April 25, 1947: " Hal Ogle of the KFPA has made a survey to determine how the association’s fire fighting program can be stepped up in effectiveness. One result of this survey was the decision to erect a lookout on Hogback Mountain, and a new road has just been completed to the top of that eminence. Quick, accurate detection, and rapid communication and transportation are major factors in an effective program, Ogle said." (Herald and News)
May 2, 1947: “KFPA Pushes Construction Of Fire Tower On Hogback” "The 40-foot lookout tower under construction on top of 6300-foot Hogback Mountain is the biggest job being done by KFPA in its fire prevention work. A crew of five men built the 1100 foot stretch to the top where the tower will be in eight days. It is still a little bumpy in spots and there are rocks which must be blasted out, but the road is passable. Actual work started on the tower last Monday, with two carpenters Burkhard and Shortgen contractors, and two laborers on the job. One side of the tower was almost completed Thursday and the cement “shoes” poured for the 12-inch diameter red fir corner posts to stand in. The side will be raised by Tuesday Shortgen expects, then the other three sides will be built. The whole tower should be up by the end of next week, Shortgen said. With only a few details left for the following week. A trap-door will be made in the tower floor through which the lookout can draw up the supplies brought to him a couple times a week. A colossal view is to be had from the top of Hogback, and it is expected to become one of the points of interest to tourist when the road is improved enough for casual travel. Hal Ogle, superintendent of KFPA believes. The view takes in Swan Lake, Tulelake, Upper Klamath Lake, Ewauna Lake, Pelican Bay, Weyerhaeuser Company, and all of Klamath Falls. Even the top of Sugarloaf Mountain in Northern California can be seen from Hogback and with 40 feet added to the height of the mountain by the tower, a wide range of territory can be supervised during fire season. Two men working with a cat are clearing brush from the mountain top and it is planned to build railing at one point where the drop is straight down but the view across the city is superlative. All water for drinking purposes and for pouring cement or other uses must be brought up the mountain a distance of five and one-half miles from the edge of town." (Herald and News)
June 1947: "The Klamath Forest Protective association is completing the construction of a 40-foot lookout tower on Hogback mountain about six miles east of Klamath Falls. Included in the improvement project was the construction of 1,100 feet of new road in order to make the station accessible by automobile. The area is to be landscaped and barriers constructed for safety purposes. It is expected that many Klamath visitors will make the trip to the lookout during the summer." (The Forest Log)
1947: Jack Dale was the first lookout on the new tower.
May 27, 1948: " Jack Dale will keep the light burning on Hogback again this year. He opened this lookout station last year when he was just 18 and his wife and baby stayed on the mountain top with him. He has been working in a lumber mill during the winter and this year his wife will stay in town with the baby who is beginning to walk now. Dale went up the mountain today, Thursday, to fix the post for occupancy and the light will shine again Friday night for the first time this season if everything goes according to schedule." (Herald and News)
May 27, 1949: " The 35 members of KFPA personnel attending [fire school] went up to the lookout station on Hogback Mountain early this morning to spend the day studying compass and pacing, field problems, fire-chasing, fighting and control." (Herald and News)
August 4, 1950: “KFPA Explains Flash Mystery” Mysterious flashing signals from the top of Hogback Mountain east of town and from the top of the hills to the west have been giving Klamath residents a case of war jitters reminiscent of Jap-balloon days. But the answer was found to be the night dispatcher at KFPA headquarters on the hill above the Ashland-Weed junction – who has been signaling the lookout on top of Hogback Mountain. The lookout, Mike Beldraine, at first could only swing his overcoat in front of the lookout lantern but now he’s modernized, and has a battery set hooked up to an old car light. Dick Griffiths, the KFPA night man, has a blinker set devised to make signaling easy." (Herald and News)
May 23, 1963: " Vandalism of the Hogback Mountain lookout station sometime last weekend has been estimated at more than $120 in damage, the KFPA reported Thursday. It was the third time since last winter that quarters of the KFPA have been the subject of vandalism, according to George Wardell, supervisor of the association. Wardell said that the miscreants stood outside the tower and discharged their rifles up through the floor of the station. They also tore a hand railing and a number of steps from the building, burned down the restroom nearby, and broke into the tower, where they picked up various items and threw them onto the ground below. A crew has been assigned to repair damage to the lookout, Wardell said." (Herald and News)
August 1, 1963: " The fire guard at Hogback Mountain is alive today because a state radio maintenance man called at the lookout tower and found the stricken guard lying on the floor, about 11 a.m., Wednesday. The guard was William A. Beck, 66, stricken with a hemorrhaging ulcer, who was removed from Hogback to the Old Fort Road by the County Disaster Unit and from there transferred to Peace Ambulance and taken to Hillside Hospital. Beck’s condition was listed as improved, a hospital spokesman said early today. Officials of the KFPA suspected that something was amiss at the Hogback lookout about 10 a.m. when Beck failed to radio his usual weather report to association headquarters. George Wardell, supervisor of the KFPA, remarked Thursday. A guard from another lookout station transmitted his weather information to the KFPA radio office and disclosed that he had not heard Beck give his morning report. Beck, who apparently heard the conversation over his receiver, cut in and remarked, “Everything’s all right up here.” But he did not follow up the comment with his weather report. The KFPA dispatched then alerted Wally Raker, state radio maintenance man who was working in the radio shack beneath the Hogback lookout tower, to check on Beck. Raker then walked up to the tower and found the guard on the floor. Beck has been a KFPA employee for the past seven years and until this year he had served in the Shake Butte lookout, near Bly." (Herald and News)
1965: A new trap door was installed.
June 5, 1967: " George Wardell KFPA supervisor, said that a bolt from the same storm struck one of two antennas on the radio system at Hogback Mountain lookout tower and blasted it to bits. Wardell remarked that a three-foot fragment was all that remained of the antenna valued at $150." (Herald and News)
1968: New siding was installed on the lookout cabin. Three fires were reported from this station in 1968.
1970: " On October 16, the Hogback Mountain lookout reported a fire which led to the discovery of another fire with two more being set late in the evening in the Orendale draw area. A transient in the vicinity of the fires was apprehended and later committed to a mental institute." (1970 Annual Report, Klamath-Lake District ODF)
1972: Five fires were reported from this station. Two sections of the stairway were replaced.
May 17, 1974: " Extensive damage was done to the KFPA Hogback Mountain lookout in what was termed “the worst incident of malicious damage we’ve ever had.” According to Bud Van Hoy, KFPA assistant district forester, between $1400 and $1500 worth of damage was done in the past two weeks at the lookout located near the old Oregon Tech campus. All windows were broken while stoves, furniture, bedding and “anything loose or which could be pulled loose” was thrown from the lookout. Repairs are expected to take about two weeks. Besides property damages, Van Hoy estimated labor costs for repairs will also run between $1400 and $1500. Damages were discovered by a radio equipment inspector earlier this week but KFPA was not informed until Thursday." (Herald and News)
1987: The lookout was condemned and burned to the ground.
1988: A new tower was constructed by Oregon Department of Forestry personnel, using the tower removed from Sycan Butte near Silver Lake. The amount budgeted for the new tower was $19,000. The lookout site was not used for fire detection this year.
1991: " Radio communication base station was replaced. The old equipment was well over 20-years old and the district was experiencing equipment failure during the past three fire seasons." (1991 Annual Report, Klamath-Lake District ODF)
The NGS Data Sheet
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1948 SEE STATION HOGBACK
STATION RECOVERY (1967)
RECOVERY NOTE BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1967 (CAA) STATION IS LOCATED ON A PROMINENT RIDGE, KNOWN AS HOGBACK MOUNTAIN, 4 MILES NORTHEAST OF KLAMATH FALLS, 1-1/2 MILES EAST-SOUTHEAST OF THE OLD MARINE BARRACKS, NOW KNOWN AS THE OREGON VOCATIONAL SCHOOL. TO REACH FROM THE COURT HOUSE IN KLAMATH FALLS, GO NORTHEAST ON MAIN STREET 0.45 MILE TO WHERE MAIN STREET BEARS RIGHT, CONTINUE ON MAIN STREET, EAST AND NORTHEAST 0.55 MILE TO ALAMEDA AVENUE (JUST AFTER CROSSING A CANAL). CROSS ALAMEDA AVENUE AND GO NORTHEAST ON OLD FORT ROAD FOR 2.6 MILES TO THE ENTRANCE TO THE OLD MARINE BARRACKS, CONTINUE AHEAD 0.15 MILE TO A POWER SUB STATION AND A NARROW PAVED ROAD ON THE RIGHT. TURN RIGHT 0.1 MILE TO WHERE ROAD CURVES TO THE RIGHT AND A LOCKED WIRE MESH GATE ON THE LEFT. TURN LEFT THROUGH GATE AND GO SOUTHERLY ON BLADED ROAD FOR 0.95 MILE TO A CROSS ROAD, TURN SHARP LEFT, UP HILL FOR 0.4 MILE TO A FORK, TAKE RIGHT FORK AND FOLLOW BLADED ROAD SOUTHERLY FOR 2.0 MILES TO TOP OF HILL AND STATION. STATION IS A WOODEN STRUCTURE APPROXIMATELY 40 FEET HIGH. THE POINT INTERSECTED WAS THE CENTER OF TOWER.