1939: Enrollees from the Cold Springs side camp of the Arboretum camp erected a 100-foot timber tower.
July 4, 1940: "The Polk County Fire association posted lookouts yesterday at Bald and Fanno mountain stations. The latter is a new post this year." (The Klamath News)
July 2, 1941: "Fanno mountain is the newest of the Polk county fire patrol association's stations and the Hayes are it first permanent occupants. It boasts a cabin with a combination garage and woodshed and a 100-foot tower built of specially treated timbers with a cabin on top and windows on all sides and a catwalk all the way around." (Daily Capital Journal)
June 2, 1942: "Fanno Mountain was visited this afternoon. Since this point was suggested for an AWS observation post by the Interceptor Command. It was originally considered as volunteer O.P. but was never occupied. When visited, the point was enveloped in a blanket of fog so visibility was quite poor. Fogs are frequent in the Coast Range and this point gets its share of this sort of weather. When visibility is good it commands an excellent view and should prove to be a desirable O.P. Improvements on the lookout consist of a 7x7 cab on a 100-foot tower, a 14x16 ground house and a 20x22 garage and wood shed. The structures are late models, having been built in 1940, and by comparison they are better than any others I have seen to date. The ground cabin is already sealed in and very little winterizing would be needed should this point be selected for yearlong use as an O.P. The lookout is accessible by a rough road, 8 miles from the Valsetz road. It is planned to improve this road this summer, but it would be blocked by snow in the winter. A logging railroad approaches to within about 2 miles from the lookout. The problem of servicing Fanno Mountain in winter would be slightly harder than the average coast range post. A winter's fuel supply is readily accessible. Fanno Mountain is a regular lookout and manned by a husband and wife. Expense of establishing as an AWS post throughout this summer would be relatively light since one position would be paid for from fire funds. I report favorably on establishing Fanno Mountain as an AWS post at least during the summer." (Inspection Report from W.N. Parke, AWS Inspector, to James Frankland, USFS Engineering)
June 15, 1942: "This will confirm our telephone conversation of this date, authorizing you to activate the Forest Service Lookout on Fanno Peak in Polk County. The Code No. of this Observation Post will be Portland 121." (Memorandum to James Frankland, USFS, from Captain W.K. Morgan, Signal Corps, Ground Observation Officer (AWS)
1942: "The Valsetz school teacher was burning stuff in the trash barrel behind Valsetz school, and the fire jumped to the hillside leading up to the Fanno Mountain forestry lookout tower. February was noted for having dry spells back then, to, and the dry ferns fed the flames with gusto. A Dallas fire crew answered the alarm, traveling up the Valsetz road from Falls City to the summit, then out Fanno Ridge to the lookout. This section of travel was hampered because they had to shovel snow from the road to get to the fire area! The fire crew dropped over the Fanno Ridge down toward Valsetz to intercept the fire with their water pump cans. When they reached the fire line the flames were moving fast, and the crew had to dump their water, retreat ahead of the fire back up the ridge, and then attack it again." In a letter written by Elden Bevens of Dallas. (Polk County Itemizer-Observer online - March 2, 2005)
November 18, 1942: "Week-end storms that wrought havoc in Oregon coastal areas didn't slight this vicinity. Electric service was recurrently disrupted, telephone lines were downed, occasional buildings were toppled and trees were blown over roadways in mountainous sections. The 100-foot forest service lookout on Fanno mountain two miles north of Valsetz crashed to the ground. This was one of Polk county's chief lookouts and according to members of the Polk county fire patrol, toad conditions will prevent its being rebuilt before spring." (Daily Capital Journal)
December 1942: "A gale which reached a force of at least 90 miles per hour on November 14 shattered the 100-foot lookout tower on Fanno mountain in western Polk county and as the structure fell it took out a part of the combined garage and woodshed. The cabin at the foot of the tower which was occupied by a man and his wife at the time was undamaged. Glenn Wick, assistant district warden of the Polk County Fire Patrol association, in discussing the incident stated that the tower had been guyed with seven-eights inch cables which had been attached at a point about 25 feet below the top of the tower. This had apparently caused an alternate whipping effect, for the bottom of the tower had fallen to the north while the top had tipped back into the south wind. It was all a tangled mass of wreckage with the shattered tower cabin capping the pile of debris. He stated that one of the cables had snapped while another had pulled the guy collar through the leg of the lookout. The tower, one of the most modern in the Coast Rang, was built by the Cold Springs side camp of the Arboretum camp in 1939. It had been designed and fabricated by the regional office of the forest service." (The Forest Log)
June 1944: "Construction has been started on a new 100-foot lookout tower on Fanno mountain in the western part of Polk county. This tower will replace a similar structure that was destroyed over a year ago by a terrific wind storm that occurred during the winter months. The new tower was one that was secured during the days of the CCC and had been shipped to Deans mountain in Coos county. It had never been erected since a 30 to 40 foot tower was sufficient to provide full coverage for the Coos county lookout site. After the destruction of the Fanno mountain tower it was found that sufficient material could be salvaged to provide for a 40-foot tower and this was sent to Coos county and the Deans mountain tower hauled to Fanno." (The Forest Log)
October 12, 1962: The lookout was destroyed by the heavy winds of the Columbus Day Storm.
1964: "The District traded the Black Rock Guard Station and the Fanno Lookout property to the Willamette Valley Lumber Company for a building site for the sub-headquarters at Philomath." (1964 Annual Report to the Oregon Department of Forestry)
The NGS Data Sheet
THE STATION MARK IS A STANDARD DISK, STAMPED FANNO 1972, SET IN THE TOP OF A 12-INCH CYLINDRICAL CONCRETE MONUMENT THAT PROJECTS 2-INCHES ABOVE THE GROUND. IT IS 30 FEET NORTHEAST OF THE APPROXIMATE CENTER OF AN OLD LOOKOUT TOWER, 13.0 FEET WEST OF A METAL WITNESS POST AND ABOUT 100 FEET NORTHEAST OF THE HIGHEST POINT OF HILL WHERE TRACK ROAD ENDS. THE UNDERGROUND MARK IS 36-INCHES BELOW THE GROUND SURFACE.
REFERENCE MARK 1 IS A STANDARD DISK, STAMPED FANNO NO 1 1972, CEMENTED IN A DRILL HOLE IN THE TOP OF A 14-INCH SQUARE CONCRETE POST WHICH IS THE SOUTHEAST LEG OF THE FOUNDATION OF OLD LOOKOUT TOWER. IT IS 38.3 FEET SOUTHWEST OF THE METAL WITNESS POST.
REFERENCE MARK 2 IS A STANDARD DISK, STAMPED FANNO NO 2 1972, CEMENTED IN A DRILL HOLE IN THE TOP OF A 14-INCH SQUARE CONCRETE POST WHICH IS THE NORTHWEST LEG OF THE OLD FOUNDATION OF LOOKOUT TOWER. IT IS 45.0 FEET WEST-SOUTHWEST OF THE METAL WITNESS POST.