Oregon Department of Forestry Clatsop FPA 6N-8W-28
1913: "During the season ten miles of telephone line was built to permit communication with Saddle Mountain, where a man was stationed all summer. From this point, a view of the entire county can be had, and should fires start, this lookout can promptly detect them and notify by telephone the head warden at Jewell. This is the first season that a lookout has been maintained at this point, but the advisability of having this a permanent part of the protection system cannot be questioned." (Report of the State Forester - 1914)
1914: "The Saddle Mountain lookout was again used this year. Its effectiveness was reduced materially by smoke; but Saddle Mountain commands such an extensive view of Clatsop County that it felt advisable to maintain a lookout man to take advantage of the daily period, however brief, during which the smoke rises, and a good view can be secured. Other minor lookouts located on patrolmen's regular beats were utilized." (Report of State Forester - 1915)
August 22, 1920: "F.A. Elliot, state forester, left last night for Astoria. From there he will proceed to Saddle mountain, where he will inspect the proposed site for a new lookout station and trail routes. At Portland he was joined by representatives of the district forestry office." (The Oregonian)
August 24, 1920: "Outlining of plans whereby a better road may be constructed from a point near Astoria to a state forest reserve located in the vicinity of Saddle Mountain, Clatsop county, is now in progress, according to F.A. Elliot, state forester who returned here today. While in the Saddle Mountain district Mr. Elliot inspected the forestry department lookout, as well as the route of a number of trails which it is proposed to build there in the near future." (The Oregonian)
September 24, 1935: Panorama photos taken.
October 1935: "One of the CCC boys who has been acting as a lookout on Saddle Mountain, in the Northwest Association, recently killed two cougars a short distance of the summit of the mountain. Both animals were jumped by the lookout's dog while going to the spring for water. Some of the meat was served to the boys at the evening meal." (The Forest Log)
July 1937: "One of the worst examples of vandalism that has come to the attention of protection agencies for some time was the damage to the Saddle Mountain Lookout in Clatsop county some time during the past winter. Part of the fire finder, which had been left there, had disappeared and was probably thrown over the cliff. The stove suffered a like fate. The haze meter had the appearance of being damaged with a hammer. The telephone was in a similar condition. Only a few of the cooking utensils were left. The table, the cupboard, and all but one of the four chairs had been either chopped or broken to pieces.. There was evidence of an attempted fire in one of the cupboards but it was evidently too wet to burn. The window blinds were ripped down and broken, the storm shutters were partially destroyed and the door completely missing. Winter storms had soaked everything remaining in the cabin. Not satisfied with confining their damage to the contents of the cabin, all windows were broken. Records and register of guests were partially destroyed. Protection officials have considerable evidence as to who the guilty parties are and it is believed that they will be apprehended." (The Forest Log)
April 1938: "For the second consecutive year vandals have been responsible for extensive damage to the Saddle Mountain Lookout located in Clatsop county. District Warden H.C. Kyle, of Jewell, reports that 108 of the total of 116 small window panes in the building were broken and the furniture and interior damaged. State police were notified and several individuals held for questioning in regard to the damage but as yet no arrests have been made. About the same time last year some individuals made a trip to the summit, broke out all the windows, tore down the storm shutters, threw the fire finder and stove over the cliff, ruined kitchen utensils and finally tried to set fire in one of the cupboards but evidently the material was too damp to burn. The guilty parties were never apprehended." (The Forest Log)
Activated: March 10, 1942; Deactivated: October 13, 1943. Portland Filter Center.
July 18, 1942: "This post was visited on June 12, the post is manned by two young men, H.A. Skaling and Dwight C. Sievers. Living conditions on this post are pretty tough. Accommodations are rather poor, and weather conditions severe. Considerable winterization is needed to make the observers reasonably comfortable this winter. The wood show is particularly poor. Improvements consist of a 10x14 ground cabin of ancient vintage. The structure has been subjected to an abnormal amount of vandalism and as a result it has been patched up considerably. Some sealing-in has been done but more patching is needed. The paper on the floor and extra windows on the inside of the present ones, to serve as storm windows, will add a lot to the warmth of the building. Storage space is at a premium and it appears advisable to put in a wood box on the outside, below the windows, clear around the building. This will also make the building warmer. A new wood heating and cooking stove and a kerosene heating stove are furnished. At least 250 gallons of kerosene should be stored for winter use. In addition, probably ten cords of wood of poor quality can be secured below the lookout. In order to get this wood, it will be necessary to have an emergency F.F. crew assigned to cut it and to pack the oil. An 8x10 storage building to serve as sleeping quarters for the person off duty is urgently needed. It can be built and cabled down on a fairly level at the cave below the station. This post is subjected to severe wind storms and there are days at a time when it is as much as one's life is worth to venture outside of the cabin. During such times normal living habits cannot be enjoyed. It is recommended that iron posts with cables be placed around the cabin and leads extended to the toilet, to and around the spring, and past the proposed storage building to the saddle below. Such a safety measure is urgently needed. In order to set the iron posts, portable jackhammers should be used to drill the post holes as the lookout point is solid rock. When the holes are being bored for the railing it is recommended that telephone post holes also be drilled. The telephone line at the top consists of about 1/4 mile latex wire and is laid on the ground. Tripods have been used in the past but have proven unsatisfactory." (Inspection Report from W.N. Parke, AWS Inspector, to James Frankland, USFS)
1943: "The Portland Air Region today advised us that Olney Guard Station has been approved as the winter location for the Saddle Mountain observation post. Since Saddle Mountain will be needed as a fire lookout station until the end of the fire season, the change to the winter site should not be made until Saddle Mountain is no longer needed for fire protection purposes this fall." (From a letter to the State Forester from James Frankland, Asst Regional Forester)
August 24, 1943: "Saddle Mountain observation post has been functioning at its location on the summit of the mountain, elevation 3200, since March 10, 1942. observation work has been performed in the lookout cabin perched on the edge of a cliff which has a sheer drop of about 500 feet. Weather conditions in the winter time make living conditions hazardous and as a result we have had frequent turnover in personnel. If this point is to be continued in its present location the coming winter we expect to have considerable difficulty in keeping it manned and it is believed that it will be vacant much of the time. An examination of this area was made lat week and an alternate site was found which we recommend developing and using during the winter months. The proposed site would be easy to develop and we anticipate no difficulty in keeping it manned. It has very fine visibility within the ten mile radius and it would not be in the fog nearly as much as Saddle Mountain is. Early consideration and approval to make this change is requested so the work can be done before the fall storms begin. We are holding up packing in supplies and fuel by pack horse to the present post until a reply is received." (Letter to the C.O., Portland Air Region from James Frankland, Asst Regional Forester)
September 3, 1949: "A 21-year-old immigrant from Yorkshire, England, is the highest man in Clatsop county. He is Stephen Kronenberg, an Oregon State college geology student, who is spending the summer in a fire lookout tower atop the 3,283 foot peak of Saddle mountain. Stephen, who gets down from his perch only about once every two weeks, can hardly wait for college to open again. It gets tiresome having no one to talk to but the clouds." (Baker Democrat-Herald)
January 25, 1953: "State Foresters in the northwest Oregon district will stage an 'operation airlift' this coming summer in construction of a new lookout station on top of Saddle mountain in north Clatsop county. Under the plan being considered, a helicopter will fly building materials to the top of the 3300-foot jagged peak in the state park. Base of operations will be at about the 2000-foot level. The new building will replace the present frame structure which is described as literally 'falling apart' from age. Edward Schroeder, northwest district warden, explains that the last quarter mile to the top of the peak consists of some three miles of narrow foot trail. It would be impossible to pack the building material to the top using mules or horses. Top of the peak is an area about 30 by 50 feet, Schroeder said. Foresters will first raze the old building to give the helicopter room to land. The building will be about 14 feet square, consisting of aluminum roof and siding, with pumice block foundation. Dean Johnson of McMinnville, who has been planting Tillamook burn forest by helicopter, assures the foresters the job can be done in this manner." (The Sunday Oregonian)
May 7, 1953: "The Oregon State Forestry department needs a new lookout station on top of Saddle mountain but the last three miles of a foot path are too steep and narrow for building materials to be packed up by mule or horse. So a helicopter will be called in to carry supplies to the top of the jagged 3,300-foot peak." (Covina Argus Citizen)
July 3, 1953: "Next we may be hearing of logging by helicopter. The Oregon state forestry department will build a lookout station next month atop North Saddle Butte in Clatsop county and will use a helicopter to bring in the building material and furnishings as there is only a narrow trail up the steep bluff." (Clatskanie Chief)
July 24, 1953: "State forestry officials said a helicopter airlift of building material to the4 summit of 3283-foot Saddle mountain was expected to be completed Thursday. The airlift began Monday. Dean Johnson, McMinnville, who has the contract, said it was the trickiest helicopter job he had ever handled, owing to the wind currents about the mountain. The helicopter was taking 250 pounds of material at a time from the foot of the mountain to the summit, a vertical distance of 1600 feet, and landing the material in a 10-by-15-foot clearing at the top. A total of 21,500 pounds was to be lifted, at 11 cents a pound. William Holtsclaw, district fire warden, said use of a helicopter was the cheapest means that could be found to get the building material to the site, where a new lookout station will be put up. He said it would cost $4000 to $5000 to put the trail into condition for pack trains. The new cabin was prefabricated at the Jewell fire fighting headquarters, disassembled and trucked to the mountain's foot. The 14-by-14-foot building will be of frame and concrete block construction." (The Oregonian)
1953: A 14x14 cinder block ground house with flat roof was constructed. Materials were airlifted by helicopter from the parking lot at the base of the mountain. The airlift was performed by a small open cockpit one seater. 85 flights over a one week period were required to move all the supplies to the summit. The pilot, Dean Johnson, was a pioneer in this type of work. The total cost of the new lookout was $4500.00. If pack animals were used to move the materials the cost would have been closer to $10,000.00.
1955: Painted the lookout cab inside and out, replaced four window panes and raised the spring level.
1956: Repaired a hole in the roof. Replaced three window panes and three shutters.
November 26, 1961: "Mrs. Wick was born and reared in the Clatsop County woods. Her father Gus Adolph had a farm near Saddle Mountain and also did logging there. He built the first fire lookout on top of that 3,000-foot peak many years ago, getting the lumber up there on horseback." (The Sunday Oregonian)