1936: In a letter from the District Warden in reply to a region 6 review of tower construction: "Glass Hill is about 82 feet high and it required approximately 173 man days to build it."
1936: An early inventory list has the tower being 100 feet high with a 7x7 cab.
June 11, 1938 Panorama photos taken By:
1954: Nine miles of telephone line was removed and rolled up from the lookout to La Grande. The lookout tower, cabin and garage were painted.
November 1970: "During the past grouse season, 'brave' persons unknown attacked the Glass Hill lookout station in Northeast Oregon District. Casualties counted were nine windows and a couple padlocks." (Forest Log)
1970: "Plans for 1971 include the replacement of Glass Hill lookout with a metal tower." (Northeast Oregon District - Oregon Department of Forestry Annual Report - 1970)
1977: "The Glass Hill lookout was sold to Lynn Steiger for $4176.00." (Northeast Oregon District - Oregon Department of Forestry Annual Report - 1977)
2003: The tower, without cab, fell over.
National Forest - 2N-38E-06
1955 - Umatilla National Forest
July 2008 - Ron Kemnow photo
1928-29-30: This site was used as a daily horse patrol lookout point.
July 1936: "In July a secondary fire danger station was set up. These stations gathered information on fuel inflammability, wind direction and velocity. This data was telephoned into Kamela three times daily where it was shown on a Fire Danger Board." (Umatilla Buckaroo)
1941: A 24-foot round timber tower with an L-4 cab was constructed.
January 17, 1949: "A fire reorganization study was made of the Pendleton District and as a result, High Ridge Lookout was changed from a Primary Lookout to a Lookout Fireman position." (Pendleton Ranger District Annual Report)
1957: "It was necessary to add two false legs to the old High Ridge tower in order to hold it in the air until a replacement can be erected." (Umatilla National Forest files)
1958: "During the 1959 season a new tower and house will be built at High Ridge." (Umatilla National Forest files)
1959: "Construction of High Ridge lookout tower was delayed due to contract difficulties and is planned for 1960." (Umatilla National Forest files)
2006: Over the 4th of July weekend vandals broke into the lookout and caused significant damage.
National Forest - 5S-35E-15
July 2008 - Ron Kemnow photo
1952: A 82-foot treated timber tower with an L-4 cab was constructed.
National Forest - 5S-36E-11
Umatilla National Forest - 4N-40E-03
no date - Umatilla National Forest
July 2008 - Ron Kemnow photo
August 2, 1914: "Forest rangers on the Umatilla forest are engaged in erecting a 65-foot 'fire tower' on the top of Lookout Mountain, one of the highest peaks in the forest. Owing to the fact that only the raw material to be found in the forest was available for building the tower, its construction was a difficult task. It is nearing completion, however, and will be equipped with a powerful glass and 'fire finder.' A man will be on duty constantly and with the aid of the equipment at his command will be able to locate every fire within a radius of 75 miles, almost as soon as it is started." (The Morning Oregonian – footnote 1)
1935: A 60-foot round timber timber tower with a standard lookout cab was constructed.
September 16, 1947: "Two new lookout towers will be constructed and one lookout house installed. This work may be started as soon as the lookouts are through for the summer months. Towers are to be constructed at Spout Springs and Lookout Mountain and the lookout house at Table Rock. The towers are of frame construction, 83 feet high and with a 14x14 house on top. The new structures will replace facilities that have been in use for many years. The tower at Lookout will go as soon as the firemen leave the station for the fall." (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin)
1948: A 82-foot treated timber tower with an L-4 cab was erected.
2001: The lookout had been staffed for five days when a Forest Service inspection determined the structure was unsafe, the lookout person was moved to the tower on High Ridge. The damage was caused by a strong wind storm in May, consisting of a blown off shutter and a cross support bar that requires replacement.
2004: The cab was lowered by crane from atop the 90-foot tower to make remodeling easier. A new roof, widened catwalk, new handrail and a new door were part of the remodel. The tower has some new crossbraces installed, new stair treads and a new lightning protection system installed.
National Forest - 1S-39E-14
National Forest - 5S-37E-31
National Forest - 4S-42E-20
August 11, 1916: "A fire-tower is now being built on Meadow Mountain and a fire-finding apparatus is being installed thereon. When completed the tower will be 35 feet high, topped by a seven-by-seven- foot lookout house." (The Morning Oregonian – footnote 1)
October 1929: "On August 12 I had the good luck to cut the number of bear on the Grande Ronde district down by three, with my great big 32 automatic, which helped out in two ways - maybe saved some sheep and gave the Meadow Mountain lookout just the proper diet for climbing. K.H. McCool" (Six Twenty-Six)
December 1937: "Archibald was the unofficial companion and real comrade of the Meadow Mountain Lookout. For eight years he had held that position. He had seen men come and go - from the old timer to the greenest recruit. During this time he had acquired a fund of wisdom and understanding. Those who had been there before awaited with anticipation his first call each season after the station was manned. New men soon became his staunch friends. But this year something happened. Archibald duly made his appearance when Leonard Herbert opened the station. Day after day he called to pay his respects, to keep the lookout company as he went about his work, and, perhaps, to be offered some tidbit. All went well until the first of August; then no longer did Archibald boldly enter the very door of the lookout cabin or frisk about outside. He had vanished! No one knows whether his career has met a sad and sudden ending. But Leonard wonders whether there is any connection between Archibald's disappearance and the fact that on his last call he had been treated to a hearty meal of home-made biscuits. E.D. Wilmouth" (Six Twenty-Six)
October 1938: " 'Teleradio' is now being used by Meadow Mountain Lookout on the Eagle Ranger District of the Whitman. Arlie Baker, our own 'Marconi', boasts that with his five tube radio hooked up with one 'A' and one 'B' battery and with no connections whatsoever with the forest line, he picked up telephone conversations. A third degree fails to break his resistance; he stoutly maintains that there is no connection with any part of the telephone line. Further, he can pick up conversations on the commercial line at Cove, Oregon, which is 12 miles distant! By turning down his power he brings in the phone conversations and cuts out the regular radio reception. Reception is on broadcast wave lengths. L.F. Javete" (Six Twenty-Six)
Oregon Department of Forestry - 1S-38E-32
No date - 20th Annual Report of the State Forester
1928 - Umatilla N. F. (J.F. Irwin)
August 3, 1913: "The directors of the Union-Wallowa County Fire Protection Association met here yesterday to act on the findings of J.T. Williamson, who has returned from a trip to the summit of Mount Emily, which was made to ascertain the feasibility of establishing a lookout station for use of the Fire Protection Association. Mr. Williamson says that practically every township in Union County and large parts of Baker and Wallowa counties can be patrolled from this mountain. The association is expected to act upon his recommendation and place a man on the summit with a powerful telescope, and extend a telephone line to headquarters." (The Morning Oregonian)
August 17, 1913: "Lowell Williamson, son of J.T. Williamson, a local timber operator, has been selected as lookout man for the Union-Wallowa Forest Fire Association and has taken his station on the top of Mount Emily, where his duty is to daily scan the horizon through his field glasses. This service is recognized by timber experts as being superior to any in the state, as the lofty height gives the lookout man a view practically of all of Union County and a large portion of Wallowa and Baker counties. Telephone communication will be established in a day or so between his headquarters and the association headquarters in La Grande, to where he will report daily or any time a fire might be sighted." (Morning Oregonian)
July 20, 1914: "Lookout John Blumenstein informed J.T. Williamson, manager of the Mount Emily Timber Company here that a small fire had been reported in the company's holdings on Mount Emily, 12 miles north of this city. While the Valley during the afternoon has been filled with dense clouds of smoke from the burning timber, Mr. Williamson is inclined to scout the idea that the fire is at all serious. No further reports have been had from the lookout as the only means of communication is at his station on the mountain." (The Morning Oregonian)
August 18, 1914: "Forest fires have raged here for the last few weeks. From the lookout on Mt. Emily, near here, fires can be seen in many directions, but the week-end has seen one fire of special persistency – located in second growth timber near Hilgard. A force of men varying from 100 to 200 has been kept on the scene for two days, first to gain control and then hold it. At several other points fires have broken out, but fortunately they have been confined to second growth timber." (The Spokesman-Review)
1914: "In order to secure prompt report of fires in the western portion of Union County a telephone line, five miles in length, was constructed to the primary lookout point, Mount Emily, and four miles of line was extended to patrolmen's headquarters. The money invested in this piece of improvement work has already been saved several times over by the early suppression of fire which has made possible by this prompt report from the lookout man to headquarters." (Report of State Forester - 1915)
August 29, 1915: "Fire that broke out in dense forests about five miles from Hilgard yesterday is not yet under control and more men are needed to fight it. The blaze is two miles from the O.-W. R. & N. tracks at Glover, but at present is not headed toward the right-of-way. Ten acres has been burned over when the fire was reached by the Union-Wallowa County fire-fighters, after detection by the lookout on the peak of Mount Emily. When believed controlled, it broke out afresh and with renewed energy." (Morning Oregonian - footnote 1)
August 23, 1921: "Fires starting from a pile of sawdust in which it had been smoldering for several days caused a loss of more than $20,000 when a million feet of lumber was destroyed at a mill fire of the La Grande Box & Lumber company in Ladd's canyon, 14 miles from La Grande. The mill had closed down several days ago, after cutting the timber that was destroyed, and the machinery had just been moved out of the mill building. At the time the fire spread from the sawdust to the lumber the caretaker was absent at another camp and a high wind, fanning the blaze, made it impossible to save any of the lumber when the fire was discovered. Discovery of the fire was made by the forest lookout on Mt. Emily, about 30 miles distant, who telephoned to the company's fire warden here. The loss is partially covered by insurance." (The Morning Oregonian)
September 23, 1921: "An agreement was also reached by the directors at their meeting whereby the association will pay 50 per cent of the cost of building a lookout station on Mount Emily and of a telephone line from the lookout station to this city, the United States forest reserve having agreed to pay the other 50 per cent." (The Morning Oregonian)
July 1922: "Owing to the excellent cooperation between the Union County Fire Association and the Forest Service, a telephone line is being constructed between LaGrande and Mt. Emily. This line will greatly aid in the reporting immediately of fires which are spotted by the lookoutman who will be stationed on Mt. Emily. Mr. Fray Bowers of Joseph, Oregon, is the man who has been selected for this position. R.W.T." (Six Twenty-Six)
January 1928: "Another near tragedy came to light on the Meacham District after the close of fire season. Lloyd Woodell, who was stationed on Mt. Emily as Cooperative Lookout, one day shortly after the opening of the hunting season, was stalking a pine squirrel near the tower with the idea of using it to replenish his larder. He was carrying his 22 rifle across his arm in front of him, as the woodsman often does when expecting a quick shot. Suddenly he heard a loud report and his right arm dropped, numbed and almost paralyzed, to his side. For a split second he did not know what had happened. Then he realized that he had been shot. An instant later he saw a man come out of some bushes and trees about a hundred yards away with a rifle in his hands. When the man saw Lloyd he turned and ran, crashing down the hill at a great pace and not once looking back. It was too far to recognize the fellow or identify him; besides Lloyd had other things to attend to. First he examined the wound which was across his right forearm and quite deep but not serious. He bandaged it tightly to stop the bleeding and then went to examine the tracks of the coward who had shot without knowing at what he aimed and after he had seen that it was a man did not have the nerve nor the manhood to face the issue. Due to the carpet of needles and grasses Lloyd was unable to find any tracks that were plain enough to be of any value. Then as he was feeling weak from loss of blood and from the shock of the high-powered bullet he returned to the cabin. Lloyd told no one of the affair until some time after the fire season, for as he said, 'My arm got along nicely and I was afraid that you would send me out for medical attention if you heard that I had been shot and I didn't want to lose the time.' If this shot had been three inches to one side it would have been fatal, as it is Lloyd Woodell will carry the scar to his grave, because someone was criminally careless and shot without having seen the horns. How long must we be content with a state law that provides a heavier penalty for accidentally shooting an elk or mountain sheep than man? G.J. Tucker (Six Twenty-Six)
1935 Panorama photos taken By:
July 1936: "A secondary fire danger station was set up in July to gather information on fuel inflammability, wind direction and Velocity. This data was reported three times daily to Kamela where the information was shown on the Fire Danger Board." (Umatilla Buckaroo)
August 1936: "'Why go to the Alps when you have such a wonderful view from Mt Emily?' The 'watchout' tower is situated on the very east edge of the precipice dropping almost perpendicular into the famous Grande Ronde Valley some 3500 feet below. The valley itself looks like a great piece of inlaid congoleum, or what have you, with the green snake line of the Grande Ronde River on the farther side that meanders a little more than 90 miles to get the length of the valley, 18 miles from LaGrande to just above Elgin. Bill Harvey" (Umatilla Buckaroo)
State - 1S-39E-35
August 2012 - Courtesy of Cheryl Hill
May 1930: "Another lookout under construction, Mt Harris in the eastern part of Union County, to help out the Mt Emily lookout." (Forest Log)
April 28, 1933: "Mr. Morehead will have to extend the telephone line into Imbler from Mt Harris lookout as the rancher line that he connected with is out of commission and it cost him about $30.00 extra last year to hold the line. he has made arrangements with the telephone company for connections at Imbler and they own the franchise down the road where they will have to set poles and they have given him permission to go ahead and set the poles and put up the line. It will take about two miles of wire and he wishes knob insulators. He will send in a requisition and this line would have to be built or Mt Harris abandoned." (P.S. King Field Report)
August 24, 1934: 'Abandonment of a lookout station atop Mount Harris northeast of La Grande, Ore., appeared imminent as flames raced up the slopes through heavy timber." (Oakland Tribune)
August 24, 1934: "Fire that started in valley grass northeast of La Grande late today was tonight racing rapidly up through heavy timber on the slopes of Mount Harris, and at latest report was nearing the summit and endangering the lookout, State Forester Lynn F, Cronemiller was notified here at 8:05 P.M. By long distance telephone by one of his wardens. All available CCC crews had been called to fight the flames and additional fire battlers were to be hired at La Grande, Cronemiller said. It appeared, he added, that the lookout stationed atop the mountain would have to abandon his post." (The Morning Oregonian – footnote 1)
1942: For a total cost of $1344.85, a 14x14 cab upon a 30-foot tower was constructed in 35 T1S R39E.
1954: "Rock was blasted near the top in order to make the road wider and safer to get supplies to the lookout." (Annual Report to Oregon department of Forestry)
1956: "A new radio repeater was installed on Mt Harris. The District personnel built a 10x20 building for Eastern Oregon Television Company to house their relay equipment. The company furnished the material and the District personnel did the work in turn for our share of the installation and construction cost of putting the power line up to Mt Harris." (Annual report to Oregon department of Forestry)
1957: "A new lookout tower with cab was built on Mt. Harris to replace the old tower that was built in 1939. The new tower is located about 123 feet northeast of the old tower. It is a laminated structure painted with carbozite and was completed in October at a cost of $2000.00." (Northeast Oregon District - Oregon Department of Forestry Annual Report - 1957)
1958: "The old lookout tower has been dismantled and a building was built under the new tower to house the repeater. The material was salvaged from the old tower." (Annual Report to Oregon Department of Forestry)
1967: "An automatic fire alarm and extinguisher system was installed in the radio repeater shack. This equipment was mostly surplus and was installed by Salem and District personnel. New fuse panels were installed at Mt Harris Lookout for an electric range.." (Annual Report to Oregon department of Forestry)
MULE PEAK (GRANITE)
National Forest - 5S-42E-13
1995 - Mark Swift Collection
August 11, 1916: "As protection against forest fires, Head Ranger W.D. Foreman, of Minam national forest, Grand Ronde district No. 3, has a man stationed on Granite Butte with a standard Army heliograph to work in conjunction with one on Trout Creek Ridge to discover and report fires." (The Morning Oregonian – footnote 1)
1924: A ground cabin lookout was constructed.
July 29, 2005: Two employees were evacuated by helicopter from the lookout and firefighters wrapped fire resistant material around the building as a precaution. As flames threatened the lookout an aircraft dropped retardant on it. The move was made to save the lookout and other buildings.
National Forest - 2S-41E-21
(1st site) - July 2008 - Ron Kemnow photo
July 2008 - Ron Kemnow photo
August 11, 1916: "A fire-finder is being installed on the 50-foot tower recently completed on Point Prominence." (The Morning Oregonian – footnote 1)
1931: A 30-foot round timber tower with an L-4 cab was constructed.
September 1933: "Tiny, the lookout on Point Prominence on the Minam Division, shot a bear and two cubs." (Forest Log)
1954: An 82-foot treated timber tower with an L-4 cab was erected on a site located about one-fourth of a mile east of the original tower.
September 11, 1961: "The 4-year-old son of a Forest Service officer fell 80 feet from a fire control tower to his death near here Sunday. The accident occurred as the family was ending a holiday visit with the boys uncle, on duty as a spotter in the tower. Dead was Wayne Allen Thomas, 4, La Grande son of Albur A. Thomas, fire control officer for the La Grande District of the U.S. Forest Service. The accident took place at the Point Prominence tower about ten miles east of here. The family had visited in the tower and started to descend when the boy slipped and fell." (The Bend Bulletin)
Umatilla National Forest - 3N-38E-10
1920's: The lookout consisted of a 30-foot pole platform with a tent camp.
August 1926: "Superintendent of Construction J.M. Mann assisted at the short-term men's training course held at Tollgate Ranger Station the last three days of June, and it is alleged that all the while he kept insisting that the bunch should go to Spout Springs Mountain, only four miles away. So, on the last afternoon, after all the other work was completed, cars were rustled and everybody went. Lo and behold, when they reached the summit they found a 50-foot lookout tower all framed and ready to raise. The bunch was turned over to Foreman Tom Hinote, and the tower was hoisted in the air and anchored in less than two hours time. It has been openly hinted that Ranger Baker, Hinote, and Mann had planned all this in advance; but they don't admit anything excepting each one claims, 'I built a nice tower,' M.I. Cooley" (Six Twenty-Six)
1943: “Upon inspection it was learned that the Spout (Springs) tower had decayed to the point where it was no longer safe for use. Shortly after plans were made to test the timbers in all the old towers.”
1943: “Spout Springs tower was occupied by Mrs. Elsie Ralph who had two horses and one cow at the lookout. When the time came to leave the lookout in the fall the horses had already left and as Mrs. Ralph did not have a car to move her belongings she, being of pioneer spirit, decided to pack out on the cow. She proceeded to strap a pack saddle on Bossie and loaded up. When asked how the cow performed Elsie calmly stated that Bossie only tried to sit down.”
1944: “The old Spout Springs tower was condemned and razed. Borings were taken in the tower legs at Bone Springs and Lookout Mountain. The former was considered to be good for three or four years but Lookout Mt. Was recommended for replacement next year.” (This date is questionable) From the Umatilla National Forest files, courtesy Rex Kamstra ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________
July 16, 1946: "Construction of the new forest lookout tower at Spout Springs will probably get underway late in the summer, according to W.W. Ward, forest supervisor of the Walla Walla district. Some of the materials are already on hand and the bulk of it will be shipped soon. The tower will involve a new type of construction using ring connected creosoted timbers, Ward said. The structure will be 83 feet high with a 14 x 14 lookout house at the top." (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin)
October 1, 1946: "Preliminary construction work for the new forest service lookout tower at Spout Springs will probably get started within the next week or two, officials in the Walla Walla forest office said Monday. Surveying for the tower will come first and officials plan to move equipment and materials to the scene as soon as possible. The concrete base will be constructed this fall but actual construction of the tower will probably not be started before next spring because of early snows in that region." (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin)
September 16, 1947: "The old tower at Spout Springs was toppled over last year." (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin)
1948: A 83-foot treated timber tower with an L-4 cab was completed.
July 20, 1950: "Lightning Tuesday night caused the first forest fire of the season on the Walla Walla district of the Umatilla national forest, Ranger Homer Oft reported. The blaze, a quarter mile east of Spout Springs, was discovered by Dean McKenzie, lookout man. The fire, covering three snags, was put out by McKenzie at about 8:30 p.m." (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin)
September 4, 1950: "A smoldering fire, caused by lightning about 10 days ago was discovered Sunday near Grant springs, eight miles southeast of Tollgate, Homer Oft, district ranger, reported. Two travelers saw the fire in a log. Dean McKenzie, Spout Springs lookout man, put out the blaze." (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin)
1990: The tower was destroyed when a tree fell across the guy cables.