Prior to the erection of the first tower a tree with a crows nest stood near where the tower is now located, as shown in the panorama photo taken in 1933.
May 22, 1931: " Fire Assistant Howard Phelps and Ranger Lynch journeyed from Finley corrals yesterday to the top of Green Mountain to look over the location with intention of placing a lookout there. They found it satisfactory and Lynch will begin work this summer on a telephone line and road to extend from the Fuller and Walker road to this point. The Finley corral fireman will be placed on lookout duty here." (Lake County Tribune)
1932: " A lookout house was erected on legs sixteen feet high. This station was built to cover the side of Coleman Rim, that has been more or less a blind spot to other lookouts." (The Bend Bulletin)
July 18, 1947: "Kenneth Carlson, who was the forest lookout on Lookout rock last summer is moving to Keno springs guard station." "The Bly ranger district still needs a good man with a car for the Lookout rock position." (Herald and News)
1956: The air marking number for this station was F-10.
1959: From the inspection report made by the Regional Office of Engineering on September 10th. "The lookout tower is an 8-legged sawn timber tower, 20 feet in height. The house is the 14x14 size. Tower and house were constructed by CCC project in 1932. The inspection found the lookout premises and the house living quarters in clean and orderly condition. Deficiencies: Concrete footings are deteriorated, the north and west horizontal members are badly rotted, and the guys are loose. Wood is old and weatherbeaten, boards barely hold nails. There is wavy glass in windows of the house. Tower and house in general worn out conditions. Comments: There are probably some failings in the design which shortened the life of this structure. Some of the connections are made to the disadvantage of wood. This design is no longer being used. This tower and house are in about the same condition as Horsefly lookout. Recommendations: Replace the tower and house as soon as financing can be arranged."
1960: A inspection report dated December 7th: "Lookout Rock tower is an 8-legged sawn timber tower of untreated Ponderosa Pine 20 feet in height. The house is a standard 14x14. The facility was constructed in 1932. The foundation consists of three concrete footings resting on the bedrock of the “lookout rock”. These footings are approximately 1’ x 0.5’ and are severely deteriorated and spalled. The wood sills are in fair condition with no rot evidenced. In general the tower structure is old and deteriorated with rot being well established. The wood was not treated with any preservative other than occasional painting. The stairway is fenced with new wire. Stair treads are splintered and badly worn. No rot detected in the stairway. The stairway cannot be economically returned to a satisfactory state and should be replaced. The 14x14 cabin is in general sound and well kept, but worn. Repair and maintenance of the house would not accomplish the need as the wood is old, difficult to work with, and the design is no longer being used. Window glass is all sound, casings in fair condition. The building is loose being open in many places and “well ventilated”. Rafters and joists are in fair condition. The attic evidenced no major leakage of weather damage. The roof is comprised of red cedar shingles. These are well worn and some replacement is necessary, particularly on the south side. All guys are loose. Shutters are loose and becoming flimsy with use and age. The house and tower were well policed and appear well kept. The tower had been vacated and closed for the winter season. Efforts have obviously been made to maintain the structure and keep it sound. It is believed this tower and house have suffered the ravages of severe winters and high winds common to this area, as well as could be suspected. It is further believed the structure has outlived its usefulness from the standpoint of safety, utility, and maintenance economics. Lookout Rock is an important detection point, not because it views an extensive area, but because it provides observation to areas which are “out of view” from other points. Due to unsafe, rotted condition of the legs and spalled and deteriorated condition of the concrete footings, it is believed this tower is unsafe for occupancy during high winds. Immediate replacement is recommended. Replacement should be at least 20’ high with catwalk and standard cabin."
1961: A memo from the Forest Engineer to the Forest Supervisor: "On August 22, 1961 I inspected Lookout Rock lookout tower for structural safety. It was found that deterioration has progressed so rapidly from the time of last years inspection that the structure is no longer safe for occupancy. In particular the N.W. tower leg and braces are completely deteriorated from heart rot. The cross braces on the east side are deteriorated at the connection points. Some points on the foundation sills or plates are also completely deteriorated. The age of the total structure and difficulty in effecting repairs makes it more economical to replace the entire structure. I recommend that the tower not be manned next year. We may be able to complete a new tower at this location prior to fire season next year."
1961: From a letter to the Regional Forester from the Forest Supervisor dated October 23rd: "The tower should be condemned as unsafe and not manned next spring. We feel that the lookout is necessary for adequate fire protection of areas not seen from other lookouts. We therefore request consideration for purchase and erection of a tower prior to July 1, 1961. The tower should be 20’ in height with a standard 15x15 lookout house. The location is inaccessible by road and the tower will have to be packed to the site. The horse pack tower and house will be required. If possible, we would like to have the base of the tower enclosed for storage space."
1962: An April 10th memo from the Regional Forester to the Forest Supervisor: We are allocating $4,356 P&M to finance the contract for prefabrication, lightning protection, and safety screen for the Lookout Rock house and 20’ foot tower.
1962: A memo from the Forest Supervisor to the Regional Forester: "The erection of Lookout Rock lookout will be costly due to the necessity of re-transporting the materials to the construction site. They have been delivered to the Finley Corrals Guard Station, in small packages suitable for pack-animal loads. If erection is done force account, we would rig approximately 600 feet of high line to get the material onto the rock. The material would have to be loaded onto small trucks, hauled to the base of the rock, then high lined to the final site. We estimate the cost as follows: Truck transportation 100 Rigging high line 350 Transportation by high line 250 Tower and building construction 4,000 Removal of existing tower 700 Total $5,400 Would start construction this month. This is important, since high winds and freezing temperatures add greatly to the cost of later construction. Please let us know if we are to do this work."
1962: Work began, July 30th , on the erection of a new tower. This tower completed on September 10th.
1962: From the final construction report: Road ended approximately 500 feet and 100 feet below the job site. Packing by horses not practical. A skyline was rigged with cables and pulleys. Movement of materials from the trucks to the job site accomplished in a manner quite successful, at a cost of about $750. Final cost of the structure was estimated at $10,700.
1962: A visit from engineering on August 21st , comments on the construction of the new lookout and notes that temporary arrangements have been made to permit lookout services.
1969: Used only for emergencies.
1972: Observations noted on the 1972 lookout condition survey report: "Lookout Rock tower is timber construction. The tower is in good condition. The stove and fire finder need to be grounded. The tower is in a good state of repair. There is some trim pulling loose on the outside. There are four or five places where woodpeckers have been working on the outside. The largest is a hole approximately four inches long and three inches wide through the side of the lathing. The inside of the tower could use some paint. The facility is in good shape for an unused lookout. If this facility were manned on a permanent basis, better access must be provided. The toilet is unsatisfactory, no pit due to rock."
1981: Grounding cables not in earth or covered with rocks, loose connections. These items were discovered to be out of compliance after a lightning protection inspection.
The NGS Data Sheet
DESCRIBED BY US FOREST SERVICE 1935 (NS) NY0822'STATION IS CENTER OF 35-FOOT LOOKOUT TOWER AND HOUSE ON SUMMIT OF LOOKOUT ROCK, ABOUT 12 MILES NE OF BLY AND 3 MILES SE OF GEARHART MOUNTAIN.
REFERENCE MARK IS STATION LOOKOUT ROCK (U.S.F.S.) CONSISTING OF DISK IN ROCK OUTCROP 1.2 METERS (4 FEET) N OF CENTER OF TOWER IN AZIMUTH 176 DEG 43 MIN.
TO REACH FROM BLY, PROCEED E ALONG KLAMATH-FALLS-LAKEVIEW HIGHWAY (OREGON 66) FOR 2 MILES, THENCE NE 17 MILES OVER FOREST ROADS TO FINLEY CORRALS GUARD STATION, THENCE BY BRANCH ROAD W 1.5 MILES TO SUMMIT.
STATION OCCUPIED ECCENTRICALLY AND REDUCED TO CENTER OF TOWER.