December 24, 1924:"Mr. Howarth, following a meeting with Colonel Thomson, suggested that we should cooperate in dividing the salary and other annual expense of a lookout on Mount Scott beginning next spring; that the Park people should establish a telephone connection on top of the mountain and at the home cabin below; that the Park people might be willing to build both the lookout house and home cabin at water." (Letter to H. Rankin, Crater National Forest, from Supt., Klamath Agency)
March 10, 1925: " For lookout on Mt. Scott, near Crater Lake, we have an understanding with the Superintendent of Crater Lake National Park that when funds are available he will build there a lookout house and telephone connections thereto and a similar agreement with the Superintendent of the Crater National Forest provides that he is to appoint the lookout and pay half of his time, at $110 per month, - we paying the other half of his time at the same rate. The Superintendent of the Park has also agreed that he will provide for transporting provisions to this lookout so that the man can live day and night on the top of the mountain and need not camp a few miles away from his lookout station. The office is probably aware of the advantages of Mt. Scott as a lookout, - it being much higher than any of the reservation mountains and only about five miles from our boundary."(Recommendations to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs)
June 23, 1925:
"Colonel Thomson today proposed to our Mr. Zeh that Lester Smith begin
work July first in his crew constructing telephone line to Mount Scott,
believing Smith would be established on top as lookout by July fifth.
Colonel Thomson has no funds for paying Smith these first few days and
we can pay him first fifteen days in July if you can pay him last
fifteen days. Is this satisfactory?"(Western Union Telegram from J.A. Howarth, Klamath Agency to Hugh Rankin, Crater National Forest)
August 3, 1925: " We have paid Lester Smith, Lookout on Mt. Scott, for the period from July 1 to 15th, inclusive, at $3.75 per day, leaving the balance of the month to be paid by you at whatever rates you are allowed to pay. The arrangement mentioned in your letter of July 30th is satisfactory, whereby we will pay him for the first fifteen days in August and you will take care of the balance of the month." (Letter to Hugh Rankin, Crater National Forest from J.A. Howarth, Klamath Agency)
November 5, 1925:"Since the Crater Lake Park improvement plan calls for a lookout house and the completion of a first class telephone line to the top of Mount Scott, I am willing to try this peak as a lookout for another season. We would be very glad to have direct communication with the Fort Klamath telephone exchange, as we now have a direct connection through our Seven Mile Ranger Station." (Letter to the superintendent of the Klamath Agency from the Supervisor of the Crater National Forest)
February 6, 1926: "We desire to improve telephone connections between our lookouts and those of the Crater National Forest. We have, in recent conference with Supervisor Rankin of that Forest and Col. C.G. Thomson, Superintendent of the Crater Lake National Park, agreed, subject to Indian Office approval, to extend our Marsh line from its present terminus at the East Entrance to the parkthree or three and one half miles further to the Lost Creek Cabin, using No. 8 galvanized iron wire, - which size wire Col. Thomson insists be used within the park boundaries. We have also agreed to maintain the present park line from Lost Creek Cabin north to Mt. Scott, and in return Col. Thomson has agreed that, when not in communication with his headquarters, the switch at the Lost Creek Cabin shall be closed so as to connect Mt. Scott directly with our Marsh line and Calimus Butte. As the office is aware, Mt. Scott is a cooperative lookout, the station to be built and maintained by the Park Service and the lookout man being paid half time by the Supervisor of Crater National Forest and by myself. Last season the telephone service with this lookout was poor because the park ranger at the East Entrance was not always within hearing of the bell to give us the switch and because the park lines were not well constructed or maintained."(Letter to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs from the Superintendent of the Klamath Agency)
March 3, 1926: "As you know, we undertook last year to organize a lookout station on Mt. Scott cooperatively with the Forest and Indian Services. Prior to that our fire protection had all been through the courtesy of the Forest Service, we having no lookouts whatsoever but being protected nearly 100% by various mountain lookouts surrounding the Park. The Mt. Scott effort was our contribution to the general good, although the benefit to the Forest Service is comparatively slight, the Indian Service reaping probably 90% of its usefulness. Under this arrangement the Park Service furnished tent quarters, necessary furniture, fire finding apparatus, telephone communication, and packing service to the lookout. The Forest and Indian Services jointly paid the salary of the incumbent. Frankly, we did not do very well last summer as we did not succeed in establishing satisfactory telephone communication until July 20th, and for various reasons the lookout was not very useful. However, we expect to do much better this year and I believe the Bureau of Budget allowed $800 for a small cabin to be built in July."(From a letter to the Director of the National Park Service from the Crater Lake National Park Superintendent)
September 27, 1927: "Mr. L.O. Wright, Lookout, came down from Mount Scott September 9th. We have paid him one half of his time, and enclose for settlement by you time report for the first 4 ½ days. As Mr. Wright is now working for us irregularly a check forwarded here can be delivered to him."(Letter to H. Rankin, Crater National Forest from L.D. Arnold, Klamath Agency)
September 8, 1928: "The lookout on Mt Scott has reported 7 fires on the reservation, 1 on the Crater National Forest and 2 on Association territory during the month of August."(Memorandum for the Superintendent Klamath Agency)
February 8, 1929: "During the month of January the fire tools have been gotten in readiness for the next season. A cooperative agreement has been established between the Association and the Indian Service in which the Association agrees to pay the cost of the Mt. Scott lookout for the next two seasons."(Memo for the Superintendent Klamath Agency)
May 3, 1929:"I have your letter of April 23rd regarding the Mt. Scott lookout. I note what you say regarding Mr. Wright’s desire to do carpenter work necessary in completing this station. It is entirely agreeable to me to have this work done by him. It might be well, perhaps, for us to furnish additional help so that this work might be completed without to much delay. This is merely a suggestion. I will discuss this fully with Mr. Rankin. I assume that this work will start about July 1st at which time we hope to have the materials on the ground."(Letter to Supt. Arnold, Klamath Agency from Supt., Crater National Forest)
August 11, 1929: Panorama photos were taken by W.B.Osborne.
September 30, 1929: " Mr. L.O. Wright, lookout on Mt. Scott this past season did considerable carpenter work on the lookout house for which he claims 8 days at the rate of $6.00 per day; making a total of $48.00. Mr. Space inspected the work done by Mr. Wright and he reports it to be a first class job. Mr. Wright will be working out of this Agency for some time and his address will be Klamath Agency, and send all correspondence in care of Mr. R.H. Bitney."(Letter to Superintendent, Crater National Forest from L.D. Arnold, Klamath Agency)
June 8, 1931: "In Crater Lake National Park, the Mt. Scott lookout will take up his work Monday of watching for smoke from forest fires. This station is on top of the highest peak of the park, and covers a wide range both within the park and outside the park boundaries. Part of the territory covered is a section of forest and canyons not visible from other high points – hence the importance of this station in spotting smokes from fires before they shall have become conflagrations. Let even a suspicion of smoke be seen, and this lookout’s warning goes out to the forest service office in Medford, to the Klamath Indian Agency, or to park headquarters, often to all three, according to the location of the smoke. Every evening he makes a report to the offices below, on the progress of fires previously reported, or that no smoke has been discerned throughout the day."(The Evening Herald)
June 9, 1931: "In Crater Lake National Park, the lookout on Mt Scott took up his work of watching for smoke from forest fires Monday. This station is on top of the highest peak of the park, and covers a wide range both within the park and outside the park boundaries. Let even a suspicion of smoke be seen, and this lookout’s warning goes out to the forest service office in Medford, to the Klamath Indian Agency, or to park headquarters, often to all three, according to the location of the smoke. Every evening he makes a report to the office below, on the progress of fires previously reported, or that no smoke has been discerned throughout the day. This lookout station is a one-room building on the ground floor – which in this case is a rock floor – with an observatory above wherein are maps, pointer or finder, field glasses. Etc., - the usual equipment of such a station. And here, at 8938 feet altitude the lookout lives alone all summer in his eyrie, his only communication with the outside and lower world being his telephone, except on the rare occasion when a visitor pants afoot up the steep and rocky trail, or when supplies are brought up the mountain. For all supplies and materials needed by this lookout have to be transported to the station by way of the trail, even the water used being brought up by packhorse." (Medford Mail Tribune)
August 11, 1931: "A lookout station has been maintained for some time on Mt. Scott, 8939 feet high, but is unable to cover portions of the park discernible from the new lookout." (The Watchman)(Mail Tribune)
July 3, 1933: "William Morningstar will occupy the post at Mt. Scott, one of the most difficult stations in the district for visitors to reach. Three miles of trail must be traversed on foot from the end of the auto road." (The Evening Herald)
July 10, 1933: "Included in the work of instructing the CCC recruits, Ranger Elgan took a group of 13 boys from the Crater Lake camp with him to the summit of Mt. Scott early last week. The boys, according to Elgan, thought the climb, and especially the descent, were great fun. Many of them slid down steep snow slides, despite warnings of the danger involved, and a number of snow battles were in progress during the day." (The Evening Herald)
July 29, 1933: Panorama photos taken by William Birchall.
September 28, 1933: "Making the summit of Mt. Scott, 8,938 feet, the highest point within the park, more accessible to the public, a new trail has been completed to the top of the mountain. The trail is wide and has an easy grade for its length of 2.2 miles. From this eminence, where a fire lookout station is also located, a complete panorama of the lake region is possible, as well as points over 100 miles distant." (The American)
1934: The CCC moved a 1000 gallon water storage tank to the lookout. At a cost of $144.16, and 38 man days of labor were required to complete the job on September 4th.
July 13, 1935: "Mt Scott, second peak in importance in the district, will be occupied by Rowland Ulrich, Klamath Falls. This peak also is a co-operative lookout between Crater Lake National Park and the Klamath district (Rogue River National Forest)." (The Klamath News)
June 29, 1936: Panoramas photos taken by Lester Moe.
April 25, 1938: "A recent discussion with Chief Ranger C. Couch disclosed the need of improving the appearance of the Mt. Scott fire lookout. The building has needed a new coat of paint on the exterior surface as well as the roof area. I have suggested this to make the structure more attractive as well as increase the life of the structure. It appears that about ten gallons of brown paint would properly do the job or possibly less, and several gallons of green paint would be needed for the roof. It might be possible to do this as a CCC material purchase or thru direct park purchase. If CCC enrollees are not used it might be desirable to employ the ranger on duty at the lookout as there should no doubt be sufficient time to do the work as a means of his daily work program. As one drives about the Rim Road the presence of the glaring white painted structure is predominate on the landscape. The building is in need of repair and this proposed painting would be part of the improvement. signed, Francis G. Lange, Resident Landscape Architect. On June 7th 20 gallons of paint were ordered." (Park Files Memo to Superintendent)
September 23, 1939: "The Mt. Scott Lookout which, so far as I can ascertain, was built some time in the 20’s, has taken a terrific beating from the elements on this peak, particularly during the winter months. It is the old cupola type of structure with living and storage quarters underneath the cupola which is only 6’ by 6’ square. The cupola is reached by an almost vertical ladder inside of the building from the lower room. Both the cupola and the living room are very cramped. At the time this lookout was constructed it conformed to the latest specifications for such buildings; but with the expanded uses and facilities of present day lookouts it does not meet the requirements. Visitors to the lookout, radio equipment, fire protection maps and plans and other present day developments can find no place in the present building. Mt. Scott represents one of the two detection points in the park absolutely required in fire protection. There is no point on the east side of the park inside or out which can replace Mt. Scott. This being the case, it would appear that the time has come to replace the present lookout structure with a modern building before the upkeep and maintenance cost of the present structure becomes prohibitive considering the initial cost of the investment. Your attention is directed to the present method of supplying water and sanitation for Mt. Scott. Several years ago, a wooden tank was erected on the peak just below the ridge top for the purpose of collecting the winter snows which, it was thought, would produce a water supply for the lookout. This method required an open top tank which failed to collect sufficient snow to produce a water supply and what water did collect became an attraction for rodents which collected therein. It is suggested that serious consideration be given to constructing a corrugated iron catchment and concrete tank system of a water supply for the mountain. A quarter of an acre catchment and a 1000-gallon tank would probably supply sufficient water for a seasons operation. Such a system, requiring as it does comparatively little maintenance, would liquidate itself in the course of a few seasons from a saving effected by the elimination of the present method of packing water to the lookout every two weeks and at times every week during the fire season. The present sanitation facilities for Mt. Scott consist of one pit toilet which is in fairly good condition and which in past years sufficed. With an increase in the number of visitors to this point made up of mixed groups, it is recommended that consideration be given to the installation of chemical toilets within the lookout itself, similar to the facilities in the Watchman. Such facilities could be installed in the lower part of the proposed structure and at the same time leave sufficient room for compressed gas installations and bulk storage. Signed Chief Ranger" (Park Files Memo to Superintendent)
October 5, 1939: "The Branch of Forestry feels that the existing lookout structure on Mt. Scott is in need of replacement as it is a building of ancient design and construction. This old type lookout house with a cupola on the roof for the placement of the fire finder and the observer and is now obsolete as it reduces the efficiency of fire detection. Too much time can be spent by an observer climbing back and forth from the cupola to his living quarters below. The Branch of Forestry recommends that a new structure replace the present building on Mt. Scott. signed Acting Regional Director." (Park Files Memo to Superintendent)
1939: "Two new ultra high frequency radios were installed at Mt. Scott lookout and the Panhandle Station for the use of the Sand Creek Fireman. They were good only for intervisible work. 'With portable batteries, a set weighs only eighteen pounds and may be easily transported across country." (History of the Rogue River National Forest, Vol. 1 - by Carroll E. Brown)
October 5, 1944: "I solicited, Chief Forester Coffman and Regional Forester Sanford, their support for the construction of a new fire lookout station on Mt. Scott to replace the inadequate, obsolete, dilapidated old building which has served its purpose long ago and should be replaced with a modern and more efficient building at the earliest practicable date. This is one of our very important lookout stations, valuable not only to Crater Lake National Park but to the Rogue River National Forest and Klamath Agency Indian Service, whose lands are adjacent to the park. The replacement of this old lookout building has been on our construction program and in our master plan for a long time. Mr. Coffman and Mr. Sanford both realize the importance of a new lookout building on Mt. Scott, and assured the park of their cooperation in securing it. Signed, Superintendent Leavitt. " (Park Files Memo for files)
December 15, 1946: "Structurally the plan seems sound to me and quite adaptable to the site on Mt. Scott. The advantages of cutting the entire building before cartage to the mountain are obviously many. There is only one point that is not clear to me with respect to the structure, and that pertains to the plywood floor. It may be that novelty of such construction is the thing that seems odd to me, but I for one should like more information on that particular detail. It is assumed that such a floor will be laid as a mosaic or in a tessellated fashion. With respect to the design, the first thing which struck me was the pitifully small amount of space for storage. No provision has been made for such things as flamo tanks, storage space for bulk provisions, water, etc. it would be too bad to clutter the observation room with such things. Then, too, if this prefabricated structure is placed on the mountain as shown, some visibility will be lost, since this building is not as high as the present structure or Watchman. It seems to me sufficiently important that consideration be given to designing a rock basement or rock wall footing which will serve as a basement on which to place this type of observation room. Such a basement with a door and windows would serve admirably for storage, flamo tank installation, and water tank if one is provided. Which brings up the point of water. I think we should make some arrangement by which the cartage of water could at least be reduced. It is well enough to design the lookout to reduce transportation to a minimum but we should look a little further ahead for a reduction of transportation required in the operation of this station. The least we can do, it seems to me, is to use the roof of this building for catchment purposes, install a pipe from there to a tank in the basement. Such water could be used for domestic purposes and would probably make it necessary to transport only water for drinking. Signed J.C. Crouch, Chief Ranger " (Park Files Memo to Superintendent)
July 21, 1949: "I was at Crater Lake from July 10th through the 12th. I visited the Mt. Scott lookout and found the station in even a worse dilapidated condition than it had been at the time of my last visit. It is a wonder that the building still stands, and the floor is so shaky that any accurate observation with a fire finder is impossible. The fire finder instrument is a very old model and in poor shape so that with the construction of a new lookout there should be a new fire finder. Signed B. Sanford, - Regional Forester." (Park Files Memo to Regional Director)
September 11, 1949: "The Mt. Scott lookout which, so far as I can find, was built around 1927, has taken a terrific beating from the elements on this peak, particularly during the winter months. It is the old cupola type structure with the living and storage space underneath the cupola. The cupola is reached by an almost vertical ladder which is attached to the ceiling of the living quarters and is swung up and hooked when not in use. Both the cupola and living quarters are very cramped. The cupola is 9’6” high from the floor to the peak of the roof and is 5’7” square immediately below the windows. Below the windows is a 12’6” square outside. The construction is frame with bevel edge siding outside and flat board inside. The floor is regular tongue and groove flooring. The general condition of the building is very poor. The outside was once painted brown but no vestige of paint now remains. The inside was long ago painted a dark green which coupled with only four small windows makes a very dark living quarters. The windows are located in the four sides but the one on the south has the top pane blocked out to allow the stove pipe to go through to the outside. The flooring is badly splintered making it very difficult to keep clean. The small wood stove is located along the south wall and has an unusable oven. Fires can be built in the stove only when the wind is from the North or East. If the wind is from the South or West, smoke fills the room when a fire is built. A small flamo three burner hot plate is located in the southwest corner of the living quarters but combustion has been very incomplete thus all cooking pans are covered with carbon. Wood for the stove has been very scarce being secured from old pieces of lumber and down branches. Storage space is very limited consisting only of one cupboard and a set of shelves. The bed is a rope spring affair built in the northeast corner of the room. The windows in the cupola are all loose and do not swing on their hinges as the screws have rotted out of the frame. The wind blows at will through cracks in the building making conditions very uncomfortable for any one in the quarters. The pit toilet is located fifty yards away on the northeast slope and has no door and has large cracks in the walls. The water supply is secured from snow remaining on the mountain and by packing it up from other sources. No model name or number was found on the fire finder but I’m sure it is an Osborne. A date on the base is 1917. The fire finder ring is broken, the tape has been repaired several times and is at present broken. There is no vertical angle on the instrument and map has warped due to dampness. The fire finder stand located in the cupola is 3’2” high by 1’7” wide by 11” deep and is constructed of 2” by 2” pieces for legs and 1” by 2” pieces for cross braces. The stand is only nailed to the floor. The rails for the fire finder are loose and can not be tightened due to the condition of the wood. The stand is very unstable and it would be impossible to get an accurate shot on a smoke especially if a wind was blowing. When the wind blows the cupola rocks and sways and the wind whistles through the cracks. Mt. Scott has had 180 visitors since the opening on July 9 to the closing on September 9. signed W.R. Howe, Park Ranger." (Park Files Memo to Chief Ranger Hallock)
September 14, 1949: "Some difficulty was experienced last week during the heavy lightning storms in securing effective service from the Mt. Scott lookout. This failure is in no way attributable to the personnel involved but is due to the condition of the building and its detection equipment. The lightning storms produced many strikes in the park and on adjacent Forest Service and Indian Agency lands directly visible to Mt. Scott. There were also several fires caused by this lightning on these lands which Mt. Scott lookout might have efficiently assisted in locating if the building was a stable one and the detection equipment of modern design. The lookout on duty, while reporting some of these lightning caused fires most faithfully, could not give accurate and dependable data. In one instance, the reported azimuth was 20 degrees in error. An effort was made to correct this but it could not be fully accomplished under the circumstances. The present structure is dangerous to personnel assigned to it because of the cupola design and the necessity of using a trap door entrance to the cupola. The lookout assigned to Mt. Scott this year was injured by falling through the open trap door. This feature should be entirely eliminated in any new structure. Signed L.W. Hallock, Chief Ranger." (Park Files Memo to Supervisor Leavitt)
February 16, 1950: "I was very surprised upon reading the 1951 Construction Program to find that the new Mount Scott Lookout had been omitted and, upon further inquiry, find that it has been placed in the 1952 program. The last time I was shown the Regional priorities the Mount Scott Lookout was at the top of the Crater Lake building program and I was assured that it would come up for construction during the 1951 fiscal year. Memoranda have been coming in from Crater Lake and from visiting foresters for the past several years commenting upon the condition of the old antiquated building now serving as a lookout and the inability of the lookout observer to take accurate sights on fires with his fire-finder in the shaky structure now in use. Each season for the past several years we have expected to find this old building completely wrecked and I feel that fire control in Crater Lake and the neighboring Forest Service and Indian Service areas which depend upon Mount Scott for the location of fires absolutely requires a new structure this coming season. Signed B. Sanford, Regional Forester." (Park Files Memo to Regional Director)
October 10, 1951: "Crater Lake National Park will advertise for bids and let a contract this fall for the construction of a new fire lookout on Mt. Scott. Superintendent E.P. Leavitt said the new lookout tower would replace one built by the forest service in 1924. The park service hopes to get construction underway as early in the summer of 1952 as snow and weather conditions will permit and Leavitt suggests that interested bidders visit the site this fall in order to familiarize themselves with conditions there before snow closes the area. Prospective bidders should furnish their names and addresses to the superintendent at Medford so they can be contacted when the plans and specifications are ready." (Medford Mail Tribune)
October 11, 1951:"Mt. Scott, in Crater lake national park, will get a new lookout when the snow goes out next spring, E.P. Leavitt, park superintendent, announced Wednesday. A 14-foot square frame building with shingled roof, a catwalk around the outside, propane gas for cooking, heating and lighting, and a 6-foot-high storage room underneath the building will replace the lookout erected by the forest service in 1924, Leavitt said. He added that bids will be advertised this fall. Construction will be with precut materials transported 2 ½ miles over trail from the road. Leavitt urged prospective bidders to apply to Superintendent, Crater lake national park, Medford, for specifications and to visit the site before snow falls to familiarize themselves with conditions on the peak." (The Oregonian)
August 6, 1952: “7 Park Fires From Storm” Crater Lake National Park had seven fires in the most resent thunderstorm – including those sleepers showing up this week, according to Chief Ranger Lou Hallock. The largest blaze was one-half acre, all are under control or out, he said. Mt. Scott lookout – almost 9,000 feet in the air – has been activated on a temporary basis after being shut down for several seasons. The lookout is being revamped this summer under a rebuilding project, the ranger reported." (Herald and News)
1952: A new fire lookout was constructed on Mt. Scott, replacing an old building originally erected in 1924 by the Forest Service, which was considered unsafe for further use. Southern Oregon Construction Company, Grants Pass, Oregon, was awarded a contract for this project in the amount of $12,603.29 on July 3, 1952. The contractor completed the job on September 26, 1952.
December 29, 1964: "At present water for Mt. Scott Lookout is obtained from snow through half of the summer. After the snow melts stored melt water is used until approximately the middle of August when water is hauled to the lookout by trail packer. This is somewhat expensive and the use motor equipment is objectionable. Also, water must be conserved carefully which is unpleasant, especially for hikers arriving at the lookout after the climb. Signed, R.A. Nelson, Superintendent." (Park Files Memo to Regional Director)
October 23, 1987: "After consultation with the Superintendent, he concurred in granting you permission to ride your horse up Mt. Scott on Sunday, October 25. This authorization is for one trip, one horse, and is granted because you cannot otherwise walk up the mountain. I have a little time Monday morning, so, I intend to take a look at the trail and see what impacts have been caused by this well deserved exception. I hope your trip is fulfilling and that you will be in touch again if we can be of service." (A letter from the Chief Ranger to Mr. David Willis of Ashland)
The NGS Data Sheet
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1937 (LAM) THIS INTERSECTED POSITION IS HIGHEST POINT ON MOUNT SCOTT, IN CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK, AND WELL-KNOWN LANDMARK.
IN 1933 A FIRST-ORDER STATION WAS ESTABLISHED ON THIS SUMMIT, AND POSITIONS WERE DETERMINED ALSO FOR A U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY STATION AND THE CENTER OF THE LOOKOUT HOUSE.