June 16, 1929: "One of the principal improvements carried out during the past spring has been the construction of a lookout at Doran's Peak south of Grand Ronde, by the Polk county fire patrol association. Three large Douglas fir trees serve as the uprights of the lookout. These trees were topped at a height of 90 feet, fastened rigidly together and a small cabin constructed on a firm foundation. In order to prevent swaying in the wind, the trees are guyed at the top with steel cables. A stairway makes access to the lookout's cabin." (Statesman Journal)
September 4, 1931: "Mrs. Claude Sawtell, who has charge of the Doran Peak lookout near Willamina went down the trail to get a pail water. When she got there she encountered a big cougar. Mrs. Sawtell had only her dog with her so she telephoned to Ira Yocum who left for the mountain with his dogs. The cougar made his get away in the meantime." (Daily Capital Journal)
October 1, 1931: "Heretofore Tom Stevenson, lookout on Saddle mountain in northern Tillamook, has had a corner on experiences with cougars, having encountered two of them during his past two summers on that mountain. However, he must share honor with Mrs. Jessie Sawtelle, lookout on Dorn's peak in Polk county. She was recently making a trip down to the spring after a bucket of water and found that a large cougar had mounted guard there. She discreetly withdrew to her lookout and phoned for men and dogs to come and corral the animal. They came but failed to get the cougar." (The Forest Log)
September 18, 1936: Panorama photos taken by S.L.M.
March 18, 1937: "Fire Warden Hugh Walker was up at the lookout station on Doren's Peak Friday. He said the snow had damaged the house quite badly." (The Sheridan Sun)
Activated: March 9, 1942. Portland Filter Center.
June 16, 1942: "This post was visited on June 2. A married couple, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Isbell, occupy the station. Due to the abnormal growing season the telephone lines need additional brushing out. The ground cabin, built about 1928, is quite old and poorly constructed. It is sealed in but still is quite drafty. It should be tar papered on the exterior walls, and building paper with battens put on the inside walls and ceiling. A new roof and floor are needed, as are additional cupboards for food storage. Fire proofing for the flu is needed. A good heating stove is installed, but the cook stove is too small. A tree tower serves as an observatory for fire detection but is of little use for airplane spotting. Work on the wood shed was to have been started about June 8. Considerable logging activity near the station makes it somewhat difficult to pick up airplanes, especially when the visibility is poor. Emergency FF crews can nicely be used for cutting a winter's supply of wood at this station. The practice of using such crews for this type of work is being planned by all State and F.S. units." (Inspection Report from W.N. Parke, AWS Inspector, to James Frankland, USFS)
National Geodetic Survey
DESIGNATION - DORN PEAK LOT PID - QE2307 STATE/COUNTY- OR/POLK COUNTRY - US USGS QUAD - LAUREL MTN (1974)
DESCRIBED BY US FOREST SERVICE 1936 THIS INTERSECTED POSITION IS THE CENTER OF THE STATE FORESTRY LOOKOUT TOWER ON DORN PEAK, SITUATED ABOUT 8 MILES (AIR LINE) SW OF WILLAMINA AND 6 MILES SE OF GRAND RONDE. IN 1935 THE U.S.C. AND G.S. SET MARKS FOR A STATION IN THIS IMMEDIATE VICINITY, BUT THE STATION WAS NOT OBSERVED ON. THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE TOWER AND THE 1935 STATION HAD NOT BEEN DETERMINED AT THE CLOSE OF 1936. DORN LOOKOUT TOWER CONSISTS OF A LOOKOUT HOUSE IN A TREE TOWER.
STATION RECOVERY (1941)
RECOVERY NOTE BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1941 (ANS) STATION IS ON THE HIGHEST POINT OF DORN PEAK, A HIGH, PROMINENT, AND HEAVILY WOODED HILL ABOUT 8 MILES SSW FROM WILLAMINA AND ABOUT 6 MILES W FROM BUELL.
THE DORN PEAK LOOKOUT TREE TOWER IS ABOUT 80 FEET HIGH AND CONSISTS OF A WOODEN PLANK TRIANGULAR PLATFORM NAILED TO AND SUPPORTED BY THE TRUNKS OF THREE TREES. A WOODEN STAIRWAY HAS BEEN BUILT TO THE TOP OF THE TOWER.
STATION IS MARKED BY A 1/2-INCH HOLE DRILLED IN THE CENTER OF THE PLATFORM FLOOR OF THE TOWER. THERE ARE NO MARKS ON THE GROUND FOR THIS TREE-TOWER STATION. HOWEVER, IN 1935 A STATION AND TWO REFERENCE MARKS, STANDARD BRONZE DISKS WERE SET BELOW AND CLOSE TO THE TOWER (STATION DORN). THE STATION WAS NOT OCCUPIED IN 1935 BUT IN 1941 DORN PEAK LOOKOUT TREE WAS OCCUPIED AS AN ECCENTRIC POINT FOR STATION DORN. NO AZIMUTH MARK WAS SET.
REACHED FROM THE BUELL POST OFFICE BY GOING NW ON STATE HIGHWAY 22 FOR 0.1 MILE TO A GRADED GRAVEL ROAD (GOOSENECK CREEK ROAD) LEADING LEFT (W) TURN LEFT ONTO GOOSENECK CREEK ROAD AND GO S AND W FOR 2.6 MILES TO FORK. TAKE LEFT FORK (SW) OVER SMALL WOODEN BRIDGE AND GO FOR 0.4 MILE TO FORK. TAKE RIGHT FORK PASSING OVER ANOTHER SMALL WOODEN BRIDGE. THE ROAD AT THIS POINT IS UNGRADED AND NARROW AND IS USED CHIEFLY AS A LOGGING ROAD. CONTINUE W ON THIS NARROW TRACK ROAD FOR 2.4 MILES TO A WOODEN GATE WITH A PLANK BRIDGE JUST BEYOND. THIS BRIDGE HAS BEEN BUILT OVER AN OLD RAILROAD GRADE CUT. PASS THROUGH GATE AND CONTINUE W FOR 0.2 MILE TO END OF TRUCK TRAVEL IN A SMALL CLEARING CLOSE TO AN OLD DESERTED FARM BUILDING.
PACK WESTERLY ON FOREST SERVICE TRAIL WHICH FOLLOWS THE RIDGE LINE TO THE DORN PEAK LOOKOUT TREE ON THE HIGHEST POINT OF THE MOUNTAIN. THE TRAIL IS EASILY FOLLOWED AND IT WILL REQUIRE ABOUT 2 HOURS TO MAKE THE PACK.
HEIGHT OF LIGHT ABOVE STATION MARK 24 METERS.
STATION RECOVERY (1960)
RECOVERY NOTE BY DEFENSE MAP AGENCY 1960 STATION WAS REPORTED DESTROYED BY THE LOCAL FIRE MARSHALL.