National Forest - 4S-29E-30
no date - Umatilla National Forest
2009 - Rex Kamstra photo
August 2, 1914: "'Fire finders' are to be established on Arbuckle Mountain and on little baldy. With these in operation the forest service men will be able accurately to locate any fire which may be started anywhere in the forest." (The Morning Oregonian – footnote 1)
July 1922: "Homer Landers of Pilot Rock who will act as lookout at Arbuckle Mountain during the fire season is assisting in road and trail maintenance." (Six Twenty-Six)
September 1922: "A new lookout station has been erected upon the top of Arbuckle Mountain. The station consists of a platform seven and one-half feet square enclosed by a railing placed in the top of a large fir tree. The platform is 90 ft. from the ground and is supported in the tree by a steel crow's nest frame. A new fire finder has been placed. Homer Landers is the lookout man at Arbuckle and is much pleased with his new quarters--except when a strong wind sweeps across the top of the mountain." (Six Twenty-Six)
December 1922: "The lookout tree is becoming a point of interest to visitors at Arbuckle Mountain. The tree is a large Douglas fir. The crow's nest is eighty-four feet from the ground. It consists of a platform seven and one-half feet in diameter, surrounded by a galvanized railing four feet in height. The platform is supported by a frame of angle steel. The top of the tree was cut off about four feet above the floor of the platform and the fire locating instrument firmly bolted onto the top of the stump. The lower forty feet of the ladder rests on the ground and leans against the tree. Firmness is given by three pairs of wooden braces. From this on up the ladder spirals the tree. Three landings have been provided where the climber may regain his breath (and his nerve).
All of the work was done on contributed time. The upper half of the ladder was done by R.A. Culick, the lookout, in connection with his regular duty of watching for fires. Next season safety will be further added to the ladders and landings by the construction of hand railings.
An interesting feature of the work was hoisting the galvanized iron railing to the platform. The railing was about twenty-five feet in circumference and four feet deep, open at before ends and weighed close to three hundred pounds. The hoisting was done by means of a swing pole, a block and tackle and K.P. Cecil's car. A wooden pulley, grooved to carry a rope was fastened onto the rear axle of the car and the rear wheels jacked clear of the ground. The rope went once around the pulley and the slack was handled by Ranger Woods who also kept a once-around on a post as insurance against accident in case something caught or slipped. Lookout Culick guided the rope on the pulley and K.P. Cecil acted as engineer. The lookout's tub was started skyward and every thing went like clock work. S.R.W." (Six Twenty-Six)
July 1923: "R.A. Culick is being employed in clearing the roads and trails of fallen trees, brush, and loose rocks and making them ready for travel. During the fire season, he will be in charge of the lookout station on Arbuckle Mountain." (Six Twenty-Six)
September 1923: "A road on easy grade has been completed right up to the tower on Arbuckle mountain. The road bed is still quite soft and a heavy rain is needed to pack it. The work was done by R.A. Culick, lookout man, at odd times when conditions permitted him to leave the lookout tower." (Six Twenty-Six)
September 1923: "R.A. Culick now has a radio at the lookout on top of Arbuckle mouintain, It was recently brought in and installed by K.P. Cecil. Owing to the clarity of the atmosphere at the high elevation the music and talks come in strong and clear. It is proving to be quite an attraction to other forest officers and campers. This is the second radio on the Western Division; Clarence Bisbee of Dixon Ranger Station having installed one some time ago.: (Six Twenty-Six)
1930's: A 24-foot pole platform served as the lookout structure.
January 31, 1948: "Arbuckle Mountain now boasts a new 14 x 14 lookout station, perched on top of an 83 foot tower. Final completion of the house will be made during the spring of 1948. The new tower will house the lookout, thus affording constant vigilance." (Ukiah Ranger District Annual Report)
February 4, 1948: "The building of the first tower on Arbuckle...was an experiment and departure in tower building. It was laminated lumber posts. It was constructed at a low cost and it looked like we had a new system well in had and something that would revolutionize and reduce the cost of tower building. At least it so looked the first year but after a year of rain and moisture the legs warped into a letter 'S' shape and were we the laughing stock. Anyway experimentation was encouraged and we did the experimenting." (Letter to Supervisor, Umatilla N.F. from Supervisor, Columbia N.F.)
January 27, 1956: "Arbuckle tower was repaired." (Ukiah Ranger District Annual Report)
1976: The lookout was removed.
National Forest - 5S-27E-29
May 11, 1909: "Area 80 acres. Withdrawal requested by Forester May 11, 1909.
This site is needed as an intermediate or temporary headquarters and for pasturing horses belonging to men on lookout at this station during the summer.
There are no improvements on this site at present but it is planned to build a small cabin and fence a small pasture as soon as funds are available for this purpose.
Sufficient water for domestic purposes can be secured from a spring on the site.
No application under the act of June 11, 1906, have been received covering any portion of this area." (Withdrawal Records)
1922: Milt Spurlock was the lookout and a new telephone line was constructed.
1923: A lookout house with a cupola was constructed.
August 1925: "Four fires have been reported to Dispatcher Culick by Lookout Hill from Madison Butte. All of the fires were on state-protected land." (Six Twenty-Six)
September 1932: "I had 5 lightning and one man-caused fire during July, all class A. The most viscous electric storm ever witnessed in these mountains paid us a visit about the middle of the month. The thunder was a continuous roar for hours and it would have been possible to read a newspaper by the light of the flashes during the fore part of the night. Instead of cloud to cloud flashes, they were in the main vertical and bombarded the district from end to end. Four hit Madison Butte and one bolt shook up the lookout house. The Lookout's wife nursed a badly swollen arm for several days as the result of one such jolt. Some rain, high humidity for several succeeding days, and the fact that a large part of the forest was semi-green, were factors in keeping the storm from being a real disaster. John Clouston had but just sent out several alforja canteens and the boys were itching to try them. It gave them a fine opportunity and the way they packed water was a real shock to each little blaze. Now we are willing to trade our interest in a perfectly good pretty red painted fire truck for a couple more sets of canteens. By the way, one of the Guards suggested the fire truck be painted a light canary yellow to be appropriate. Really though, the little truck is o.k. -- if it could be used for anything!" (Six Twenty-Six)
1957: A 37-foot steel tower with a CL-100 steel cab was constructed.
January 22, 1958: "We have a bright new lookout on Madison Butte which will be ready for occupancy this coming season." Heppner Ranger District Annual Report)
1958: "A new lookout tower and house on Madison Butte of the Heppner District built in 1957 was used for the first time this year." (Umatilla National Forest files)
August 24, 1981: "A U.S. Forest Service helicopter attempting to land at a lookout station was buffeted by high winds and toppled 100 feet to the ground Sunday, injuring the pilot and three crew members.
District Ranger David Price said the 'helitac' crew, which delivers firefighters and equipment in eastern Oregon, was making a service flight to the Madison Butte lookout about 25 miles west of Ukiah when the accident occurred at about 11 a.m." (The Bulletin - Bend)
National Forest - 5S-28E-17
2009 - Rex Kamstra photo
National Forest - 6S-29E-28
National Forest - 6S-27E-26
1930's: A 24-foot round timber tower with an L-5 cab was erected.
January 22, 1958: "One lookout was abolished with the removal of Red Hill L.O." (Heppner Ranger District Annual Report)
footnote 1: Multnomah County Library Digital Archives