1961 - Oregon Department of Forestry Collection
Panorama photos taken
1941: A 99-foot wood tower with an 8x8 cab was erected. The steel ladder from the old tree lookout replaced by this structure was moved to Damewood Point in Douglas County and became part of a new tree lookout in that district.
Improvements consist of a 16x18 ground cabin which is satisfactorily sealed in. A good heating stove is needed for winter. Vandalism is also in evidence at this station and as a result, a new door is needed.
A 99-foot creosoted sawn timber type of tower with a 7x7 cab on top completes the improvements. As the point has been logged and burned over, a minor wood problem exists. A woodshed is needed." (Inspection Report by W.N. Parke, AWS Inspector, to James Frankland USFS Engineering)
1942: AWS construction consisted of a 20x22 woodshed and a 10x14 room built onto the present house.
1953: Maintenance this year included repairing a shutter, replacing the trapdoor and tightening all the bolts.
1955: Part of one tower leg was replaced along with one flight of stairs and several cross braces. The lookout was repainted inside and out.
1956: Doors were repaired on the garage and woodshed.
Panorama photos taken
Improvements consist of a 12x16 ground cabin which is sealed in and otherwise winterized satisfactorily this spring. The stove is good and in addition an oil stove is provided. A 45-foot tower has a 7x7 cab on top. The cabin and grounds were neat and orderly.
Additional sleeping quarters are needed and construction of a small room attached to the ground cabin was approved.
Trees need topping to improve the view. This will be done this spring.
This station is subjected to considerable vandalism each winter and with the point occupied during AWS this will be eliminated." (Inspection Report by W.N. Parke, AWS Inspector, to James Frankland, USFS Engineering)
1942: AWS construction consisted of a 20x24 woodshed and a 10x16 room added to the present house.
June 23, 1950: "Chester Hall of the state fire patrol has moved back to this vicinity from McMinnville where the family was for the winter months.
The family is now at Benson Lookout with an address of Star route.
Anyone wishing burning permits may contact Mr. Hall at that address. The patrol is endeavoring to get phone service established to the lookout and will do so as soon as possible." (Clatskanie Chief)
June 29, 1951: "Mr. and Mrs. Chester Hall arrived here Sunday from their home at McMinnville and immediately manned their old post at the Benson Look-out.
There is no phone as yet at the Benson Look-out and those wanting to get in touch with the wardens can call Vernonia 11F3 or the State Board of Forestry, Forest Grove." (Clatskanie Chief)
1954: The lookout duties were transferred to the new lookout
1954: A 60-foot steel tower with a 7x7 steel cab was erected. This structure was constructed as a replacement for the Benson Lookout. The total cost when completed was $2325.00. Some of the material was salvaged bringing the cost of materials down to $287.46.
1955: "A porch was built onto the living quarters, also kitchen built-ins were installed and the interior of the dwelling was painted. A garage and woodshed were constructed from salvaged materials at a cost of $268.06 for labor." (1955 Annual Report to Oregon Department of Forestry)
1934: "The old Enterprise lookout is off the road about 1/4 mile but they opened up the old road to the lookout. They did not build a tower there and I do not think it is necessary, as they have built a tower on Clatskanie Heights (Benson)." (P.S. King Field Report - 1934)
1952: A 40-foot treated timber tower with a 14x14 cab was constructed at a total cost of $3637.47.
1953: The lookout had a window replaced, a new garbage pit dug and was painted inside and out.
1955: The interior was repainted.
1966: The garage was moved from the lookout to the Clatskanie Guard Station.
1971: The lookout was abandoned.
Panorama photos taken
January 13, 1943: "A report has just been received by this office that Mr. Leslie R. Stewart, chief observer at Pisgah observation post, has been making trips to Delena, where he has been expressing himself publicly to the effect that he is getting paid for aircraft observation work and that people around there are foolish to be volunteering and doing the type work for nothing. It is also reported that the Army has made it possible for Mr. Stewart to obtain extra gasoline rations.
The Army is having an exceedingly hard time keeping up morale of the civilian volunteer observers, particularly in Columbia and Washington Counties, and Mr. Stewart's actions, if true, are certainly adding to their present problem. Mr. Stewart should be informed of the text of our circular E-104. No doubt you will agree that dismissal of guilty observers appears to be the only solution to continued acts of this kind." (Letter to the State Forester from James Frankland, USFS Engineering)
1943: A 14x18 room was built onto the woodshed for the AWS.
1953: Maintenance this year included repairing windows, doors, flue and ceiling. Then the interior and exterior were painted.
1913: "A permanent lookout station was established on Rocky Point, in Section 16, T. 4 N., R. 5 W., and a cabin constructed for the use of the warden, who was continuously on duty. Practically the entire territory patrolled by the association is plainly visible from Rocky Point, and telephone connection with headquarters at Vernonia insures the prompt detection and report of any fire that may start. The advisability of having this lookout as a permanent part of the protection system cannot be questioned. Fifteen or twenty minor lookout points, located on the regular patrol beats, and visited daily by certain of the wardens, have also been found of great value." (Report of State Forester - 1914)
1914: "Despite the haze prevalent for nearly the entire season, the Rocky Point lookout, located in Section 16-4N-5W, reports a period practically every day during which a clear view of all, or most of his territory was obtainable. In years of average precipitation the early report of fires detected by this lookout would have been insurance against their escape or growth to large proportions." (Report of State Forester - 1915)
June 1961 - Oregon department of Forestry Collection
July 17, 1921: "To the west of St. Helens and extending from Deer Island to the Multnomah county line is a magnificent body of timber which contains millions of feet. To guard against forest fires, the timber owners, in conjunction with the county court, maintain forest patrols.
Dale Perry has charge of what is known as the Trenholm district and his camp is on the divide between Milton creek and the Little Clatskanie river. The elevation is 1200 feet above sea level. Almost at the top of the divide is a giant fir tree which is about 250 feet in height and Perry has made this his lookout. From his lookout station, which is 235 feet above the ground, the forest of the Deer Island, Scappoose, Bunker Hill, Nehalem divide sections can be seen and any forest fire detected.
During spare hours, Perry built a ladder on the body of the tree. The crosspieces were hewn from cedar logs and are two feet long and four inches thick and four 8-inch spikes secure the crosspieces to the tree trunk.
In the photograph Perry is shown on one of his daily observation trips and is about 185 feet from the ground and about 50 feet from his observation platform which is among the branches of the tree. The correspondent of The Oregonian went up about one-third this far and thought it best to come down if the story were to be written. Perry says there is a gentle swaying of the tree which is very noticeable when in the observation nest and he would advise persons subject to seasickness not to try the experience." (Morning Oregonian - see footnote 1)