c.1931: A 60-foot round native pole tower with an L-6 cab constructed. Also a log living quarters cabin built.
1958: The lookout structure destroyed.
Clearwater National Forest - 35N-7E-13
1981: "The point was first manned in 1933 with the lookout quartered in a tent camp. The point was manned each season thereafter until 1951. In 1934, Rufus Robinson with unknown helpers, under the direction of District Ranger Roy Lewis, built a 20' high log tower with an L-4 cabin. Construction cost was $488.00. The tower was left in place until 1954 and was condemned and burned after all above ground lightning protection material was salvaged." (Louis Hartig, 'Historic Facilities of the Lochsa Ranger District' - 1981)
Nez Perce National Forest - 27N-6E-29
1937: A camp established.
1941: The camp abandoned.
Payette National Forest - 23N-2E-2
BOX CAR MOUNTAIN
Nez Perce National Forest - 30N-12E-21
1928: A camp established.
1939: The camp dismantled.
BRUSH HILL TREES
Clearwater National Forest - 34N-7E-21
Nez Perce National Forest - 26N-6E-3
Payette National Forest - 23N-7E-21
Payette National Forest - 25N-10E-31
1936 - R-4 History Collection, Ogden
1933: 15-foot pole tower with L-4 cab.
Nez Perce - Bitterroot National Forest - 27N-12E-5
BURNT STRIP MOUNTAIN
Bitterroot National Forest - 29N-15E-19
Nez Perce National Forest - 26N-8E-17
c.1930: A log cabin built.
1940: The site abandoned.
BUTTS CREEK POINT
Salmon National Forest - 23N-14E-4
Clearwater National Forest - 35N-12E-32
1981: "This point was manned only during the summer of 1939 with the lookout living in a tent camp. To get a better view of the surrounding terrain, a platform was rigged about 25 feet off the ground in a green tree with the tree top projected through it. There was no map-stand on the platform. For communication, two miles of number nine, galvanized iron wire was strung up a ridge from the Fish Lake-McConnell Mountain telephone line and hooked to an iron telephone hung on a tree by the tent." (Louis Hartig, 'Historic Facilities of the Lochsa Ranger District' - 1981)
Clearwater National Forest - 34N-9E-11
Payette National Forest - 24N-4E-24
Clearwater National Forest - 36N-10E-28
August 16, 2011 - Ron Kemnow photo
1981: "The point was first occupied as a full time seasonal lookout in 1914 when Middlefork District Ranger Joseph McGhee sent Wolford Renshaw and his brother Hubert, with their horses and camp outfit, from Number one R.S. to man the peak as lookout and smokechaser. In 1915 Castle Butte smokechasers Wolford Renshaw and Shelton McPherson cut and peeled logs for cabin sills at Castle. In 1916 the lumber stored at Bald Mtn. was packed over and a cabin was built on the rock capped peak. Though crude by later standards, this was the first observatory on the Fish Lake District and it did have windows on all sides so employees dubbed it "The House of Glass". The cabin was in use until 1929 when it was replaced by the more up-to-date L-3 log lookout cabin with a cupola for the firefinder and observer. Harry Chenoweth and Russell Stadtman dismantled the "House of Glass" in 1929 and in its stead built a new L-3 type cabin. The L-3 was designed with a lower room about twelve feet square which was used for living quarters. The fire-finder was housed in a five or six foot square, glass-enclosed observatory that projected through the roof. The lower walls of this cabin were built of logs cut a year earlier; gable ends, roof and cupola were built of lumber covered with shingles or shakes. The cabin was used each summer until 1950 when it was replaced by an L-4 type structure. In August of 1950, Howard Beebe, a carpenter from Weippe, with guard Bill O'Brien and one or two other helpers began work on the new lookout cabin. It was erected on a 7' high understory of the stone that is so abundant on the peak. The cabin was one of the several that had been pre-cut at the Pierce carpenter shop during the previous winter. To make the building more sturdy, all lumber, including catwalk railings, were cut full length. There was no splicing as in some of the earlier pack-in-type cabins. It was built along side the old cabin which was used as crew quarters until the new one was ready for occupancy. Construction cost was $1711.00. Logs salvaged from the old cabin were, over a period of years, sawed up for wood to stoke the lookout's cook stove. Some time around 1970 the lookout was abandoned." (Louis Hartig, 'Historic Facilities of the Lochsa Ranger District' - 1981)
1953: 41-foot treated timber tower with an L-4 cab.
Payette National Forest - 24N-6E-32
1934: 72-foot steel tower.
Private - 30N-3W-23
1929: log cabin with roof platform.
Idaho Department of Lands 32N-1W-33
Payette National Forest - 23N-14E-31
Nez Perce National Forest - 31N-5E-2
c.1933: 30-foot tower with L-4 cab.
CROFOOT POINT (PATROL LO)
Nez Perce National Forest
Nez Perce National Forest - 25N-6E-26
Bitterroot National Forest - 31N-14E-25
Nez Perce National Forest - 27N-3E-17
1927: 75-foot crow's-nest
1945: 45-foot pole tower with L-4 cab
Clearwater National Forest - 36N-17E-9
1934: 30-foot pole tower with L-4 cab.
DEAD ELK POINT
Nez Perce National Forest - 34N-15E-25
Bitterroot National Forest - 26N-12E-26
Nez Perce National Forest - 30N-9E-26
c.1933: tower with L-4 cab.
Clearwater National Forest - 34N-15E-7
Nez Perce National Forest - 30N-10E-26
1935: 30-foot tower with L-4 cab
Clearwater National Forest - 34N-11E-36
1981: "Doe Point was an overload or emergency lookout. Each Ranger District had a number of such lookouts in the fire plan as determined by elapsed travel time, fuel types and seen area. The points were to be manned when fire danger reached a predetermined critical stage. Actual manning was usually left to the discretion of the District Ranger. Evidently it was expected that Doe Point would be manned rather frequently as a telephone line was extended there from Rhoda Point in 1938 or '39. As it turned out the point was manned only one or two seasons between 1938 and '41, and then abandoned. Since the lookout man stayed in a tent camp there was not much to abandon." (Louis Hartig, 'Historic Facilities of the Lochsa Ranger District' - 1981)
Nez Perce National Forest - 32N-13E-22
1937: log cabin
Nez Perce National Forest - 27N-5E-17
DOUBLE CREEK RIDGE
Nez Perce National Forest - 33N-13E-2
Nez Perce National Forest - 24N-2W-33
Clearwater National Forest - 33N-7E-2
1981: "The date of construction of this tower has not been determined. The structure consisted of an L-4 cabin on a 20-foot-high log tower built at a cost of $1113.00. It is also not known when the place was last manned. It was not manned in 1956. The tower and cabin were burned in 1963." (Louis Hartig, 'Historic Facilities of the Lochsa Ranger District' - 1981)
EAGLE CREEK POINT
National Forest - 29N-13E-8
Clearwater National Forest - 35N-11E-32
1981: "1915 was the first year that Eagle Mtn. was manned as a regular season lookout. Sometime in July, Sam Weholt and Al Peterson were set up for business in a tent camp near the observation point. At Eagle Mtn. the two men installed a post in the rocks on top of the peak on which they mounted their Koch baseboard and map. Communication with Castle Butte was established sometime in August. The telephone line was number nine galvanized iron wire from Castle Butte to the Lochsa River and emergency wire from there to Eagle. As far as is known, this lookout was manned each season, using tent quarters, until 1920. Since there were no improvements at the point, abandonment consisted of loading the camp on a pack string and pulling out. The Mountain was again used in 1922 when smokechaser Jess Mosher, camped at End Butte and made scheduled foot patrols out to Eagle Mtn. to scan the country for smoke from this vantage point." (Louis Hartig, 'Historic Facilities of the Lochsa Ranger District' - 1981)
July 12, 1958: "Two men waiting in the woods with a damaged helicopter will have to spend another day there because the parts needed to repair the craft didn't arrive in Missoula Friday in time to be shipped to them. The helicopter was disabled Wednesday in landing at Elkhorn Point lookout in the Selway-Bitterroot primitive area north of the Salmon River breaks in Idaho. The trip to them will be made Saturday with another helicopter carrying blades for the rear rotor and a rotor shaft along with a mechanic. The two men are Stan Greenup, a Bitterroot National Forest Employe, and Fred Gerlach of Missoula, pilot who flew Greenup to the lookout to prepare it for summer use." (Billings Gazette)
1959: R-6 cab atop a 10-foot concrete base.
Nez Perce National Forest - 34N-11E-8
1922: Established as an observation point with a tent camp.
1939: A ten-foot log tower with a L-4 cab was erected.
1955 or 6: Lookout was condemned and burned.
1981: "End Butte was first used as an observation point in 1922 when Fish Lake District Ranger Al Kolmorgan set a tent camp in a little meadow at the head of Wounded Doe Creek about 3/4 mile from the top of the Butte. Scheduled patrols were made to End Butte and out the ridge to Eagle Mtn. Telephone communication with Boulder Creek R.S. via an emergency wire line tied into the emergency line which at that time connected Stanley Butte to the iron wire line at Fish Lake Saddle. End Butte was not manned again until 13 years later. During the 1935 season a lookout with tent quarters was placed near the top of the Butte and a galvanized iron wire telephone line was built in from Fish Lake Saddle. The tent camp was used each summer through 1939, when at a cost of $1224.00, Ranger Hans Roeffler had material packed in and built an L-4 lookout cabin on a 10' log tower in the rocks on the top of the peak. The tower was manned seasonally through 1952, at which time aerial detection made the structure obsolete. It was condemned and burned in 1955 or 1956." (Louis Hartig, 'Historic Facilities of the Lochsa Ranger District' - 1981)
FALL CREEK POINT
Nez Perce National Forest - 29N-6E-25
c.1930: Two-story log cabin with cupola.
Nez Perce National Forest - 31N-9E-9
c.1933: L-4 cab
Bitterroot National Forest - 24N-13E-10
FIRE CREEK POINT
Clearwater National Forest - 33N-9E-29
Bitterroot National Forest - 29N-13E-35
Clearwater National Forest - 35N-8E-36
1981: The first seasonal lookout at this point was a cedar bark shelter located about 3/4 mile northwest of the observation point. Several years earlier the Butte was used as a patrol lookout and a post was set at the summit for the map-board. In 1919 the lookouts set up their tent camp a short distance below the observation point. In the beginning a heliograph was used as communications with Coolwater Lookout. A telephone line was completed that summer and connected Fish Butte to Kooskia. "In 1921 and '22 a log cabin about 14'x16' in size was built on a little bench about 150' NW from the top of the peak. The log cabin served as lookout quarters until 1930. In 1930 enough of the granite boulders on top of the butte were blasted off to provide a flat place for a cabin. On the flattened area, District carpenter Earnest Hartman and Fish Butte lookout Lloyd McHone erected the 14-foot square, 8-foot-high log base. Atop the base they assembled the 14 x 14 pre-cut, glass enclosed combination observatory and living quarters from material that had been packed to the point by mule train. Construction cost was $471.00. There was no catwalk around the outside to raise shutters and secure the shutter braces, working on a rickety pole stepladder, a man working alone had to be both an acrobat and a daredevil. This cabin was manned through the 1953 season, then dismantled after a new cabin was completed. Logs were saved for wood stove and the remaining debris was burned." In 1953 a steep, narrow road was built from Fish Butte Saddle to the lookout to help facilitate the moving of materials for the new lookout. "Dynamite was used to flatten more of the rock along side the old cabin, on this site the new structure was built. It had a concrete floor and an eight foot high understory of concrete blocks on which the modified L-4 lookout cabin was put together. All the lumber was cut to full length for a sturdier building. Total cost of material and construction was $2531.00. The lookout was last used in the late 1960's or early 1970's and then abandoned." (Louis Hartig, 'Historic Facilities of the Lochsa Ranger District' - 1981)
Nez Perce National Forest - 29N-3E-15
1931: 75-foot steel tower
Nez Perce National Forest - 32N-10E-20
FREE USE POINT
Nez Perce National Forest - 28N-2E-24
1931: 20-foot pole tower with L-4 cab.
Nez Perce National Forest - 32N-13E-1
Clearwater National Forest - 34N-7E-2
1933: 50-foot tower with L-4 cab.
1981: "In 1933 Earnest Hartman and Richard Stadtman built an L-4 cabin on a 50' tower at a cost of $915. The structure was used seasonally until the late 1940's or early 1950's, then dropped from the fire plan. By 1960 the stairway had become hazardous to climb so the tower was tumbled to the ground and burned after lightning protection fixtures has been salvaged. A garage built at the lookout in 1936 was burned in about 1958." (Louis Hartig, 'Historic Facilities of the Lochsa Ranger District' - 1981)
Clearwater Timber Protective Association - 33N-5E-2
Nez Perce National Forest - 31N-7E-9
Clearwater National Forest - 35N-10E-28
1931: A 30-foot round timber tower with a L-4 cab was built.
1954: The tower was cut down and later burned.
1981: "The point was manned for the first time in 1931 and that same year Earnest Hartman and Harry Chenoweth were moved to Gold Hill under the direction of Ranger Fred Shaner and there they built a 30' high log tower on top of which they assembled a pre-cut L-4 lookout cabin. Material for the cabin was packed in from roads end at Bimerick Creek by mule train and as in all cases of offroad tower construction, sand, gravel and cement for the concrete piers on which the four tower legs were to set and anchored, was also moved in by pack string. Sand and gravel were available on the Lochsa River, near the station. When the tower and cabin were completed, the lookout man moved in and, with very few exceptions, the point was manned each season until 1951. In 1954 Assistant Ranger Charles Smith sawed two legs off the tower and dumped it on the ground where it was later burned. Only the completely barren hill on which the tower was located saved it from being burned in the 1934 fire." (Louis Hartig. 'Historic Facilities of the Lochsa Ranger District' - 1981)
Clearwater National Forest - 35N-11E-16
1981: "In 1937 lookout-fireman Lester Felton was set up for business in a tent camp at the Gold Meadows observation point on the ridge top. Trail #206 passed right by his camp, as did the telephone line. Les with a helper built a small log cabin at the point. It was about 8' x 10' in size and when finished was used for sleeping quarters and supply storage, cooking was done in the tent set up in front of the cabin. The set up at this location didn't last long. It may have been manned one more year, but by 1939 the observer had been moved to Sponge Mtn. about two miles to the south but still on Trail #206."(Louis Hartig, 'Historic Facilities of the Lochsa Ranger District' - 1981)
GOOSE CREEK POINT (PATROL LO)
Nez Perce National Forest
Nez Perce National Forest - 29N-11E-10
Payette National Forest - 24N-12E-26
1920's: tent camp
1934: L-4 cab
Clearwater National Forest - 36N-11E-17
1981: "The butte was first used as a seasonal detection point in 1928 when Ranger Ralph Hand set up a tent camp on the south side of the peak perhaps 1/4 mile from the top. Construction of an L-3 lookout cabin began in 1929. Before the cabin was finished, the Bald Mtn. fire blew up and endangered the lookout. The crew was ordered to evacuate the camp, but before leaving they built a trench around the area and burned out the inside. Everything inside the trench was saved. By 1930, Ranger Fred Shaner had taken over the District. He sent Earnest Hartman and Harry Chenoweth in to finish the cabin that summer. In time, the lookout man added a shake covered woodshed, a root cellar and the usual Chic Sales (outhouse) to complete the complex. Grave Butte was last manned in 1940, but it was 1954 before the buildings were condemned and the packer went in to rescue usable items before Bill O'Brien went in to do the torch job." (Louis Hartig, 'Historic Facilities of the Lochsa Ranger District' - 1981)
Nez Perce National Forest - 30N-11E-3
Clearwater National Forest - 35N-15E-8
December 24, 1921: "Several new lookout towers have been erected on commanding mountain tops in the Missoula national forest this fall. Spectacular packing feats were necessary to get supplies to Graves and Wylies peaks, two of the most inaccessible points at which lookouts have been established. Unable to secure logs in the vicinity, the forest service purchased two portable structures. These were packed to the peaks, a distance of 50 to 75 miles. Animals were used over a greater part of the distance, but man power was required to complete the job. The material in each structure weighed three and a quarter tons. Sections were from two feet to twelve feet in length." (The Ogden Standard-Examiner)
1934: A 30-foot round timber tower with a L-4 cab was erected.
August 1934: The lookout was destroyed in the Pete King fire. The site was not used again.
1981: Grouse Point was manned for the first time in 1933 when a tent camp was set up with Russell Stadtman as lookout man. Slim Tunstill was sent up as carpenter foreman to build a 30' log tower and L-4 cabin. Stadtman and two other men helped with construction which was completed that year. In 1934, the tower was manned for the first and last time. In August of 1934 fire burned it to the ground. The point was never manned again." (Louis Hartig, 'Historic Facilities of the Lochsa Ranger District' - 1981)
1930 - Powell Ranger District collection (lookout under construction)
1927: 16x16 shake cabin
1930: A L-4 cabin was constructed atop six foot high log cribbing.
1961: R-6 cab atop a 10-foot concrete base.
Clearwater National Forest - 33N-6E-13
Nez Perce National Forest - 33N-11E-23
Nez Perce National Forest - 31N-11E-18
1932: 35-foot platform tower with a two-story log cabin.
National Forest - 22N-2W-3
1929: log cabin
1931: 30-foot pole tower with 7x7 cab
Nez Perce National Forest - 31N-9E-34
1938: 30-foot tower with L-4 cab.
National Forest - 32N-14E-8
Nez Perce National Forest - 32N-7E-20
1933: 30-foot tower with L-4 cab.
HOT SPRINGS POINT
Clearwater National Forest - 36N-13E-9
HUNGRY CREEK POINT
Payette National Forest - 23N-13E-9
Clearwater National Forest
Clearwater National Forest - 33N-8E-31
1930: 35-foot platform
1932: L-4 cab on a log crib.
1934: The lookout was destroyed in the Pete King fire.
Clearwater National Forest - 37N-10E-36
1981: An L-4 cabin was constructed on a 50-foot tower in 1955 by the Lolo National Forest at a cost of $4234.00, this replaced an earlier structure (erected sometime prior to 1939). For an unexplained reason the tower was transferred from the Powell District of the Lolo National Forest to the Lochsa District sometime after 1956. In 1963 the Powell Ranger District was transferred to the Clearwater National Forest from the Lolo National Forest and the lookout was given back to the Powell District, near this time the tower was condemned and burned. (Louis Hartig, 'Historic Facilities of the Lochsa Ranger District' - 1981)
Nez Perce National Forest - 31N-10E-29
INDIAN POST OFFICE
Clearwater National Forest - 37N-12E-19
1922 - Public Domain image
1932 - Powell Ranger District collection
INDIAN RIDGE (PETTIBONE)
Nez Perce national Forest - 31N-14E-6
Nez Perce National Forest - 30N-7E-20
1919 - G.V. Ring photo, U.S. Forest Service
1923: log cabin
Nez Perce National Forest - 27N-9E-31
1931: 90-foot steel tower.
1953: 100-foot steel tower
Clearwater National Forest - 36N-15E-5
JEANETTE (PATROL LO)
Clearwater National Forest
Clearwater National Forest 36N-12E-3
Nez Perce National Forest - 25N-7E-23
1931: log cabin with cupola
1953: 41-foot treated timber tower with L-4 cab.
1992: Burned in wildfire.
September 13, 1992: "In reference to Sandra Lee's 'Up Front' in the Sept. 2 issue of the Lewiston Morning Tribune, the Jersey Mountain lookout cabin was built in 1934 by Howard Higgins, who later became ranger of the Dixie District on the Nez Perce National Forest. The lookout cabin sat well above the timberline on the rocky knoll of Jersey Mountain. The tower was not constructed until the late 1950s because the trees began to grow up the slope of the mountain making the cabin and its lookout cupola ineffective. My husband, Dr. Fred Brown, was employed by the Dixie Ranger District during the summers of 1942, '46, '47, '48 and '49 on trail and telephone maintenance and as lookout on Jersey Mountain. I joined him there for the summers of 1948 and '49 after we were married. The road was built to the lookout in the spring of 1949. Prior to that time supplies were packed in by pack string and water backpacked a little over a half mile from a spring south of the lookout. All of us who treasure memories of Jersey Mountain Lookout were saddened by the loss of this historic facility. LOLITA BROWN" (Lewiston Morning Tribune)
JOHN DAY MOUNTAIN
Nez Perce National Forest - 25N-2E-5
Nez Perce National Forest - 28N-3E-27
Nez Perce National Forest - 24N-3E-17
1930: 100-foot tree platform
1938: 40-foot pole tower with L-4 cab.
LAKE CREEK POINT
Payette National Forest - 26N-7E-27
LAKE CREEK POINT
Payette National Forest - 23N-2E-18
1933: L-4 cab
Bitterroot National Forest - 27N-14E-33
Payette National Forest - 24N-9E-7
1930's: 20-foot platform
LICK CREEK POINT
Payette National Forest - 30N-8E-9
Nez Perce National Forest - 30N-6E-15
c.1930: 30-foot tower with L-4 cab
Clearwater National Forest - 36N-9E-21
tower site - August 16, 2011 - Ron Kemnow photo
LQ - August 16, 2011 - Ron Kemnow photo
National Forest - 33N-11E-5
Clearwater National Forest - 34N-9E-4
1930: A 65-foot tree crow's-nest was established.
1931: A L-4 cab was erected atop a 8-foot high log crib.
1941: The final year the lookout was staffed.
early 1950's: Materials were salvaged and then the structure burned.
1981: "In 1930, Russell Stadtman with two or three men built the last mile of trail to Lochsa Peak and then built a trail to a water supply for the lookout. They cut the top out of a fir tree at 65' from the ground and built an open observatory at the top, complete with railing and mapboard. Earnest Hartman and Harry Chenoweth soon moved in and with Stadtman's help built an L-4 cabin on an 8' high log understory. The cabin like some others of that time had no catwalk around it making for the usual difficulty in raising and lowering shutters. The point was manned each season from 1930 to 1941, then abandoned. Material were salvaged and the lookout burned sometime in the early 1950's." (Louis Hartig, 'Historic Facilities of the Lochsa Ranger District' - 1981)
Nez Perce National Forest - 32N-6E-14
1933: 20-foot tower with L-4 cab.
Bitterroot National Forest - 27N-13E-7
Nez Perce National Forest - 33N-12E-9
National Forest - 35N-6E-10
Clearwater National Forest - 35N-9E-36
Nez Perce National Forest - 32N-12E-30
LONG LAKE RIDGE(PATROL LO)
Clearwater National Forest
Nez Perce National Forest - 31N-15E-9
Nez Perce National Forest - 31N-6E-12
1925: log cabin
1935: 50-foot tower with L-4 cab.
1955: 53-foot treated timber tower with R-6 cab.
Purple color text = "Fire Lookouts of the Northwest" (Lookout Inventory Revised 2012) by Ray Kresek