June 1941: "A main CCC project is construction of a 100-foot lookout tower on Howard Butte in Wallowa County." (Forest Log)
1942: A 100 foot tower with a 7x7 cab and a one room ground cabin were constructed. Costs to the state was $1529.89, most of the materials were furnished by the CCC.
1953: The lookout buildings were repainted.
1957: "A new foundation was built under the cabin at Howard Butte Lookout." (Northeast Oregon District - Oregon Department of Forestry Annual Report - 1957)
1958: Improvements for this year included all slash was piled and burned, a new garbage pit dug and the cabin painted.
1965: Metal roofing was installed on the lookout buildings.
July 2019: A fire detection camera system installed on the lookout.
National Geodetic Survey
DESIGNATION - HOWARD BUTTE PID - RA1208 STATE/COUNTY- OR/WALLOWA COUNTRY - US USGS QUAD - HOWARD BUTTE (1984) STATION DESCRIPTION
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1946 (JTJ) THE STATION IS LOCATED BENEATH THE STATE LOOKOUT TOWER ON HOWARD BUTTE, ABOUT 15 MILES NORTHWEST OF WALLOWA, 14 MILES NORTHEAST OF ELGIN, AND 2 MILES EAST OF RONDOWA AT THE CONFLUENCE OF THE GRANDE RONDE AND WALLOWA RIVERS. THE BUTTE, WHICH IS TIMBERED, BREAKS TOWARDS THE SOUTH AND OVERLOOKS THE BENCH ABOVE HOWARD CREEK, ABOUT 2 MILES DISTANT.
TO REACH THE STATION FROM WALLOWA AT THE POST OFFICE GO WEST ON STATE HIGHWAY 82, TOWARDS ELGIN, 2.2 MILES TO AN INTERSECTION ON RIGHT AND SIGN, PROMISE. TURN RIGHT, OFF THE HIGHWAY, AND GO NORTH ON GRADED ROAD 7.8 MILES TO ROAD FORK. TAKE LEFT FORK, AS PER SIGN, HOWARD MEADOWS, AND CONTINUE 5.3 MILES TO CROSS ROADS. TURN LEFT, AS PER HOWARD BUTTE L.O. SIGN, AND CONTINUE 3.0 MILES TO ROAD FORK. TAKE RIGHT FORK AND CONTINUE 0.1 MILE TO A FORK. TAKE LEFT FORK AND CONTINUE 1.8 MILES TO A FORK. AGAIN TAKE THE LEFT FORK AND CONTINUE 0.5 MILE TO THE SITE OFTHE LOOKOUT TOWER AND THE STATION.