Oregon Department of Forestry Clackamas-Marion FPA 4S-3E-9
February 24, 1916: “In this district we have lookout camps at High Camp, Highland Butte, Table Rock, Ogle Mountain and Mountain Home Rock.” (The Molalla Pioneer)
August 9, 1917: "Mrs. Jim Rutherford is kept busy climbing the lookout on the 'butte' three times a day. We sympathize with you, Jimmy." (Oregon City Courier)
April 21, 1927: "At a meeting of the state board of forestry here today it was decided to build a steel look-out tower on Highland butte, ten miles southeast of Oregon City. The tower will be 85 feet high and will be visible from the Pacific highway. Construction will be started about May 10." (Daily Capital Journal)
April 22, 1927: "The state board of forestry at a meeting here today decided to cooperate with the Clackamas county fire patrol association in the construction of an 85-foot steel lookout tower on Highland Butte, ten miles southeast of Oregon City." (Morning Oregonian)
April 22, 1927: "The state board of forestry at a meting here yesterday decided to cooperate with the Clackamas county fire patrol association in the construction of an 85-foot steel lookout tower on Highland butte, 10 miles southeast of Oregon City. The lookout will command a view of virtually all of the timber area of Clackamas county, eastern Multnomah county and a part of Marion county. It will be used as a central dispatcher station during the summer months." (Statesman Journal)
April 24, 1927: "Plans for construction of an 85-foot steel lookout tower on Highland butte, ten miles southeast of this city, were approved by the state board of forestry at Salem Thursday, according to information received here. The lookout in this tower will be able to command a view of virtually the entire timbered area of Clackamas and eastern Multnomah counties, as well as a portion of Marion. During the summer the tower will be used as a central dispatcher station. Material for the tower will be on the ground about May 10 and construction will be started immediately. A good automobile road extends to the top of Highland butte, and visitors will be welcome to ascend the tower for a view of the surrounding country at any time, according to F.A. Elliott, state forester." (The Sunday Oregonian)
April 28, 1927: “One of the most conspicuous view points from almost anywhere in the Molalla valley, is Highland butte. This point is so peculiarly located that it is possible to see from it up the valley almost to The Dalles and south to Salem. There has been a forestry lookout here for several years. A platform was constructed in the top of a large tree. Sticks were inserted in the tree and one climbed to the platform on these. Plans were perfected last week at Salem for the construction of an 85 foot steel tower on the top of the butte. The tower will be used as a central dispatcher station for the forest fire patrol. It is said that practically all of the timber land in Clackamas county and part of Marion and eastern Multnomah counties will be under the observance from this vantage point. Material will be on the ground for this structure by May 10. When completed it will be the source of much interest to visitors who will be welcome to take advantage of the magnificent view presented.” (The Molalla Pioneer)
January 15, 1928: "Fifty cabins, lookout towers and tool boxes were constructed. Among these was a modern steel lookout tower non Highland Butte southeast of Oregon City. This tower is 81 feet high. It cost $45,348." (The Oregon Statesman)
March 1, 1932: "The 13 Chemeketans who made the 90-mile trip to Highland butte on Sunday reported getting an excellent view as well as having a fine time. From the top of the 90-foot steel lookout tower, they could see as far north as Portland and many miles south." (The Oregon Statesman)
1938: "CCC crews constructed a new telephone line from North Fork Station to Highland Butte." (Clackamas-Marion District Annual Report)
July 9, 1952: "Miss Kathleen Morrison, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Morrison, was called last week to take over her job as fire guard lookout at Highland Butte. She had applied for the job earlier in the spring and knew she was on call but was given just a few hours notice to reach the lookout station." (The Oregon Statesman)
1952: "Replace broken windows." (Clackamas-Marion District Annual Report)
1953: "New roof on cabin, paint new roof, replace broken windows, replace broken windows in the tower and paint cabin floor." (Clackamas-Marion District Annual Report)
1954: "Highland Butte LO - Replace windows in tower, replace window sash in cabin and install stool with glass legs for lightning protection." (Clackamas-Marion District Annual Report)
1957: "A safety rail, for safe climbing of the Highland Butte tower was installed on the ladder of this tower by request of the State Industrial Accident Commission. This installation necessitated the revision at the top of the ladder system by installation of a landing platform, etc. This was installed at a cost of 464.74." (Clackamas-Marion District Annual Report)
October 12, 1962: The tower was completely destroyed in the Columbus Day Hurricane. The damages were not covered under the State of Oregon Restoration Fund.
1962: "Present plans call for the inactivation of the Highland Butte Lookout due to its valley location and semi-agricultural surrounding." (1962 District Warden's Seasonal Report)
DESCRIBED BY US ENGINEERS 1941 (ANS) STATION IS ABOUT 7 MILES SOUTHWEST OF ESTACADA AND 11 MILES SOUTHEAST OF OREGON CITY. IT IS ON THE HIGHEST PART OF HIGHLAND BUTTE, A PROMINENT TIMBER-COVERED HILL. THE STATION IS CENTERED DIRECTLY BENEATH THE HIGHLAND BUTTE LOOKOUT TOWER, AND IS MARKED BY A U.S. ARMY ENGINEERS DISK SET IN A CONCRETE POST ABOUT 8 INCHES SQUARE AND PROJECTS 4 INCHES. THE DISK IS STAMPED HIGHLAND 1939.
TO REACH THE STATION FROM OREGON CITY, GO SOUTH ON PAVED STATE HIGHWAY 215 UP THROUGH THE HILLS 1.9 MILES, TAKE THE LEFT FORK AT BUD NORTONS CREEK STORE, TAKE THE PAVED ROAD TO THE RIGHT AND GO SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST 4.5 MILES, TURN LEFT OFF THE PAVED ROAD ABOUT 100 YARDS NORTHWEST OF MC INTYRES STORE AND GO EAST ON GRADED ROAD 0.8 MILE. (THE AZIMUTH MARK IS 1.0 MILE NORTH OF HERE, IN THE NORTHWEST ANGLE OF A CROSS ROAD.) TURN RIGHT AND FOLLOW THE MAIN GRADED ROAD ABOUT 100 YARDS, THEN TURN LEFT AND CONTINUE AROUND THE SOUTH BASE OF THE BUTTE 0.9 MILE TO A STEEP NARROW ROAD BACK TO THE LEFT, OR NORTHWEST, TURN HERE AND FOLLOW BACK AROUND THE SOUTHWEST SIDE OF THE BUTTE TO THE TOP AND THE STATION, ABOUT 0.4 MILE.
STATION RECOVERY (1963)
RECOVERY NOTE BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1963 (FN) THE STATION MARK, REFERENCE MARK NO. 1, REFERENCE MARK NO. 2 AND REFERENCE MARK NO. 3 WERE RECOVERED AND FOUND IN GOOD CONDITION. THE LOOKOUT TOWER HAS BEEN BLOWN OVER. THE TO REACH IS ADEQUATE.