cost of $3690.23.
August 10, 1951: "A visit to the look-out on Mt. Nicolai by two members of ye scribe's family Sunday accompanied by George Jones was quite and interesting one. The road was long and steep and the tower stood high above. A climb up to the room at the top where the keepers of the lookout, Mrs. Bridgewater and her daughter, live in the room at the top. But it is very comfortable and homelike. The cats were sleeping lazily on a cushion. When the wind blows 30 per the tower weaves to and fro. Quite a job for these two ladies who safeguard the surrounding country from fire as much as possible. It's a splendid view from the tower. A two-way radio keeps them in touch with the outside world and they have many visitors, too." (Clatskanie Chief)
1955: Improvements included: painting the cabin inside and out, creosoted the tower legs, dug a new garbage pit and developed the spring.
1956: The interior was repainted.
1961: "Completed construction of replacement of Nicolai Lookout. A new 40-foot tower with 14x14 cabin. Materials purchased from previous fiscal budget. Cost of materials for cabin $1721.26; labor $1598.51; total cost $3319.77." (Northwest Oregon District Annual Report - 1961)
1963: The lookout was abandoned.
1969: "A concrete building was constructed to house a high-band radio repeating unit. This completes the new radio system." (Northwest Oregon District Annual Report - 1969)
1920 - Oregon Department of Forestry Collection
1913: "During the season ten miles of telephone line was built to permit communication with Saddle Mountain, where a man was stationed all summer. From this point, a view of the entire county can be had, and should fires start, this lookout can promptly detect them and notify by telephone the head warden at Jewell. This is the first season that a lookout has been maintained at this point, but the advisability of having this a permanent part of the protection system cannot be questioned." (Report of the State Forester - 1914)
1914: "The Saddle Mountain lookout was again used this year. Its effectiveness was reduced materially by smoke; but Saddle Mountain commands such an extensive view of Clatsop County that it felt advisable to maintain a lookout man to take advantage of the daily period, however brief, during which the smoke rises, and a good view can be secured. Other minor lookouts located on patrolmen's regular beats were utilized." (Report of State Forester - 1915)
August 22, 1920: "F.A. Elliot, state forester, left last night for Astoria. From there he will proceed to Saddle mountain, where he will inspect the proposed site for a new lookout station and trail routes. At Portland he was joined by representatives of the district forestry office." (The Oregonian - footnote 1)
August 24, 1920: "Outlining of plans whereby a better road may be constructed from a point near Astoria to a state forest reserve located in the vicinity of Saddle Mountain, Clatsop county, is now in progress, according to F.A. Elliot, state forester who returned here today. While in the Saddle Mountain district Mr. Elliot inspected the forestry department lookout, as well as the route of a number of trails which it is proposed to build there in the near future." (The Oregonian - footnote 1)
Panorama photos taken
Panorama photos taken
Living conditions on this post are pretty tough. Accommodations are rather poor, and weather conditions severe. Considerable winterization is needed to make the observers reasonably comfortable this winter. The wood show is particularly poor.
Improvements consist of a 10x14 ground cabin of ancient vintage. The structure has been subjected to an abnormal amount of vandalism and as a result it has been patched up considerably. Some sealing-in has been done but more patching is needed. The paper on the floor and extra windows on the inside of the present ones, to serve as storm windows, will add a lot to the warmth of the building. Storage space is at a premium and it appears advisable to put in a wood box on the outside, below the windows, clear around the building. This will also make the building warmer.
A new wood heating and cooking stove and a kerosene heating stove are furnished. At least 250 gallons of kerosene should be stored for winter use. In addition, probably ten cords of wood of poor quality can be secured below the lookout. In order to get this wood, it will be necessary to have an emergency F.F. crew assigned to cut it and to pack the oil.
An 8x10 storage building to serve as sleeping quarters for the person off duty is urgently needed. It can be built and cabled down on a fairly level at the cave below the station.
This post is subjected to severe wind storms and there are days at a time when it is as much as one's life is worth to venture outside of the cabin. During such times normal living habits cannot be enjoyed. It is recommended that iron posts with cables be placed around the cabin and leads extended to the toilet, to and around the spring, and past the proposed storage building to the saddle below. Such a safety measure is urgently needed.
In order to set the iron posts, portable jackhammers should be used to drill the post holes as the lookout point is solid rock.
When the holes are being bored for the railing it is recommended that telephone post holes also be drilled. The telephone line at the top consists of about 1/4 mile latex wire and is laid on the ground. Tripods have been used in the past but have proven unsatisfactory." (Inspection Report from W.N. Parke, AWS Inspector, to James Frankland, USFS)
Since Saddle Mountain will be needed as a fire lookout station until the end of the fire season, the change to the winter site should not be made until Saddle Mountain is no longer needed for fire protection purposes this fall." (From a letter to the State Forester from James Frankland, Asst Regional Forester)
August 24, 1943: "Saddle Mountain observation post has been functioning at its location on the summit of the mountain, elevation 3200, since march 10, 1942. observation work has been performed in the lookout cabin perched on the edge of a cliff which has a sheer drop of about 500 feet. Weather conditions in the winter time make living conditions hazardous and as a result we have had frequent turnover in personnel. If this point is to be continued in its present location the coming winter we expect to have considerable difficulty in keeping it manned and it is believed that it will be vacant much of the time.
An examination of this area was made lat week and an alternate site was found which we recommend developing and using during the winter months. The proposed site would be easy to develop and we anticipate no difficulty in keeping it manned. It has very fine visibility within the ten mile radius and it would not be in the fog nearly as much as Saddle Mountain is.
Early consideration and approval to make this change is requested so the work can be done before the fall storms begin. We are holding up packing in supplies and fuel by pack horse to the present post until a reply is received." (Letter to the C.O., Portland Air Region from James Frankland, Asst Regional Forester)
January 25, 1953: "State Foresters in the northwest Oregon district will stage an 'operation airlift' this coming summer in construction of a new lookout station on top of Saddle mountain in north Clatsop county.
Under the plan being considered, a helicopter will fly building materials to the top of the 3300-foot jagged peak in the state park. Base of operations will be at about the 2000-foot level. The new building will replace the present frame structure which is described as literally 'falling apart' from age.
Edward Schroeder, northwest district warden, explains that the last quarter mile to the top of the peak consists of some three miles of narrow foot trail. It would be impossible to pack the building material to the top using mules or horses.
Top of the peak is an area about 30 by 50 feet, Schroeder said. Foresters will first raze the old building to give the helicopter room to land. The building will be about 14 feet square, consisting of aluminum roof and siding, with pumice block foundation.
Dean Johnson of McMinnville, who has been planting Tillamook burn forest by helicopter, assures the foresters the job can be done in this manner." (The Sunday Oregonian - footnote 1)
May 7, 1953: "The Oregon State Forestry department needs a new lookout station on top of Saddle mountain but the last three miles of a foot path are too steep and narrow for building materials to be packed up by mule or horse. So a helicopter will be called in to carry supplies to the top of the jagged 3,300-foot peak." (Covina Argus Citizen)
July 3, 1953: "Next we may be hearing of logging by helicopter. The Oregon state forestry department will build a lookout station next month atop North Saddle Butte in Clatsop county and will use a helicopter to bring in the building material and furnishings as there is only a narrow trail up the steep bluff." (Clatskanie Chief)
July 24, 1953: "State forestry officials said a helicopter airlift of building material to the4 summit of 3283-foot Saddle mountain was expected to be completed Thursday. The airlift began Monday.
Dean Johnson, McMinnville, who has the contract, said it was the trickiest helicopter job he had ever handled, owing to the wind currents about the mountain.
The helicopter was taking 250 pounds of material at a time from the foot of the mountain to the summit, a vertical distance of 1600 feet, and landing the material in a 10-by-15-foot clearing at the top.
A total of 21,500 pounds was to be lifted, at 11 cents a pound.
William Holtsclaw, district fire warden, said use of a helicopter was the cheapest means that could be found to get the building material to the site, where a new lookout station will be put up. He said it would cost $4000 to $5000 to put the trail into condition for pack trains.
The new cabin was prefabricated at the Jewell fire fighting headquarters, disassembled and trucked to the mountain's foot.
The 14-by-14-foot building will be of frame and concrete block construction." (The Oregonian - footnote 1)
1953: A 14x14 cinder block ground house with flat roof was constructed. Materials were airlifted by helicopter from the parking lot at the base of the mountain. The airlift was performed by a small open cockpit one seater. 85 flights over a one week period were required to move all the supplies to the summit. The pilot, Dean Johnson, was a pioneer in this type of work.
The total cost of the new lookout was $4500.00. If pack animals were used to move the materials the cost would have been closer to $10,000.00.
1955: Painted the lookout cab inside and out, replaced four window panes and raised the spring level.
1956: Repaired a hole in the roof. Replaced three window panes and three shutters.
November 26, 1961: "Mrs. Wick was born and reared in the Clatsop County woods. Her father Gus Adolph had a farm near Saddle Mountain and also did logging there. He built the first fire lookout on top of that 3,000-foot peak many years ago, getting the lumber up there on horseback." (The Sunday Oregonian – footnote 1)
August 13, 1942: "Reference is made to memorandum from W.N. Parke to James Frankland, under date of August 7th, relative to the proposed establishment of aircraft warning station on Sugar Loaf Lookout in Section 1, Twp. 4N, R 10 W.
A number of years ago this point was tried out as a lookout station; but due to the fact that the lookout was unable to see for approximately 50 percent of the time because of coastal fogs, the station was abandoned for lookout purposes.
As only temporary quarters were provided for the lookout during this try-out period, the establishment of a year-round station on Sugar Loaf would require a full set of buildings and construction of approximately five miles of telephone line. The summit of Sugar Loaf is a rock, which stands above the surrounding timber, the summit being approximately 6 foot by 6 foot, or just enough to accommodate a fire finder. Since this point is reached by ladders and rope, it would be impossible to construct any building on the point without excessive cost for blasting powder. To the north of this rock and about 100 feet below the summit is a ridge, which it was thought we might be able to clear for a building site. So much timber would have to be cut, however, on this ridge to give the observer the proper visibility that this proposal seems impractical." (A letter to the Regional Forester from the Northwest Oregon F.P.A.)
Improvements consist of a 14x14 Aladdin ground cabin, which is satisfactorily winterized. It is furnished with a good cook stove and a kerosene heating stove. The wood show is poor but it is expected that an emergency F.F. crew can cut the winter's supply readily.
The 14x20 garage has already been floored. The walls and ceiling are to be sealed and a heavy tar paper covering put on the floor. Two large windows are to be put on the leeward side for better lighting. A shed roof can be attached at the end of the garage for storing a car, and a wood shed is needed.
The road to the station is nearly all graveled but two mud holes near the top should be graveled this summer to permit winter travel to the post. This is a job that could very readily be done with and emergency F.F. crew and no AWS expenditure should be involved.
The post overlooks Tongue Point airport and is an important station for reporting planes in the vicinity of the mouth of the Columbia." (Inspection Report from W.N. Parke, AWS Inspector, to James Frankland, USFS)
1942: AWS construction consisted of a 14x18 woodshed and a 12x14 room built onto garage for sleeping quarters.
1954: Materials purchased for a replacement tower.
1955: A 14x14 Amort cabin on a 50-foot CT3 tower was constructed for a total cost of $6946.75.
1956: Shutters, catwalk and railings were painted.