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 80-foot steel Aermotor tower with a steel 7 by 7 cab was erected along with a 16 x 20 foot plan 6 D 61 wood frame living quarters. (Lookout Station - Structural Inventory)
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 16 x 20 foot Aladdin plan wood frame garage was constructed. (Lookout Station - Structural Inventory)
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 but 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)
National Geodetic Survey
DESIGNATION - WEST MYRTLE LOT PID - PA0698 STATE/COUNTY- OR/GRANT COUNTRY - US USGS QUAD - WEST MYRTLE BUTTE (1990)
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1935 (EBP) STATION IS A STANDARD U.S.F.S. TRIANGULATION STATION, CENTERED UNDER THE WEST MYRTLE LOOKOUT TOWER WHICH IS ON WEST MYRTLE BUTTE, LYING ABOUT 14.5 MILES AIR LINE SW OF SENECA AND ABOUT 23.5 MILES AIR LINE NNW OF BURNS.
TO REACH STATION FROM SENECA. GO S ON THE HIGHWAY TOWARDS BURNS 10.1 MILES TO THE STORE AND POST OFFICE AT SILVIES. CONTINUE S ON THE HIGHWAY 0.2 MILE. TAKE THE RIGHT FORK AS PER SIGN, MYRTLE PARK-500 FLAT AND GO 0.5 MILE. TAKE THE RIGHT FORK AND GO 0.7 MILE. TAKE THE RIGHT FORK AS PER SIGN JUMP CREEK TRUCK TRAIL, 12 MYRTLE PARK WHICH IS IN FRONT OF THE SCHOOLHOUSE JUST AFTER CROSSING THE RAILROAD TRACKS AND GO 0.1 MILE. TAKE THE LEFT FORK AND FOLLOW THE MAIN-TRAVELED ROAD 1.2 MILES. CONTINUE ON THE MAIN-TRAVELED ROAD, THE JUMP CREEK MOTOR WAY, 0.4 MILE. PASS TO THE N OF THE CORRAL AND HOUSE AND FOLLOW THE MAIN-TRAVELED ROAD W THROUGH SEVERAL GATES 6.1 MILES. PASS THROUGH A CATTLE GUARD AND CONTINUE 2.6 MILES. CONTINUE S AS PER SIGN CROOKED CREEK 1 MILE, JUMP CREEK MOTOR WAY 1.4 MILES. CONTINUE NW ON THE 500 FLAT ROAD 2.5 MILES. TAKE THE LEFT FORK AS PER SIGN WEST MYRTLE LOOKOUT AND GO 2.3 MILES. TURN LEFT AS PER SIGN WEST MYRTLE LOOKOUT 1/2 MILE AND GO 0.8 MILE TO THE END OF THE ROAD AT THE LOOKOUT AND THE STATION.
POINT SELECTED IS THE F.S. TABLET UNDER THE LOOKOUT TOWER. THE STEPS TO THE TOWER WILL NEED TO BE MOVED IN ORDER TO USE THE STATION. A FOUR-FOOT STAND, REFERENCE MARKS, (ROCK) PLATFORM AND 1-1/2 HOURS CLEARING WITH A CROSS-CUT SAW, REQUIRED. SUPPLIES AT BURNS, SENECA OR JOHN DAY.