May 13, 1913: "District No. 3, (Big Elk) -- The relative hazard in the southern part of the district will warrant better protection there than we could heretofore give it. It is proposed to extend a telephone line to the top of Brush Mountain this summer and place a permanent lookout there. This will relieve the patrolman of the necessity of going to the top of this mountain every day. He then can ride around other parts of the district. The north part of the district is pretty well covered by the lookoutman to be stationed on Robinson Butte." (District Fire, Fire Plan -- History of the Rogue River National Forest, Volume 1 - 1893-1932 --Carroll E. Brown)
c.1913: A compass mounted on a post in a pile of rocks on the South point.
1916: "A more elaborately built observation tree stands on Brush Mountain. The spiral ladder is of yew pegs driven one foot into the tree and extending 18 inches beyond the bark. To the outside ends a banister of railing had been wired which is constructed of Douglas fir peeled saplings. These poles have been cut part way through at regular intervals with a hand saw in order to make it possible to bend them into place. This ladder, which extends to a height of 80 feet above the ground, was constructed by the observer at odd moments without assistance. He packed pegs and poles on his back up the mountain. The railing was not added until the ladder had been in use for some time. During the construction he sat upon the highest peg while boring the hole for the next, not using a safety belt or scaffold. I will say in passing that it requires a steady head not possessed by everyone to climb this ladder. This is unfortunate, for it should be so that a substitute can use it if necessary. A substantial hand rail would help, and some arrangement so that one cannot look to the ground between the steps. Since the photograph was taken the tree has been braced with steel cables provided with turnbuckles. It is planned before next season to build a crow's nest in the top of the tree about 100 feet above the ground. The summit of Brush Mountain is flat. In fact there are two summits, north and south, some distance apart, neither of which affords an unobstructed view in all directions. The tree with the spiral ladder is on the north point; on the south point there is a rocky eminence which affords a view to the south. It would not be feasible to construct a tower that serves the purpose of both these lookouts; both must be used in conjunction and supplementary to each other. The Forest Examiner, the Author, recommended improvements. Construct a crow's-nest and improve the ladder so it is safer, or at least so it looks safer. Install a fire-finder in the crow's-nest and another on the south lookout." (The Fire Lookout System on the Crater National Forest, Harold D. Foster)
December 1916: "One tower consists of a tree 99 feet high topped by a observation box, a spiral series of pegs driven into the tree furnish one means of ascent; a counterweighted bucket swung on a cable made of telephone wire furnishes another means of ascent." (Six Twenty-Six)
July 12, 1918: "The Brush mountain lookout phoned the federal forest supervisor's office in Medford this morning that thru his glasses he had observed a new forest fire near the southeastern county line and state line. The fire was in the Klamath-Lake county fire patrol association territory, so the office here sent no men to fight it." (Medford Mail Tribune)
1924: The lookout on Old Baldy was constructed and the lookout duties were transferred from Brush Mountain.
October 1925: "Dan Pederson will be remembered as the man who built the spiral ladder on the Brush Mountain lookout tree. The picture of this tree and ladder has been widely circulated thru the Forest Service and is on the Crater map folder. It is, perhaps, useless to state that Dan knows his stuff but when you visit his station you will be surprised at the detailed knowledge he has of the vast region spread out below him. You point to a spot just visible on the mountain side and Dan in his quiet unassuming way will tell you and where it is, locating it by legal subdivisions. Last spring Dan decided that there was a small part of the Buck Lake region that he was not quite sure of so before he went on the payroll he took a back pack and spent almost a week cruising about familiarizing himself with the area. With Dan on the job those who go it blind below have a feeling of confidence that helps a lot when the tension of fire season is at its height. F.V. Horton" (Six Twenty-Six)
July 29, 1971: "As Forest Service lookouts return to their summer season posts in southern Oregon this year, they like to remember Dan Pederson, a man who felt the only way to keep an eagle eye peeled for forest fire was to live like an eagle. This is what Pederson did for 11 years on the windy top of Brush Mountain, a U.S. Forest Service lookout station in Southern Oregon in the early 1900's. Pederson was 40 the summer of 1915 when he was sent to Brush Mountain where there was only one convenience, a telephone. He set his compass on a post stuck in a pile of rocks and went to work scanning the timbered mountains for that tell-tale puff of smoke that could mean fire. His station didn't suit him. He wanted a higher point, and he spotted one--right on top of a huge Shasta fir that stood nearby. This could be just like home, he figured, to a man like himself who had worked on sailing ships as a youth. Pederson got an axe, auger and a pair of pliers, and went to work. There was no plan. He started at the ground and bored holes a foot deep into the trunk of that mighty fir. He stuck two-inch yew pegs into the holes to make a spiral ladder. Up he went, climbing and peeling, perching on the pegs he had anchored while he pounded in the next ones. He cut yew poles and bent and wired them to the ends of the pegs as he took his stairway toward the sky. Finally, 104 feet up, he reached the spot he wanted and topped the tree. Friends helped him build, and then hoist to the top, a five by five foot platform that weighed 250 pounds. Pederson was proud of his crow's nest. It gave him a place for his fire finder, and he put his board on rollers so it could revolve around his perch. Then something else started to bother him. The telephone was at the bottom of the tree, near where he slept, and it was troublesome and time consuming to scramble down to make his fire calls. To remedy this situation, he rigged two buckets on a cable and counterbalanced his weight with rocks. One good yank on the cable would drop him down to the phone. Another would shoot him back up to his perch with no time lost. Few visitors ever used the homemade elevator. The hardy souls who made it to the top of Brush Mountain lookout preferred to clutch the rungs of the sturdy ladder as they climbed to the dizzy height. Pederson eventually retired. He is dead now and the tall Shasta fir that served its purpose so well has tumbled. Brush Mountain lookout is no more, but the name of Dan Pederson lives on as a legend in the annals of the Rogue River National Forest." (Herald and News - by Marjorie O'Harra)