August 7, 1919: " Shortage of men in the Fort Rock district necessitated especial preparation, and the efficiency of the force at the disposal of Ranger Harriman, has been greatly increased by the installation of a heliograph at Fox Butte. The lookout at this station is Oscar Harding, while his father, Charles Harding, keeps up the camp at the foot of the butte, and maintains a water supply station for fire-fighters and travelers who run short." (The Bend Bulletin)
September 16, 1920: "Under the direction of Ranger Roy Mitchell, work has started putting in a phone line between the Cabin lake ranger station and the Fox butte fire lookout, Deputy Supervisor W.O. Harriman reported this morning. The new line will be about 18 miles in length and is expected to be completed this fall." (The Bend Bulletin)
August 19, 1922: " After crowning badly yesterday afternoon and spreading over some 600 acres of yellow pine timber, fire northwest of Spring butte, six miles from Summit stage station, is believed under control today. The Fox butte lookout reported this morning that the edge of the fire was extending much more slowly than yesterday." (The Bend Bulletin)
July 12, 1924: " The storm which passed over the south end of the Deschutes national forest Friday afternoon is referred to by forest service men as a “dry storm,” although rain fell in certain sections. The lightning damaged the telephone line leading to Fox Butte." (The Bend Bulletin)
October 10, 1924: " The fifth standard lookout house, on Fox Butte in the Fort Rock district, to be constructed in the Deschutes national forest is now nearing completion, it is reported by forest service officials. The Fox Butte station is being built by H. E. Derrick, former national forest ranger. Standard lookout houses are at present located in every district of the Deschutes forest, and in time it is planned to replace all the old shelters with standard stations." (The Bend Bulletin)
June 23, 1925: " Weather conditions continue hazardous, officials said this morning with relative humidity falling rapidly despite lower temperatures. A temporary lookout has been sent to Fox Butte, while the regular lookout will be there within a few days." (Klamath Falls Evening Herald)
October 1, 1925: " H. E. Derrick had the misfortune of falling from a horse and breaking his leg last Friday morning. The horse stumbled in going over some rock and fell with him. Mr. Derrick was taken to Bend right away and is doing well as could be expected. Mr. Derrick who has been lookout on Fox Butte had not gotten his haying done. So all the neighbors gathered Wednesday at the ranch to have a haying bee and put up all his hay while he is in the hospital wondering how it is going to be done. After all we are only just one big happy family." (Silver Lake Leader)
November 1925: "H.E. Derrick, lookout on Fox Butte during the past season, got his leg broken last week. A horse that he was riding fell on it. B.F. Smith" (Six Twenty-Six)
August 13, 1926: "Helpless to halt the wall of flames which this afternoon march over Fox Butte, destroying the lookout station and nearly trapping the lookout, Arthur Middleton, the Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Co. and the forest service are preparing for a night battle against the conflagration in the Fort Rock district." (The Bend Bulletin)
August 14, 1926: "A third fire is sweeping the timbered slopes of Fox butte in the Fort Rock district and already has burned a path five miles long and two miles wide through valuable yellow pine. The lookout station and telephone lines on the butte were destroyed by the flames late yesterday, forcing the lookout to flee down the opposite side of the mountain. Officials of the Brooks-Scanlon Lumber company here have dispatched a force of men and supplies to fight this fire." (Daily Capital Journal)
August 14, 1926: " The Fox Butte fire has burned over 15,000 acres of timber. Some fire fighters have been on the lines for 40 hours without any sleep. One hundred and fifty men battled the dangerous Fort Rock blaze through the night. The entire western front of this conflagration is reported under trench. The Brooks-Scanlon Lumber company was preparing this afternoon to send fresh men to the fire lines. The attacking army of fighters is now well organized. The Fort Rock fire reached its peak Friday, the 12th, when it crowned and raced over the top of Fox Butte, destroying the lookout tower and forcing the lookout to leave the peak." (The Bend Bulletin)
August 16,1926: " From the blackened summit of Fox Butte, over which the flames swept over on Friday, destroying the lookout tower, came the report today from the temporary station that a new fire had been spotted in the Fort Rock district, in the summit of the Summit Ranger station. The fire is still small." (The Bend Bulletin)
August 17, 1926: " First casualty from the forest fires that swept through Central Oregon in the past few days was reported today when it was made known that Arthur Middleton, forest lookout, is in St. Charles hospital, the result of an injury suffered when on the Fox Butte fire lines. Middleton, whose station on Fox Butte was destroyed by flames which raced up the side of the butte, forcing him to leave, was injured when operating a plow. A root flew up striking him in the face. The injury consists of a badly bruised and infected eye." (The Bend Bulletin)
August 18, 1926: "Acre after acre was devastated. Once lordly pines, now charred of crown, trunks eaten through by fire, fell with tremendous reports. A forest lookout, sticking to his post at the summit of Fox butte as long as reports could be transmitted to the central platting station, finally was forced to flee, barely escaping with his life as the flames pursued him down the hillside. Scores of men toiled desperately, hour after hour, frequently forced to give ground by the fire which would not be conquered. Not until the third day did their labors show results. The Fox butte fire, most terrible in the history of Central Oregon, had at last been put under control." (The Bend Bulletin)
October 1926: " This fire season 4 false alarms were reported from this station." (The Six Twenty-Six)
January 31, 1927: "When Arthur Middleton, lookout on Fox Butte fled down the side of the mountain ahead of the forest fire last summer he took along an extra collar in a suitcase, it was learned here today. The collar just happened to be in the suitcase which Middleton grabbed in passing his cabin. When a forest fire calls, not even a lookout stands on ceremony. The story of Middleton's flight down the mountain side came out today when when plans for the rebuilding of the cabin were being discussed by R.L. Fromme, supervisor of the Deschutes National forest. Middleton remained in the lookout tower directing the fire fighters by telephone until the fire was almost upon him. His last message before leaving the tower was 'It's coming fast and I don't mean maybe.' Grabbing a suitcase from his cabin at the foot of the tower, he fled with the hope that something of value might be in the suitcase. It was a vain hope as he found only a collar inside when he had time to open it. Middleton after being forced down from the tower took his place with the fire fighters along the line where he suffered injuries to his eyes which made it necessary for him to be in the hospital for nearly two weeks afterwards. He is a college student, doing lookout duty in the summer vacation. Besides the money for the lookout cabin a similar sum, $250, is asked to build a fireman's cabin at the foot of the mountain. Only a camp has been maintained there in the past, Fromme says. It is hoped that better service will result from better housing facilities. It also provides a place in which to keep the tools. The lookout tower at Fox butte was not burned. Two of the supports were burned and the tower itself started to fall. These supports were spliced and the tower put in condition again soon after the fire." (The Bend Bulletin)
March 1, 1927: "Preliminary draft of the money to be used in the Deschutes national forest the coming year for telephone lines, lookout cabin construction and maintenance has been received at the local office. Only $50 is allowed this year for telephone construction, with $250 for the construction of the new Fox butte lookout station burned in the big Fox butte fire last summer." (The Bend Bulletin)
1930: In September Billy Catlow replaced Lynn Rogers as lookout. Rogers will be going to Michigan State College. (From notes collected years ago)
1932: A road constructed to the top of the butte in the Spring.
1932: Avon Derrick, the emergency lookout in mid-May.
1932: Ranger Fenton Whitney in charge of work on a two and a half mile telephone line up Fox Butte.
September 16, 1932: " Yesterday afternoon, a small fire blazed in the dry Fort Rock country, but was held to less than quarter of an acre, primarily because of a nearly calm atmosphere. Roy Nettleton, stationed on Fox Butte, was at the fire in about 15 minutes. Four men were sent out from Brooks-Scanlon camp No. 4 and the fire truck was dispatched from Cabin Lake." (The Bend Bulletin)
June 9, 1933: "Winds of near-gale velocity, laden with rain, whipped over interior Oregon today. The storm halted work on the 80-foot steel lookout tower under construction on Fox Butte in the Deschutes national forest. So strong was the wind that piers of steel on which the observation house will be erected, swayed violently on the exposed summit of the high butte. Fox Butte tower is one of two granted the Deschutes forest. The other 80-foot tower will be on Trout Creek Butte, in the Sisters district." (Daily Capital Journal)
June 10, 1933:"A violent wind and rain storm halted work on an 80-foot steel lookout tower under construction on Fox butte in the Deschutes national forest. The piers of steel on which an observation house will be erected were swaying dangerously in the gale." (The Morning Oregonian)
June 12, 1933:" On Fox Butte, Ernest Putnam, Pine Mountain lookout for many years, is doing ex officio duty as a fire spotter, while assisting with the construction of the 80 foot steel tower now being built on the Fort Rock peak. Steel for the new tower, on which a lookout nest will be erected, should be in place by tomorrow noon. Later in the season, Putnam will go back to his old station on Pine Mountain." (The Bend Bulletin)
June 15, 1933: " The 80-foot steel tower on Fox Butte, highest in the Deschutes National Forest, has been completed and ready for use, reports Howard Phelps, member of the forest service headquarters staff in Bend. The new tower overlooks the eastern part of the Deschutes National Forest, in the Paulina District. The ground house, originally built on another point of Fox Butte, has been moved to the foot of the high tower. Howard Hein of Redmond is to be the Fox Butte lookout this summer. The point is temporarily occupied by Ernest Putnam, who will go to Pine Mountain later in the season." (The Bend Bulletin)
1933: The total cost of construction of the lookout, $1,575.51.
August 18, 1941: " Heaviest rain of the weekend was reported from the normally dry Fox butte region, on the edge of the high desert. Forest service officials measured a fall of 1.55 inches of rain." (The Bend Bulletin)
1948: The gable-roofed lookout house from Sixteen Butte moved to Fox Butte to replace the original ground cabin that was was moved in 1933 from the west point to be used for the living quarters.
July 23, 1959: "Officials called it the worst fire in the Deschutes forest since the 1945 Minto Pass fire. The fire area was 'bombed' at daybreak today by planes loaded with water and a borate solution. The Fox Butte lookout station was abandoned during the night as it was in the center of the fire area." (Corvallis Gazette-Times)
1995: The lookout duties of East Butte transferred to Fox Butte. Upon completion of the new lookout structure on East Butte in 1996, the duties were returned.
National Geodetic Survey
DESIGNATION - FOX BUTTE PID - PB0782 STATE/COUNTY- OR/LAKE COUNTRY - US USGS QUAD - FOX BUTTE (1981)
DESCRIBED BY US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 1966 LOCATED ABOUT 39 MI SE. OF BEND, ABOUT 19 MI SW. OF BROTHERS, 6.5 MI S. OF SAND SPRING. ON TOP OF CINDER HILL CALLED FOX BUTTE.
TO REACH FROM JCT. OF U.S. HWYS. 20 AND 97 AT BEND, DRIVE 21 MI E. ON U.S. HWY. 20. TURN RIGHT OFF HWY. FOLLOWING MAIN RD. 5.8 MI S. TO RD. FORK. TAKE LEFT FORK FOLLOWING MAIN RD. 12.9 MI TO SAND SPRING, CONTINUE STRAIGHT AHEAD 4.3 MI TO RD. FORK, CONTINUE STRAIGHT AHEAD AS PER SIGN CABIN LAKE GUARD STATION 2.5 MI TO RD. FORK AND SIGN FOX BUTTE LO. TURN LEFT FOLLOWING RD. 1.5 MI TO TOP OF CINDER HILL AND STATION.