March 10, 1931: " C. E. “Slim” Hein was given charge of a small crew, in the spring, to build a telephone line from Cabin Lake Ranger Station to the summit of Spring Butte. After constructing another line on the forest, he was given a tent, cook stove and fire-finder and sent to Spring Butte for the summer. His first job after setting up the fire-finder was to fall all the trees that interfered with the view of the surrounding country." (The Bend Bulletin)
1931: The allocation of funds for road building was announced in May. A portion of this money will be used to construct a road from the Spring Butte road to the Spring Butte lookout station.
August 13, 1932: " Work on a 30-foot wooden tower on which a lookout house is to be erected at the top of Spring Butte, in the Fort Rock country, will be completed tonight." (The Bend Bulletin)
1932: " Slim Hein along with Mart Baty and Willie Watkins built the new 32-foot lookout tower and 14x14 L-4 Hip-roofed cab." (The Bend Bulletin March 10, 1970)
1932: The 28-foot round timber tower and 14x14 L-4 cab cost a total of $1,019.28 to erect.
June 22, 1933: Panorama photos were taken by Robert Cooper and James Rittenhouse.
May 27, 1936: " One bolt struck very near the Spring Butte lookout, where C. E. Hein, Paulina district central platting agent, was temporarily on duty. The bolt started a fire in the timber, but Hein had little difficulty in checking the blaze." (The Bend Bulletin)
1936: In June, hazard sticks, balanced scales and wind recording instruments were installed.
1940: The lookout was operated by the Walker Range Patrol. Staffed for 180 days and reported to LaPine by telephone.
July 27, 1950: " A spot fire in the south Paulina country, west of Paulina peak, was extinguished yesterday by Gene Roberts, lookout on Spring Butte, and Dave Adrian, proprietor of a sports goods store at Lapine. The fire caused by a lightning strike, had apparently smoldered unnoticed since an electrical storm last Sunday, the forest service reported. The Paulina peak lookout was unable to see the fire because it was almost directly underneath the high tower. The smoke was reported by other lookouts in the area, however." (The Bend Bulletin)
1955: The tower was rebuilt using Tamarack logs for the legs.
1974: Catwalk was replaced.
1990: The lookout was determined unsafe and was closed until further notice.
1991: In September the lookout was dismantled and parts were inventoried and stored for future use. A visual inspection showed that the condition of the structure was worse than the engineering report indicated.
1991: " A new lookout tower was constructed by Keeton and King of Sisters, Oregon, General Contractors. The tower was constructed of four pressure treated round Douglas fir poles, forty feet long. The octagon-shaped lookout cabin was constructed on the ground and lifted into place on December 18th, by two cranes from Nick’s Crane Company, of Bend." (Sun)
December 4 and 16, 1997: " Vandals broke into the lookout in late November and caused an estimated $10,000 in damages. The fire-finder was torn out and thrown from the forty foot tower. Other furniture including a fold-out bed were treated the same. A window was broken, drawers, maps and office equipment were damaged and scattered about the cabin. The stove and refrigerator were also damaged. The Forest Service offered a $5,000 reward, and a private citizen pitched in another $1,000, for information leading to the arrest of the person or persons responsible." (The Bend Bulletin)
The NGS Data Sheet
DESCRIBED BY US FOREST SERVICE 1934 POSITION IS CENTER OF U.S.F.S. 40-FOOT WOOD TOWER WITH LOOKOUT HOUSE ON SUMMIT OF SPRING BUTTE, ELEVATION 5455 FEET. FOR DESCRIPTION OF LOCALITY SEE DESCRIPTION OF SPRING BUTTE. TOWER BUILT IN 1932. STATION SPRING BUTTE IS 8.50 METERS (27.9 FEET) N OF CENTER OF TOWER N 00 DEG 45 MIN E, (PROVISIONAL). INTERSECTED AND MEASURED.
STATION RECOVERY (1953)
RECOVERY NOTE BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1953 (HSC) THE STATION IS THE APEX OF THE LOOKOUT TOWER ON THE SUMMIT OF SPRING BUTTE ABOUT 9 MILES SOUTHEAST OF LAPINE.
THE TOWER IS A WOODEN STRUCTURE ABOUT 40 FEET HIGH WITH A STANDARD OBSERVATION CAB ON TOP. IT WAS ERECTED IN 1932 BY THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE. THE CENTER OF THE TOWER IS 8.60 METERS SOUTH OF TRIANGULATION STATION SPRING BUTTE.
INQUIRE AT THE SILVER LAKE RANGER STATION AS TO THE BEST METHOD TO REACH THE STATION.