October 12, 1950: "Burglars broke into the Hardscrabble lookout station in the Ochoco National forest 75 miles east of Prineville, it was reported Monday by Joe Thalhofer, administrative assistant in the forest staff. Two lanterns were stolen, he said. State police were asked to investigate. Rangers were asked to check on other lookout stations for possible burglaries. The Hardscrabble station was believed to have been entered by hunters who took the lanterns for their camps." (Central Oregonian)
Malheur National Forest - 9S-33E-25
no date - U.S. Forest Service photo
July 2008 - Ron Kemnow photo
December 1929: "A lookout shelter consisting of the cupola of a standard D-6 lookout house has just been completed on Indian Rock lookout. When a house is built here, the cupola will be raised to complete the cabin -- cost $85 plus contributed time. Eleven Whitman lookouts now have glass enclosures - two are still out in the weather in open towers. A.C. Angell" (Six Twenty-Six)
September 15, 1939: "Mr. and Mrs. Rice McHaley, Jr. and son Bobbie are in for a short visit from Indian Rock lookout station. This is their first visit home this summer since going out on the lookout." (John Day Valley Ranger)
September 5, 1957:"A wooden ground house is being constructed by forest service employees on Indian Rock, on the Blue Mountain district." (Blue Mountain Eagle)
July 15, 1976: "Some recent examples of vandalism occurring are removal of a propane tank regulator and all copper tubing at Indian Rock Lookout." (Blue Mountain Eagle)
Malheur National Forest - 11S-32E-30
September 1942 - Mark Swift Collection
September 1963 - Mark Swift Collection
July 2008 - Ron Kemnow photo
September 18, 1935 Panorama photos taken By: Osborne
1938: A 33-foot round timber tower with an L-4 lookout cab was constructed.
July 13, 1961: At 1320 hours the Grub Creek fire was reported from this station.
September 8, 1935 Panorama photos taken By: Osborne
Approximately one and 1/4 mile NE of Prairie Hill Lookout.
LONG CREEK BUTTE
Malheur National Forest - 10S-30E-25
1963 - Mark Swift Collection
August 28, 1931: "Eugene Blackwell was in from the forest road camp Sunday and stated that the road crew would soon have a road built to Long Creek Butte. This mountain peak is within a few miles of the town of Long Creek and is a very good lookout point." (John Day Valley Ranger)
July 29, 1932: "Mr. Hogeland of Mt. Vernon and Harold Ladd will begin construction of a lookout station on Long Creek Butte." (John Day Valley Ranger)
August 5, 1932: "The telephone crew was moved to the Long Creek area where they will begin on the Long creek Mountain line." (John Day Valley Ranger)
1933: A 20-foot round timber tower with an L-4 cab was completed.
September 17, 1935 Panorama photos taken By: Osborne
May 21, 1937: "Arthur Cardwell has been employed as principal of the Austin school the coming year." (John Day Valley Ranger)
1916: A cabin constructed on a high foundation of stacked rocks had an open platform on the roof accessed by a ladder along the side of the building. An enclosed cupola was added at a later date.
1957: The cupola and foundation were blown up to prepare the way for the new all steel CL-100 lookout house.
MYRTLE BUTTE (TREE)
Malheur National Forest - 10S-33E-11
Malheur National Forest - 10S-32E-22
March 12, 1943: "We are planning to relocate our Flat Camp Fireman to Pellet Point which lies east of Whiskey Flat in the SW1/4 Section 22, T.10S., R.32E. and to construct a standard lookout house and tower at that point. With present restrictions on construction, we see the possibility of constructing a standard tower of native timber during this season, largely through contributed effort. We wish to inquire if you have a 14'x14' lookout house on hand which you could transfer to us to complete this project. As you know, this lookout will be highly effective for detection in the Middle Fork John Day area, covering considerable area on the Whitman now blind, as is that in Lick Creek. A seen-area sketch map is attached. Additional seen area between Armstrong and Huckleberry Creeks is not sketched, owing to intervening timber which will be cleared when the project is completed." (Memo to Supervisor, Whitman N.F. from Supervisor, Malheur N.F.)
March 20, 1943: "We have a 14 x 14 lookout house stored at Blue Mountain Ranger Station and which can be transferred to you, but it is not complete. Most of the hardware is missing, and perhaps even part of the millwork but it will be a start toward development of Pellet Point. This building was declared surplus in a report to Portland last year and therefore will probably have to be cleared through the Regional Forester. The occupation of this point will provide additional detection which is valuable to the lower end of the Blue Mountain District but we feel the visibility map is too optimistic about seeing into the creek bottoms to the extent you have shown. But in any event, the detection will be better in that area than what now exists, and if the lookout house with such shortage as exist can be of assistance to you, then let's make use of it." (Memo to Supervisor, Malheur N.F. from Supervisor, Whitman N.F.)
April 1, 1943: "Reference is made to Mr. Lindh's F-Plans, Re-planning memorandum of October 7, 1942 approving location of Pellet Point Lookout-Fireman station and to the attached request for approval of protection structures at this point. We propose construction of the type RT-1 native timber tower from Douglas-fir and larch timber cut in the vicinity. We are requesting transfer of a standard 14'x14' lookout house to us from surplus on the Whitman and wish approval of construction plans for both the 40' native timber tower and the lookout house. Please advise us weather you could assist us to the extent of furnishing the necessary bill of hardware for this 40-foot tower. We have no funds on hand for purchase of this material and plan to complete construction through the use of contributed time. We have on hand the following items: Nails as required, 15 9/16" cable clips, 50 5/8" malleable washers, and 26 2 1/2" Teco split rings. We would appreciate your early action on these requests so that we may make our plans." (Memo to Regional Forester from Acting Supervisor, Malheur N.F.)
April 1, 1943: "We are requesting approval today from the Regional Forester for construction of a native timber tower and 14'x14' lookout house at our newly approved Pellet Point Lookout-Fireman station. Supervisor Simpson of the Whitman has informed us that a 14'x14' lookout house which is stored at Blue Mountain Ranger Station was reported to you as surplus last year. We wish to request your approval of transfer of this lookout house to us for use at Pellet Point. The truck haul involved would be slightly over 20 miles." (Memo from Acting Forest Supervisor, Malheur N.F. to Operations, Regional)
April 8, 1943: "There is enclosed Form R6-01 giving approval for the construction of lookout house and tower at Pellet Point and 2 copies of plans submitted by the Division of Engineering for use in this construction. The Division of Fire Control has approved the construction. This office has no funds to assist you in purchasing hardware or other items for this job. If the job is undertaken, it will have be from sources available to you and from your own allotments. It is regretted that we cannot assist you in the purchase of hardware, but in view of the possibility that the Region may have to finance overtime pay, we cannot possibly justify diverting any regular money to improvement construction. If the Whitman is willing to release to you their surplus standard 14x14 lookout house, you may make arrangements directly with Supervisor Simpson for its shipment to you. You should be prepared to take care of necessary cost of shipment. A copy of this memorandum is being sent to Supervisor Simpson for his information." (Memo to Forest Supervisor, Malheur N.F. from Operations, Regional)
April 26, 1943: "We plan to check the lookout house material stored at Blue Mtn. R.S. for shortages at the first opportunity. When roads are open to travel we will plan to haul the material to Pellet Point and will inform you of those plans when made." (Memo to Forest Supervisor, Whitman N.F. from Forest Supervisor Malheur N.F.)
Not known if this tower was ever constructed.
Wallowa-Whitman National Forest - 11S-36E-21
Malheur National Forest - 13S-33E-14
(ELO) - July 2008 - Ron Kemnow photo
September 11, 1935 Panorama photos taken By: Osborne
Malheur National Forest - 15S-35 1/2E-25
1941 - Mark Swift Collection
September 8, 1935 Panorama photos taken By: Osborne
Oregon Department of Forestry - 18S-27E-07
July 8, 1954: "A new style lookout building has recently been completed in the Izee area. The building is of three-story design, with garage on the lowest level, living quarters on the second floor, and the lookout post on the top. The structure is covered with aluminum sheathing. It, like all of the state forestry department's other lookouts and fire stations, has already been manned for the season." (Blue Mountain Eagle)
1958: Catwalks, railings and second floor deck were painted.
1959: The second floor room was partly sealed with plasterboard.
1960: The second floor room of the lookout is about half completed with plasterboard. This station reported three discoveries this season.
1961: The second floor was completed with a plasterboard covering, also the exterior was repainted. two guard rails were replaced and an external shower was constructed from scrap lumber. This season only one first report was made.
1964: Four fires were reported from this station. The previous two season were shown not to have had any reports.
Oregon Department of Forestry - 8S-30E-35
1956 - Lois Eagleton photo
July 2008 - Ron Kemnow photo
1950: A three story enclosed lookout house with a 14x14 cab was constructed. The distance from the ground to the catwalk measured 20 feet.
1959: Linoleum tile was installed on the main floor and broken door panels replaced.
1960: The lookout was wired to code for electricity. Painted inside and out, a new trap door installed and the shutters were repaired. This station had a busy season with 17 fire reports.
1961: A broken window was replaced. Nine fire reports were turned in.
1962: Only one discovery was made this fire season.
1963: A 3 foot by 3 foot concrete base for the outside stairs was installed. Also the lightning arrester system was replaced. Seven first reports were made for the fire season.
1964: This station turned in five first reports this season.
1966: "A small gas and oil house built. A gravity flow shower was installed. Trap door, railings, windows and screens repaired. Painted." (East Central Oregon District Annual Report)
1968: "Ritter Butte LO received a new coat of paint on the exterior." (East Central Oregon District Annual Report)
Oregon Department of Forestry - 11S-27E-23
May 25, 1933: "Mr. Case has his telephone lines all repaired in the Fossil District and has the Rudeo Mountain line about completed." (P.S. King Field Report)
August 21, 1938 Panorama photos taken By:
July 25, 1941: "James Lofton, fire warden, called out a number of men to fight a fire in the timber recently. The lookout is equipped with the latest in radio and local folks tune in short wave and listen to the two-way conversations between the lookout and Mr. Crawford at headquarters in Kimberly." (John Day Valley Ranger)
July 16, 1947: "On the first Mr. and Mrs. Frank Lynch moved to the Rudio lookout station." (John Day Valley Ranger)
1957: The tower cab was painted inside and out.
1958: The tower cab exterior was painted. Safety chains were installed on the catwalk for when the trap door is open.
1958: The Rudio Mountain telephone line has been temporarily abandoned because of logging in that area, and to date has not been replaced. If radio conditions improve this line may be abandoned permanently.
1958: The new dial up telephone system was installed in November.
1960: A broken window was replaced and the lookout was painted inside and out. Seven discoveries were reported from this station.
1961: The roof and exterior were painted. This station had six first reports.
1962: This station had no fire reports this season.
1963: Two fires were reported from this station.
1964: Three fires reported this season.
1966: "A small gas and oil house built. A gravity flow shower was installed. Trap door, railings, windows and screens repaired. Painted. Trees endangering the tower and buildings were felled with permission from Seneca Lumber Company." (East Central Oregon District Annual Report)
1968: "Rudio LO received new exterior paint and had its roof painted International orange to make it easier to spot from the air." (East Central Oregon District Annual Report)
Malheur National Forest - 15S-35E-23
1941 - Mark Swift Collection
August 26, 1932: "Several long needed roads are to be built, one from the Crane Prairie Ranger Station to Sheep Mountain where a new lookout house is also to be built and a telephone line." (John Day Valley Ranger)
September 10, 1935 Panorama photos taken By: Osborne
1936: The lookout was staffed by CCC men.
July 6, 1939: "Max O'Brien, also the telephone operator is located at Sheep Mountain this year, being removed from Crane Prairie station, Mrs. Max O'Brien is in charge of the switchboard." (The Journal - Grant County)
National Forest - 8S-35E-06
Malheur National Forest - 18S-27E-32
1940's - Mark Swift Collection
1929 - Ochoco National Forest (S.O.)
June 2008 - Ron Kemnow photo
1940 - Ochoco National Forest (S.O.)
July 2, 1915: "Snow mountain lies within the Ochoco National Forest, about 40 miles northwest of Burns. The lookout station at the summit commands a view of a large portion of the Ochoco Forest and much of the western portion of the Malheur. The station has direct telephone connections with the Forest headquarters at Prineville and John Day. The patrolman is maintained by both Forests under a cooperative arrangement." (Blue Mountain Eagle)
1915: A lookout house was established.
August 26, 1920: "Ranger Donnelly is in charge of this unit of the Ochoco National Forest and demonstrated his usefulness and originality just after the recent severe electrical storm. This storm set eleven fires which started almost simultaneously and which were scattered over his entire district comprising of some 400,000 acres. Incidentally, a bolt of lightning struck the Forest service telephone line only a short distance from the Snow Mountain Lookout cabin and was warm enough to burn a section out of the wire. It also burned out some essential parts of the telephone at the lookout station and left Ranger Donnelly in a rather embarrassing position with only one man in sight as a helper to extinguish the eleven fires smoking up before him. Mr. Donnelly remembered that some years ago he had operated more or less successfully one Henry Ford car and that when he sold or gave away this parcel of tinware that he reserved for possible future emergencies, one of the ignition coils. He proceeded to find old coil and took it to Snow Mountain lookout where with a screwdriver, hammer, etc., he dissected the instrument, installed the old Ford coil and now has the instrument working about 150 percent efficient." (Crook County Journal)
1927: Chester Jones, fire season ended earl and Al Frey was needed to man the lookout through September. Snow Mountain reported four fires this season.
June 1928: "Buford Wilkerson, a student at Pacific University in Forest Grove, will occupy Snow Mountain lookout." (The Ochoconian)
July 1928: "Among the Ochoco summer force are the following: Buford Wilkerson, a student at Pacific University in Forest Grove, who will occupy Snow Mountain lookout." (Six Twenty-Six)
October 1929: "Lookout Shalor Eldridge was called away from Snow Mountain on September 19 on account of the illness of his father in Portland. Jesse Allison finished out the season on Snow Mountain." (The Ochoconian)
1929: The lookout was staffed until after the first of November.
August 21, 1930: "A glass ribbed ready-cut lookout house has recently been received by the local forest, which is to be installed on Snow Mountain, the house at that point being a very old structure in bad repair. The work of putting up the house will be in charge of Ira swift of Prineville." (Central Oregonian)
September 1930: "The new lookout house on Snow Mountain is completed. It is the new type, R-1 Aladdin Jr., and it is a good looking job. The old cabin which was built in 1914 had to be wrecked in order to make room for the new one." (The Ochoconian)
November 1930: "When the old lookout cabin was constructed on Snow Mountain way back in 1915 it was necessary to take down the U.S.G.S. cairn which was built over the triangulation station tablet. This cairn was six feet across at the base and ten feet high. Permission was secured from the Geological Survey to destroy the cairn provided the cabin was centered directly over the bronze tablet. This was done and a trap door left in the floor of the cabin so that inspection of the tablet could easily be made. The flag pole which was on the roof of the old cabin was centered over the tablet with plumb-bob. This summer we replaced the old cabin with a new Aladdin Jr. lookout house. This house was set on a concrete foundation and was centered over the triangulation tablet. The fire finder stand which is a rigid affair is set on the ground in the center of the cabin and comes up through the floor in a box shape. One side of this stand has a door that opens forming a cupboard with shelves inside. The bottom shelf, which lifts out, is level with the floor. So, if you want to see the U.S.G.S. tablet, just open the door, lift up the bottom shelf, and there it is." (The Ochoconian)
August 2, 1934: "A lightning fire which had smoldered for a month unobserved in a white fir tree with a punk center, within half a mile of the Snow Mountain lookout, broke out Monday and was one of two very small fires on the Ochoco forest the past week." (Central Oregonian)
October 19, 1934 Panorama photos taken By:
1944: Twelve fires were reported from this station.
1961: An R-6 cab on a 10-foot treated timber tower was constructed.
SNOWSHOE MOUNTAIN (EAST FLAGTAIL)
Malheur National Forest - 16S-29E-15
1946 - Mark Swift Collection
2013 - Rex Kamstra photo
1933: A 30-foot round timber tower with a L-5 cab was constructed.
Malheur National Forest - 16S-32E- 9
June 20, 1938 Panorama photos taken By:
September 7, 1972: "A lookout, on a butte referred to as Spion Copp near Seneca, Ore., consisted of 2.5 acres and was sold to two snowmobile enthusiasts. C.O. Salisbery of Hines and Dick Corbett of Burns paid $1,301 for the unimproved land and plan to build a cabin as an overnight spot for snowmobiling." (Playground Daily News – Florida)
Undated: "When I arrived at Crowflat Ranger Station to take over the Burns District, there was no one around or to introduce me to the new territory so I found my way around alone. There was a short-term man located at Calamity Guard Station near Drewsey and a lookout-fireman at West Myrtle Butte on the opposite end of the district. When I reached Myrtle Butte on my preliminary rounds, I found it to be a butte covered with a heavy stand of mature timber, with a commanding view when an opening could be found between the trees. An Osborne fire finder was set up on a wobbly table about four feet high, constructed of small, round sticks wired together with emergency telephone wire. When a smoke was sighted, the lookout fireman would proceed to carry the table and fire finder to a spot from which the smoke would be visible between trees. He would set the table down and orient the finder as best he could, as the table wobbled and shook, then take a reading and report. I sized up the situation and said to the Guard, 'Don't you think we can rig up a better set-up than this?' He thought it might be worth a try. So we felled two fir poles about seventy-five feet in height and I prevailed on a road maintenance crew not far away to send a team and driver over and drag the poles over to one of the tallest trees. I found some lumber and nails, and we made a fifty-foot ladder and got it raised to the side of the tree. At the top of the ladder we built a platform. Then we made a thirty-foot ladder and pulled it up the side of the tree until it rested on the platform, we cut the treetop off and set up the fire finder on the stub. We now had a platform which did not wobble and in a permanent location." (Grover C. Blake - undated document from an unknown source)
1929: A 75-foot steel Aermotor tower with a steel 7x7 cab was erected along with a 12x20 foot living quarters.
August 1929: "Truxton Dalton, our watchful lookout-fireman on West Myrtle sighted a smoke at 8 a.m., July 12, 4 miles distant and after duly reporting, was dispatched thereto. The distance was quickly covered by auto and Dalton found a fire - in a camp stove in the edge of the timber and a sheep herder nearby taking a bath. The herder admitted putting some pitch wood in the stove to warm the water quickly. Both men were surprised to meet under such circumstances and after due formalities, Dalton returned to his station and the interrupted detection was resumed. Arthur Radigan" (Six Twenty-Six)
May 1930: "A travelers' register was kept on West Myrtle Lookout the past two seasons; 180 visitors registered in that time, and no doubt a good many visited the lookout who did not register. A local boy was employed as lookout, and he did very well in his personal contact work, etc. I do not think he convinced many that the old 90-foot tree was proper for a lookout tower. The tree now lays by the hillside, and is replaced by a 64-foot tower. The tower will increase the efficiency of the lookout, and relieve Service of some of the harsh criticism of the past. Visiting Forest officers will probably not be in such a rush to leave the lookout now, as the stairway is more inviting than the old tree ladder. M.O. Timms" (Six Twenty-Six)
1934: A 16x18 foot garage was constructed.
October 1938: "Multiple use of predatory animals was recently observed by Fireman Paul Gillingham of the West Myrtle Lookout while stalking a lightning fire in Jack Andy Creek at 4:00 a.m. His attention diverted from smoke-smelling bu approaching jungle sounds, Fireman Gillingham peered through the fog-laden underbrush to witness, at a point twenty-five distant, a young mule deer buck bounding past, followed by a coyote- another coyote- and three others-five coyotes, in mass formation and full cry. Mr. Gillingham asserts that he is now fully fortified for any casual ordeal, such as toying around the business end of a cannon or plopping his head into a hungry lion's open mouth. Wallace Robinson" (Six Twenty-Six)