May 11, 1909: "Area 80 acres. Withdrawal requested by Forester May 11, 1909. This site is needed as an intermediate or temporary headquarters and for pasturing horses belonging to men on lookout at this station during the summer. There are no improvements on this site at present but it is planned to build a small cabin and fence a small pasture as soon as funds are available for this purpose. Sufficient water for domestic purposes can be secured from a spring on the site. No application under the act of June 11, 1906, have been received covering any portion of this area." (Withdrawal Records)
1922: Milt Spurlock was the lookout and a new telephone line constructed.
August 9, 1923:"On the top of Madison butte south of Heppner, a standard lookout house is being built. It is enclosed in glass and has strickly modern equipment for detecting fire." (The Gazette-Times)
August 1925: "Four fires have been reported to Dispatcher Culick by Lookout Hill from Madison Butte. All of the fires were on state-protected land." (Six Twenty-Six)
June 6, 1929: "Rex Williamson of Multnomah, Oregon, reported for duty on May 27. He is located for the present at Tupper Corral where he will count sheep until July 1, and then be transferred to Madison Butte as lookout." (Heppner Gazette-Times)
September 1932: "I had 5 lightning and one man-caused fire during July, all class A. The most viscous electric storm ever witnessed in these mountains paid us a visit about the middle of the month. The thunder was a continuous roar for hours and it would have been possible to read a newspaper by the light of the flashes during the fore part of the night. Instead of cloud to cloud flashes, they were in the main vertical and bombarded the district from end to end. Four hit Madison Butte and one bolt shook up the lookout house. The Lookout's wife nursed a badly swollen arm for several days as the result of one such jolt. Some rain, high humidity for several succeeding days, and the fact that a large part of the forest was semi-green, were factors in keeping the storm from being a real disaster. John Clouston had but just sent out several alforja canteens and the boys were itching to try them. It gave them a fine opportunity and the way they packed water was a real shock to each little blaze. Now we are willing to trade our interest in a perfectly good pretty red painted fire truck for a couple more sets of canteens. By the way, one of the Guards suggested the fire truck be painted a light canary yellow to be appropriate. Really though, the little truck is o.k. -- if it could be used for anything!" (Six Twenty-Six)
October 6, 1932: "The new road between Linger Longer and Madison butte has been surveyed and a small crew is now slashing the right-of-way. This road will be sixteen miles long when completed." (Heppner Gazette-Times)
October 24, 1935: "Mr. and Mrs. Loyal Parker have returned to town from Madison butte where Mr. Parker was lookout during the fire season." (Heppner Gazette-Times)
July 2, 1936: "Mr. and Mrs. Loyal Parker left Friday for Matteson lookout station in the mountains where Mr. Parker will again serve as lookout during the fire season. In his absence Frank W. Turner is caring for his duties as secretary of the Elks lodge." (Heppner Gazette-Times)
July 9, 1936: "Mr. and Mrs. Loyal R. Parker were visitors in the city Tuesday from Matteson lookout station where Mr. Parker holds a position as lookout for the present fire season. He had reported no fires so far." (Heppner Gazette-Times)
September 17, 1936: "Loyal R. Parker, forest lookout on Madison butte returned to his station yesterday after spending a few days in town. Recent precipitation of snow and rain has lessened the fire hazard in the forest area, Mr. Parker reported. Mrs. Parker accompanied him." (Heppner Gazette-Times)
September 14, 1939: "Louis Gilliam, lookout for the summer at Matteson butte, was relieved of his work this week and has been spending several days in town before going to Corvallis this weekend to arrange studies for the coming school year. He plans to return for a deer hunt." (Heppner Gazette-Times)
1957: A 37-foot steel tower with a CL-100 steel cab constructed.
January 22, 1958: "We have a bright new lookout on Madison Butte which will be ready for occupancy this coming season." Heppner Ranger District Annual Report)
1958: "A new lookout tower and house on Madison Butte of the Heppner District built in 1957 was used for the first time this year." (Umatilla National Forest files)
June 29, 1961: "Sam Miller, Ranger of Heppner district, reported that the woods are drying up rapidly and the men will go directly to their lookouts at the close of the school. The first lookout was stationed at the Madison Butte location after the storm June 16, and this point has been manned continuously since that date." (Heppner Gazette-Times)
September 8, 1966: "Vigilance on the part of district personnel continues. Lookouts continue to be manned, although one post -- at Madison Butte -- will be reassigned because the lookout there went back to college." (Heppner Gazette-Times)
July 13, 1967: "Vicky Ringsdorf of Eugene is the first woman to serve as a lookout in the district. She is on Madison Butte and will be a student at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wn., next fall. The young lady is taking her isolated job in stride, and has for company a 'great big boxer dog.' " (Heppner Gazette-Times)
July 18, 1968: "Madison Butte lookout this summer is manned by Wayne A, Gramzinski of Columbia, Mo." (Heppner Gazette-Times)
October 1, 1970: "The Madison Butte lookout will be manned in case of an accident or lost hunter." + "Mrs. Karen Holland who spent 20 days at Wheeler tower for the Forest Service this summer and reported such memorable fires as a herd of dust-kicking sheep and the Spray city dump may once again be on the job. Braving the lightning storms, reconnaissance buzzards, and 25 degree weather, plans are for Mrs. Holland to return to a lofty perch in the sky. This time, weather permitting, she may scan the Madison tower area from her viewpoint. A word to wise hunters: Do not travel in large dusty groups, you may be reported as a fire!" (Heppner Gazette-Times)
August 14, 1980: "Heppner Ranger District, Umatilla National Forest, has placed a citizens band radio on Madison Butte Lookout, the lookout will monitor Channel 9, the emergency channel. The radio has been placed there to enable forest visitors to report fires and request assistance in emergency situations that require medical or law enforcement personnel." (Heppner Gazette-Times)
August 24, 1981: "A U.S. Forest Service helicopter attempting to land at a lookout station was buffeted by high winds and toppled 100 feet to the ground Sunday, injuring the pilot and three crew members. District Ranger David Price said the 'helitac' crew, which delivers firefighters and equipment in eastern Oregon, was making a service flight to the Madison Butte lookout about 25 miles west of Ukiah when the accident occurred at about 11 a.m." (The Bulletin - Bend)
The NGS Data Sheet
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1935 (EBP) NO ORIGINAL DESCRIPTION. STATION IS ON THE SUMMIT OF MADISON BUTTE, A HIGH AND PROMINENT POINT LYING ABOUT 10 MILES SE OF HARDMAN.
STATION IS THE CENTER OF THE LOOKOUT HOUSE, SITTING ON GROUND.
REACHED FROM HARDMAN, GO E ON RIDGE ROAD (1 BLOCK S OF SHELL GASOLINE PUMPS) FOR 5.8 MILES, TAKE LEFT FORK UPHILL AND GO 4.4 MILES, CROSS HEPPNER-MONUMENT ROAD, CONTINUE E UP RIDGE ROAD, STEEP AND NARROW, 4 MILES TO LOOKOUT CABIN AND END OF ROAD. FROM HERE IT IS A 5-MINUTE PACK TO LOOKOUT HOUSE.
STATION RECOVERY (1936)
RECOVERY NOTE BY US FOREST SERVICE 1936 REFERENCE MARK IS A STANDARD DISK SET IN A ROUND CONCRETE POST.
TO REACH THE STATION FROM HARDMAN, SECURE LOCAL DIRECTIONS TO PARKERS MILL. AT THAT POINT, TURN LEFT ON ROAD UP BOARD CREEK, CONTINUE TO SUMMIT OF RIDGE, TURN RIGHT AT SIGN MADISON BUTTE AND DRIVE 4 MILES OVER STEEP AND NARROW ROAD TO END OF CAR-TRAVEL. FROM THIS POINT IT IS A 5-MINUTE PACK TO LOOKOUT.
STATION RECOVERY (1941)
RECOVERY NOTE BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1941 (ANS) INTERSECTION STATION MADISON BUTTE IS LOCATED ABOUT 11.0 MILES SOUTHEAST OF HARDMAN, ABOUT 13.0 MILES WEST NORTHWEST OF THOMPSON FLAT L.O., AND ABOUT 28.0 MILES NORTHWEST OF KIMBERLY. IT IS ON THE HIGHEST POINT OF A HIGH TIMBERED RIDGE IN THE UMATILLA NATIONAL FOREST CALLED MADISON BUTTE.
MADISON BUTTE IS A WHITE HOUSE ON GROUND WITH PYRAMIDAL ROOF. CONNECTION TO STATION MADISON 1941.
STATION RECOVERY (1969)
RECOVERY NOTE BY US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY 1969 TOWER WAS TORN DOWN ABOUT 15 YEARS AGO. A NEWER TOWER WAS REBUILT IN APPROXIMATELY THE SAME LOCATION.