Whitman National Forest > Malheur National Forest 11S-34E-28
1911: A lookout was maintained on Dixie Butte this season and was connected by telephone to the central office.
August 4, 1916: "Four forest fires within two days have been reported in this vicinity by the fire lookout stationed on Dixie mountain. Men were sent out from the United States Forestry Office in Sumpter to combat the flames." (San Francisco Chronicle)
August 11, 1916: "The system of fire finding inaugurated by the Forest Service has been reduced to a fine art or rather to an exact science. A few days ago Observer Noey Blaine who is situated at the Lookout on Dixie mountain observed a smoke 45 miles to the southwest. With the system in vogue he made his calculations and phoned to the service at John Day the presence of the fire at a specified point near Aldrich mountain in the Mt. Vernon country. Mr. Porter and F.C. Mack left immediately with the information as to the exact location of the fire. Their investigation showed it was only a small fire from the slashings of a homesteader. The small volume of smoke, however, did not escape the notice of the lookout and as a result it was confined to a very limited area. The service is proud of their system and feel confident that they can hold these so often destructive fires in check." (Blue Mountain Eagle)
August 12, 1921: "New lookout building on Dixie mountain completed, best equipped on reserve." (Independence Enterprise)
1920's: A D-6 cupola lookout house was built.
1934: A 12 foot 3 inch by 18 foot 2 inch wood frame garage was erected. (Malheur National Forest Archive file)
March 1935: "On October 21 (1934) the remainder of the short term force was called in from their stations. The Dixie Butte Lookout was instructed to prepare the house for the winter and get his new V-8 off of there as soon as possible. It seemed to us at Blue Mountain rangers Station that he was a long time coming down, so at 8:30 p.m. we started a search for him. We expected to find him in a snowdrift, or find evidence where he and car had slid off the road and down at least a half mile into Standard Creek. About 9:45 p.m. we found him in a snowdrift, with the top of his car just above the top of the snow, and in a blizzard such as one sees in the movies. When we reached him, he was preparing to crawl into his sleeping bag for the night. As the snow was drifting in faster than four of us could shovel it out, it did not take long to decide on something else, so we took his bed roll and started for Blue Mountain Ranger Station. The next morning we loaded the cletrac in the fire truck and started on a salvage trip. The tractor was hauled to within 1 1/2 mile of the lookout's car. Then by pushing snow with the bumper and radiator shield for 1/4 mile, we finally reached the black top protruding through the snow. Since the wind had quieted down and the sun began to shine, we were greatly encouraged and started the job. After considerable shoveling and two or three steady hard pulls, the car was towed to Dixie Spring without any damage. C.O. Bloom" (Six Twenty-Six
1935: An Aladdin plan 14 by 14 lookout house was constructed. (Malheur National Forest Archive file)
June 9, 1937: "James Watts, who has this week returned from O.S.C., left Monday for the forest lookout station at Dixie Butte on the Whitman forest where he will be employed this summer." (The Bend Bulletin)
September 8, 1938: "The first of three fires was located by Reynolds, lookout on Dixie Mountain, at 5 o'clock in the evening of September 1. This fire was located on the ridge east of Dixie Creek and about 1/2 mile southeast of the pole camp. This fire was the largest, covering 3100 square feet. The second fire was also located by the Dixie Mountain lookout the following morning at 10:30 a.m. This was a small fire covering only 550 square feet. This fire was on the summit at the head of Dixie Creek above the Pole Camp and about a mile east on the Wickiup Spring road. The third fire was located about 1/4 mile west of the second fire." (The Journal - Grant Co.)
1964: Tile flooring was installed in lookout cabin. (Malheur National Forest Archive file)
October 5, 1967: "A moderate, spotty windstorm occurred on the Long Creek District of the Malheur National Forest. The storm occurred during the night of October 2, 1967. The storm was spotty; damage was done to power lines in Mt. Vernon but John Day escaped. Very few trees were snapped out on Donaldson Ridge. About 6 inches of snow fell prior to the storm at elevations above 7000 feet. One-half inch of rain occurred at lower elevations. Nearly all of the moisture occurred during the day of October 2. The wind was from the west and temperatures were slightly below normal. The only known damage, other than that mentioned in Mt. Vernon was to the Dixie Butte Lookout, of which the west side was blown out and the roof damaged." (Memo to Forest Supervisor from District Ranger) (Malheur National Forest Archive file)
October 9, 1967: "This lookout was originally planned for replacement with materials to be purchased in FY 68 and construction in FY 69. In the final building program this was set back to purchase in FY 69 and construction in FY 70. Mr. Heyn, Forest Engineer discussed the possibility of moving this project up with Mr. Handy; however, with the current freeze nothing could be resolved. Please consider this request for early replacement. We have currently removed the appliances and braced the walls; however it is doubtful if the structure can withstand the winter without major repairs." (Memo to Regional Forester from Forest Supervisor) (Malheur National Forest Archive file)
June 13, 1968: "A new Forest Service lookout station for Dixie Butte is expected to be completed by June 28, reports George Bice, of the Long Creek district. Construction work is being done by Don O'Brien of Prairie City." (Blue Mountain Eagle)
August 23, 1968: "The Dixie Butte Lookout was severely damaged by a wind storm in the fall of 1967. I inspected the damage at that time with George Bice. The roof was lifted from the wall and the wall had been pushed out of place and structural members had been damaged. Cost to repair the structure was estimated at $900 -$1000. The lookout was on the building program for replacement but it was not scheduled until FY 71. After the damage, we made a request to the RO to replace it on the building program for the summer of 1968, but we were unsuccessful. In the Spring of 1968 we made a request to the RO to allow us to construct a new lookout by Force Account. We were given permission to do this providing we followed the standard plans for the Region. The lookout replacement was to be a ground house with no tower. The materials were purchased in June using material lists, specifications and plans as supplied by the RO. Don Mook, Contract Specialist, handled most of the purchasing with the Long Creek District making some of the smaller purchases. The only was we varied from the plans is we did not order the furniture. We had reusable furnishings in the old lookout. Phil Heyn, Forest Engineer and Jim Redman, C&M Superintendent visited the project the last week in June. At that time the foundation was in place and the sills and floor joists had been placed. On July 2 I visited the project. At that time the walls had been placed and sheathed, the window lintels, roof joists and roof decking had been installed, the floor sheathing and underlayment was installed and the catwalk was completed except for the rails. Work remaining included windows, doors, flooring, roofing, lightning protection, and finishing items. All items inspected had been placed in accordance with the plans except 1/2 inch plywood was used for floor sheathing. I discussed most of the remaining items with the carpenter and he was planning to complete according to plans. (Malheur National Forest Archive file)