Mount Hood National Forest > Warm Springs Indian Reservation 6S-9E-10
1911: A lookout was established at this point. A first version Osborne fire-finder was installed on a post in the open. (The Sunday Oregonian - 6/18/1950)
July 26, 1918: "Ernest Thun who has been on the lookout at Mt. Wilson was called to The Dalles the first of the week for the army examination. David Marr took his place while he is away." (The Maupin Times)
April 18, 1919: "R.J. Weusbeck, George Lofton, Elmer Munier, Clyde Oliver left for the mountains last week. They are going to work on ranger trails and the road till fire season opens. George has accepted a position as lookout man on top of Mt. Wilson after fire season opens." (The Maupin Times)
August 28, 1921: "Contract awarded for lookouts--The Coast Culvert & Flume company of this city (Portland) has been awarded a contract to build two steel lookout tops for the forest service. One of these will be located on Mount Wilson in the Mount Hood region, according to announcement at the district forester's office." (The Oregon Daily Journal)
June 1, 1922: "Roy Rice has quit school and gone to work at Grahams road camp. He excepts to be stationed at Mt. Wilson lookout during the summer." (The Maupin Times)
September 16, 1923: "When District Forest Ranger J.A. Graham of Wapinita was confronted with the problem of transporting material for a new cabin and 35-foot steel lookout tower from Clackamas lake, southeast of Mount Hood, in the center of the Cascade range, to the top of Mount Wilson, a peak in the center of the Oregon national forest, surmounted only by a rough trail, he improvised a special train made up of two heavy wagons and the ten-ton tractor he was using in construction work on the Oregon Skyline road, loaded material on, cut out enough trees along the trail to let the procession pass, and in two trips took the whole outfit to the top. The train crew consisted of J.A. Graham, conductor; John Sinclair, engineer, and Ben Richardson, brakeman. The caterpiller negotiated the steep grades of the Mount Wilson trail and crawled to the top without mishap of more than a minor importance. Riley Wiesbeck, Dudley Wiesbeck and Rodney Keating, lookout men, have now completed the construction of the new cabin and the erection of the steel tower. On top of the tower is a metal lookout house six feet square which contains the fire finder and telephone and protects the lookout man while on duty." (The SundayOregonian)
September 30, 1923: "Oregon boasts of one of the few steel lookout stations in the United States, situated on top of Mount Wilson. in the Oregon national forest lands, half way between Mount Hood and Mount Jefferson, according to Rodney Keating, University of Oregon student who spent the summer at this place. More than 3100 pounds of steel and 3000 feet of lumber went into the construction of the tower and this had to be hauled in from the nearest ranger station, Clackamas lake, by army tractor. It required a month's labor on the part of three men to make the road for this tractor, which made two trips with building materials. The foundation for the tower is made of loose rock which was collected from the neighborhood by means of a crude sled drawn by a horse. It is some 20 feet square and 8 feet deep and took a week to lay. The main tower, which is in five sections, was built very slowly due to the fact that a prevailing high wind in the afternoons permitted work only in the fore part of the day. The fifth section is the top or sheet metal cage, 6 feet square with eight windows of plate glass 30 inches by 38 inches. From this eminence a view of 60 miles radius is obtained, including the Blue Ridge mountains in eastern Oregon, the Deschutes forest to the south, Three Sisters, and Oak Grove canyon lying to the west. This station is not on any traveled forest paths and is fairly inaccessible to reach. During his stay Keating stated that he saw but 46 persons, half of whom were Indians picking berries. At daylight he ascended the tower and remained there during the day, coming down only for meals. The nearest source of water was three-quarters of a miles down a 1000-foot drop. He made the trip twice a week with three large canteens. From the station he likewise sent weather observations to the Portland bureau. Telephone connections are provided with all outlying stations. Mail came but once in two weeks. During the summer 16 fires were reported from the lookout station and more than half of these were small grain fires, while some were outside the national forest and hence beyond government jurisdiction. Within the district there was but one fire and this shortly put under control. Most fires were caused by lightning and the subsequent rain quenched the flames before they got under way." (The Sunday Oregonian)
December 1923: "When Ranger J.A. Graham was confronted with the problem of transporting the material for a new cabin and 35 foot steel lookout tower from Cedar Swamp on the Bear Springs road to the top of Mount Wilson, he improvised a special train made up of two heavy wagons and the ten-ton tractor he is using in construction work on the Oregon Skyline road, loaded the material on, cut out enough trees along the trail to let the procession pass and in two trips took the whole outfit to the top. The 'train' crew consisted of J.A. Graham, conductor; John Sinclair, engineer; and Ben Richardson, brakeman. The caterpillar negotiated the steep grades of the Mt. Wilson trail and crawled to the top without mishap except for losing the track once. The construction of the new cabin and the erection of the steel tower were completed this summer. The top of the tower is a lookout house 6'x6' also of steel construction. This contains the fire finder, and protects the lookout man while on duty." (Six Twenty-Six)
July 1, 1926: "Riley Wiesbeck has resumed his duties as lookout on Mt. Wilson, being the only lookout on duty in Ranger Graham's district." (The Maupin Times)
October 24, 1933: Panorama photos taken by Reino Sarlin & Albert Arnst.
February 7, 1955: “We were given some money to replace the tower legs on Mt. Wilson tower but not enough was allowed so the job will be done this coming year after money is appropriated.” (I-information – Historical Report, Bear Springs District - 1954)
February 3, 1956: “New tower legs were installed on Mt. Wilson lookout tower.” (I-information – Historical Report, Bear Springs District - 1955)
1972: A boundary adjustment between the Mount Hood National Forest and the Warm Springs Reservation, put the Forest Service lookout inside the Reservation.
National Geodetic Survey
DESIGNATION - MOUNT WILSON LOOKOUT HOUSE PID - RC2250 STATE/COUNTY- OR/WASCO COUNTRY - US USGS QUAD - MOUNT WILSON (1996)
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1946 (CAG) LOCATED 9 MILES, BY ROAD, SOUTHEAST OF CLACKAMAS RANGER STATION, 28 MILES, BY ROAD, SOUTHWEST OF BEAR SPRINGS AND 0.25 MILES NORTH OF THE NORTH BOUNDARY OF THE WARM SPRINGS INDIAN RESERVATION. IT IS ON THE HIGHEST POINT OF MT. WILSON. IT IS A LOOKOUT HOUSE 16 FEET SQUARE AND 14 FEET IN HEIGHT. THE POINT OBSERVED UPON WAS THE APEX OF THE ROOF. THIS STATION WAS NOT VISITED.
STATION RECOVERY (1947)
RECOVERY NOTE BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1947 (WRH) THE STATION IS THE CENTER OF THE ELEVATED LOOKOUT TOWER ON THE SUMMIT OF MT. WILSON IN THE MOUNT HOOD NATIONAL FOREST. IT IS LOCATED ON THE HIGHEST PART OF THE MOUNTAIN AND IS ABOUT 17 MILES SOUTHEAST OF GOVERNMENT CAMP, ABOUT 7 MILES SOUTHWEST OF THE BEAR SPRINGS GUARD STATION AND ABOUT 5 MILES SOUTHEAST OF THE CLACKAMAS RANGER STATION.
THE STATION IS AN ELEVATED WOODEN TOWER ABOUT 35 FEET IN HEIGHT AND HAS A PEAKED ROOF.
THIS STATION WAS LOCATED BY DISTANCE AND DIRECTION FROM TRIANGULATION STATION MT WILSON.
STATION RECOVERY (1976)
RECOVERY NOTE BY NATIONAL GEODETIC SURVEY 1976 (CLN) THE LOOKOUT TOWER HAS BEEN DESTROYED, AND A BPA RADIO FACILITY HAS BEEN BUILT ON THE SUMMIT.