EL DORADO COUNTY
no date - USFS, thanks to Rex Kamstra
no date - USFS, thanks to Rex Kamstra
September 12, 2000: "A U.S. Forest Service employee jumped to his death from the top of a fire lookout near Sand Flat campground Tuesday afternoon, said Lt. Dennis Small of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department.
James Welsh, 51, of Georgetown, jumped from the 80-foot Alder Ridge Lookout, located near here, despite attempts by sheriff's deputies to talk him out of it.
Coworkers became suspicious Tuesday morning when Welsh failed to report in at the beginning of his shift. Two USFS officials later went to the lookout to check on him but found him despondent and threatening suicide, said Frank Mosbacher of the USFS.
Two hours passed as the coworkers tried to talk Welsh down. They later notified the Sheriff's Department, and deputies arrived on scene. The deputies tried to negotiate with him, but he did not respond, said Small.
Just after 4 p.m., Welsh apparently dove head-first onto the rocks below and was pronounced dead at the scene." (Mountain Democrat)
#1- June 2010 - Ron Kemnow photo
#2 behind garage - June 2010 - Ron Kemnow photo
April 9, 1921: "A report comes from Mills Waterhouse of Angora Lookout who is stationed at the Pacific Ranger Station headquarters this winter to the effect that the new trap that Ranger Morris set in his station has proven more than successful as Waterhouse made a trip over his trap line and found that this trap had caught a stray hobo. Ranger Morris is to be complimented upon his choise of bait. E.F.S. - Eldorado --" (California District News Letter)
December 12, 1924: "At the most important fire lookout station in Lake Valley, Angora Lookout above Fallen Leaf Lake, 75 guests registered one day in July.
These people come from all parts of the United States and practically all of them were given fire prevention literature, route maps and other publicity matter." (Mountain Democrat)
August 20, 1925: "Lookout Waterhouse located on Angora Lookout in Lake Valley reports a registration of 606 persons at his lookout for the month of July. He states that about 15 percent of the visitors did not register, and that the largest previous registration for a month at this point was 488. Who said the life of a Forest lookout was lonely?" (California District News Letter)
August 28, 1931: "Clisby Loomis, forest service lookout at Angora, and a trail crew extinguished a forest fire in Desolation Valley this week." (The Mountain Democrat)
August 27, 1936: "Hardly believable is the report of the number of visitors during the month of July at Angora Fire Lookout, on Eldorado Forest.
Situated on the moraine in Lake Valley District, which separates Fallen Leaf Lake from Lake Valley, the lookout is well off the beaten path and the figures given indicate the Mr. and Mrs. John Public are prepared to leave beaten paths in their search for scenic beauty.
The report shows that during the month 900 persons registered at the lookout. There were 1,225 automobiles passed the lookout and these carried 3,405 persons. Three hundred four saddle horses also passed the lookout during the month.
The road to the lookout, from Meyers, takes off the main highway about a mile north of Meyers and passes Celio's sawmill. It is well signed. Beyond the lookout is a parking area from which visitors may hike three-quarters of a mile to Angora Lakes, a scenic beauty spot which many find well worth the trip." (The Mountain Democrat)
September 17, 1936: "The report on travel past Angora Lookout, on the moraine overlooking Fallen Leaf Lake in the Lake Valley District on the Eldorado Forest, shows 3,500 visitors in 1,224 automobiles. In addition, there were 238 horses passed the station. The report, filed by Ranger Raliegh Bryan, shows that 680 of the visitors registered at the lookout station." (The Mountain Democrat)
August 12, 1965: "Severe lightning storms --- a total of 15 fires surrounding Lake Tahoe during the last 24 hours, a check of U.S. Forest Service installations revealed late Wednesday.
In addition to the fires, the lightning scored "two direct hits" on the Angora Lookout tower above Tahoe's west shore. But no one was injured, nor was the steel tower damaged." (Nevada State Journal)
no date - Eldorado National Forest Collection
LQ - n/d - Eldorado National Forest Collection
June 2, 1938: "The annual forest fire guard school, which opened Tuesday of last week at Armstrong Lookout, on the Alpine highway, closed Thursday evening. Ranger George B. Young, of Lumberyard District, was in charge." (The Mountain Democrat)
no date - Eldorado National Forest Collection
no date - Eldorado National Forest Collection
May 18, 1912: "Many improvements in the forest range service are reported by Supervisor Evan R, Kelley, although the appropriation set aside for forest protection is much less than was estimated as necessary for the ensuing year, and some of the work contemplated cannot be carried out at once. Eighteen camping places have been prepared along the State Highway, fitted up with tables, benches, and fireplaces, which will be free to the public, and in a great measure, do away with the danger from fires left by careless campers. The fire line along Peavine to protect the timber in that section, about five miles in length, is finished, and a steel lookout tower, 60 feet in height, has been ordered for Bald Mountain, where a man will be stationed during the season. This will be connected by telephone with the various forest range stations, and with the office in this city. R. Bryan, H. Nelson, F.R. Kelley, and E.E. Benny have been appointed fire guards in the service, to be stationed at Pacific, Silver Creek, Georgetown and Bald Mountain districts." (Mountain Democrat)
September 20, 1913: "Word was received at Forest Service headquarters Tuesday from their lookout on Bald Mountain, that a serious forest fire was raging on the ridge above Georgetown. It was successfully handled by the S.P. Company, under Warden Chas. Jerrett." (Mountain Democrat)
Teams are now engaged at hauling cement and sand to the site from which the concrete abutments of the new tower will be made. As soon as the structural material reaches the ground, Harold Melson, one of the chief improvement men of the El Dorado National Forest, will take charge of the crew in assembling it." (Mountain Democrat)
July 10, 1915: "Harold Melson returned to Placerville Tuesday from the U.S. Forest Service Station at Bald Mt., where he has had charge of a crew of men employed at erecting a new steel lookout tower at that place. The tower is of the latest model, and is designed to withstand extraordinary wind strain." (Mountain Democrat)
July 10, 1915: "A.W. Hughes, who has been engaged with the Forest Service at carpenter work within the Pacific District, has returned to Bald Mt. Lookout Station, where he will be employed as a primary fire lookout man during the ensuing season." (Mountain Democrat)
September 11, 1915: "A fire started Monday afternoon at the Wm. Hall place on the Volcanoville Ridge, above Georgetown, which was under fair way to become a most damaging conflagration if the Forest officers had been less prompt in reaching it. The blaze started in a heavy growth of pine reproduction under which pine needles for ten or more years past had collected to a depth of 8 or 9 inches. Bald Mt. lookout discovered the fire and notified Chief fireman Milton D. Norris and Forest Fireman Henry Irish at the Georgetown Ranger Station, who rode to it, a distance of about eight miles, with all the speed their saddle horses were capable of traveling, reaching it in time to put it under control before it had spread over more than an acre and one-half." (Mountain Democrat)
September 22, 1917: "Archie Hughes was down from the Bald Mountain lookout station this week." (Mountain Democrat)
March 31, 1923: "The forest service is building a new house at the Bald Mountain lookout station. Rangers Archie Hughes and Raliegh Bryon of Placerville and Rangers R.C.M. Berriman and Bert Young of the Georgetown station are the carpenters and we understand the camp cook is no other than our forest supervisor, Edwin F, Smith." (Mountain Democrat)
May 12, 1923: "Supervisor Morgan has a 2-horse grader on the Tunnel Hill road and the forest service is improving the road in to Bald Mountain. A crew of four men are fixing up the road between Georgetown and the ranger station, so the mountain road will soon be in first-class condition." (Mountain Democrat)
June 19, 1925: "Forest Supervisor Edwin F. Smith left this morning for Bald Mt. Lookout to have charge of a training course for guards on the El Dorado National Forest. All phases of fire prevention work will be taken up and discussed in an informal meeting which is to last two days, June 18 and 19.
Bald Mt. Lookout station is situated on the Georgetown district in the El Dorado National Forest, at which place the Forest Service have erected a 60 foot tower in which the lookout must be stationed during all periods of fire danger, on the lookout for fires. This station on a high mountain and with the aid of a tower, practically all the Georgetown and Pacific districts can be covered and fires detected. Demonstrations on location of fires, methods of suppression, etc., will be given all short-term men, especially all new men going on duty this year." (Mountain Democrat)
June 4, 1926: "This is the second annual meeting of this kind that has been held on this forest and is for the purpose of instructing the men, particularly the summer protection force in regard to their duties and to make better cooperation of the entire field force in the prevention and suppression of forest fires within the Eldorado National Forest.
This meeting is being held on Bald Mt. Lookout Station in the Georgetown district, for the reason that this is the most important station on the Forest. The Forest Service have a 50-foot tower on this peak and the lookout man is able to detect fires a great distance. Actual demonstrations will be given all phases of the work possible." (Mountain Democrat)
May 4, 1928: "Orin Murdock takes up his duties on Bald Mountain Lookout Station May 3." (Mountain Democrat)
May 25, 1928: "The annual fire guard school for the staff of the Eldorado National Forest patrol was to close here today, after a three day study of all phases of fire protection under the supervision of Forest Supervisor Edwin F. Smith.
Approximately thirty members of the forest staff have attended the sessions, which have been held chiefly at Bald Mountain lookout station." (The Mountain Democrat)
May 3, 1929: "R.O. Murdock moves to the Bald Mountain Lookout station this Wednesday, for the season. This is the first lookout on this side to be opened." (The Mountain Democrat)
May 31, 1929: "The Fire Guard School held on Bald Mountain last week was attended by 28 Forest Officers, besides a number of guests. This school is held every year at the beginning of the fire season for the purpose, principally, of instructing in forest fire fighting and fire prevention, Forest Supervisor Smith was in charge. During the session two fires were reported in the Georgetown district, both set by lightning, one, about ten miles from Bald Mt. on the river hill north of the Bacchi place, and the other north of Pilot Creek. No material damage was done." (Mountain Democrat)
June 28, 1929: "A truck load of dynamite exploded during the noon hour in the vicinity of Blue Canyon, above Auburn, along the main line of the Southern Pacific railroad. Two men, the driver and his helper were killed.
This is the report received at the local forest service office. The report did not state whether the car was on the main road. A large forest fire was started but was believed to be under control by late in the afternoon.
The discovery of the explosion was made by the Bald Mountain lookout of the forest service whose report started investigations which led to aid being sent to the scene." (The Mountain Democrat)
July 19, 1929: "The Bald Mountain lookout of the Eldorado National Forest reported a brush fire burning in the vicinity of the Church-Union mine south of El Dorado, Thursday forenoon. His report to the forest service office was that the blaze appeared to include a considerable acreage.
State fire warden W.C. Austin and Assistant E.C. Vail were at the scene of the fire." (The Mountain Democrat)
October 11, 1929: "Thor, the thunder-god, was on the war-path last Sunday night.
It is not known whether he was angry because Mrs. Thor had been using his razor to split kindling with, or whether he was just out of sorts, but residents of Placerville and El Dorado County are keenly awake to the fact that something was wrong.
R.O. Murdock, who has been lookout at Bald Mountain for the El Dorado Forest Service for almost ten years, saw the display of Thor's wrath from the crow's nest and he reports he "never saw anything like it" as the jagged lightning flashed one way and another across the Sierra summit.
"Numerous fires were started," the forest service reported, "but the accompanying rain fall put all out but three, and these were soon controlled."
The rain gauge of the Pacific Gas and Electric company in Placerville recorded .38 inch of Precipitation." (The Mountain Democrat)
May 23, 1930: "The season of special vigilance against the fire demon in Eldorado National Forest will be instituted on Wednesday of next week at the conclusion of a two-day fire guard school to be held at Bald Mountain ranger station.
Twenty-five fire guards and district rangers have been notified by Forest Supervisor Edwin F. Smith to report Monday evening at that station.
Tuesday morning, instruction in telephone equipment, tools and their care, locating of fires, packing and care of stock and special equipment will be given, concluding with an inspection of a guard station." (The Mountain Democrat)
May 29, 1931: "The Forest Service Training School for fire guards was held at Bald Mountain Lookout Station, above Georgetown this week. Among the 35 in attendance was Robt. Deering, Chief of Operations, from the Regional Office, San Francisco, and five state guards. The school was in charge of Rangers Milton of Pacific District and George B. Young of Caldor District." (The Mountain Democrat)
June 26, 1931: "Willard Greenslate of Georgetown and Miss Jennie Steevers of Penobscot were married in Reno last Wednesday, and after a short trip have settled down at Bald Mountain Lookout Station for the summer, the groom being relief man at that station. The happy young couple have the best wishes of a host of friends." (The Mountain Democrat)
August 7, 1931: "Flying over Georgetown last Thursday afternoon, a Mather Field officer dropped a note for Forest Ranger Berriman, telling him of a forest fire near the Argonaut mine. Orin Murdock of the Bald Mountain Lookout had already discovered the fire, however, and it was got under control after several hours fighting, and after about forty acres had been burned over." (The Mountain Democrat)
June 6, 1932: "Mr. and Mrs. R.O. Murdock moved to Bald Mountain Monday for the summer. Mr. Murdock is in charge of the Lookout station there." (The Mountain Democrat)
August 11, 1933: "Vigilance of the fire lookout at Bald Mountain and the prompt work of his co-workers is praised by Mr. and Mrs. S.J. Donaldson, of Fort Hill, east of Georgetown, in a letter to this paper.
Mr. and Mrs. Donaldson express themselves as being particularly grateful for the work done by the lookout and the fire fighting crew, in discovering and extinguishing a fire on their property on Monday of last week. The blaze had been started by lightning and the Donaldsons would not have known it was burning had not the lookout picked up the smoke and sounded the alarm.
'In an incredibly short time," their letter states, "the men and trucks were on the spot and had the fire extinguished, so that only a small area was burned'" (The Mountain Democrat)
April 13, 1934: "R.O. Murdock, Forest Service fire lookout at Bald Mountain, went on duty the middle of last week.
Mr. Murdock was ordered to duty owing to the rapid drying out of the forest and the failure of expected showers to make their appearance.
We understand he will enjoy a short lay-off in the event of rains between now and the first of May, but on that date will take up his summer's vigil." (The Mountain Democrat)
Going into round two, the morning of the following day Orrie discovered a sly old skunk partaking of choice bits, including the head of the deceased rattler. Then after having his fill the host folded his napkin and trotted slowly back to his den.
Going into scene three, the third day makes this story a very sad affair, for there precisely in the same spot where the buzztail had been suppressed, disposed of and engulfed, lay the skunk, very, very dead. -T.C. Clifton - Eldorado -" (California Ranger)
August 2, 1982: "'This is the main tower for the area and is considered the cream of the crop by every lookout,' added Dwain Schrader, Eldorado Forest Fire Specialist with the Georgetown Ranger Station and Delma's supervisor. "It has electricity, water, easy access and is in close proximity to town."
"That's true," Delma chimed in, "but it is still a long walk to the outside bathroom."
That last point is a definite consideration for Delma since she resides at the tower every Sunday through Thursday in the months of May, June, July, August, September, October and November. Perched atop the 32-foot high steel structure, her house is a 13 feet square room with 360-degree windows, a bed, stove, sink, cupboard, refrigerator, table, chairs, scanner, phone, two Forest Service radios, an azimuth finder (fire-finding device), and a TV." (The Mountain Democrat)
May 18, 1983: "The U.S. Forest Service reported a 300-gallon water tank was stolen from the Bald Mountain Lookout station off Wentworth Springs Road sometime during the winter. The theft was discovered May 15." (Mountain Democrat)
May 21, 1986: "Rocks were thrown at a U.S. Forest Service weather station on Bald Mountain between May 17 and 18, causing an estimated $360 worth of damage, according to sheriff's reports." (Mountain democrat)
August 9, 2002: "The U.S. Forest Service Bald Mountain Lookout on Country Road was burglarized July 31. A generator, power converter and chain saw were taken. The estimated loss is $2,000." (Mountain Democrat)
October 10, 1930: "Luke Morgan is home from Baltic Lookout Station for the winter." (Mountain Democrat)
June 19, 1931: "An eighty-foot fire lookout tower, the highest in this section of the state, is nearing completion on Baltic Mountain and will shortly be in service to assist in reducing fire losses in El Dorado and adjoining counties.
The tower is at what is known as Baltic Lookout, a station built and maintained jointly by the State Division of Forestry and by Eldorado National Forest.
In addition to the tower, the buildings at the lookout include residences for U.S. Forest Service Lookout Carlos Tidwell and for State Lookout Tevis Mitchell, who alternate at duty in the "Crow's Nest."
The station represents a joint investment of approximately $3,000. The "Crow's Nest" affords an unobstructed view in all directions and the Sacramento Valley can be seen clearly from Stockton to Marysville on a bright day. Principal business thoroughfares in Sacramento can be picked out at night and the dome of the capital and certain other large electrical displays stand out like sore thumbs, we are told.
The chief value of the station is that the lookout surveys a large area, both in the forest and out of the forest. Which was previously hidden from the view of other lookouts. Establishment of the station will make it possible to pick out fires easily in the area previously "blind" and will assist just that much more in the suppression of fires before they become too large.
Officials hope that the erection of the tower may be completed this week. Anyone interested is invited to visit the new station. Although it is suggested that compensation for the trip will probably be greater if one waits until the tower is completed and can be assured of an opportunity to enjoy the view from the crow's nest.
The new tower will replace a tree previously used by the State Division of Forestry as a lookout. The crow's nest in the tree was 86 feet above the ground.
To reach Baltic Peak, proceed east over the Lincoln highway from Placerville to the Fourteen Mile House, thence south and to the top of Stonebreaker Hill. Turn to the right at the first road beyond the top and then turn at the next road and, we were told "follow your nose.'" (The Mountain Democrat)
July 3, 1931: "The new eighty-foot fire lookout tower on Baltic Mountain was completed during the week and it is expected that the lookout station will receive many visitors over the coming week-end. Those who make the trip will find the view from the tower worth the effort of the trip and one of the best panoramas within a short distance of Placerville." (The Mountain Democrat)
January 1, 1932: "80-foot lookout completed on Baltic Peak." (The Mountain Democrat)
May 23, 1935: "The annual fire guard training school of Eldorado Forest was held this week at Baltic Lookout, opening Tuesday morning. Plans were to close the school Thursday evening.
About twenty men are attending the school, receiving training from Rangers M.D. Morse, R.C.M. Berriman and George B. Young. In previous years the school has been conducted by Supervisor Smith." (The Mountain Democrat)
May 21, 1936: "The annual school of instruction for fire guards and rangers on the Eldorado Forest opened Monday morning at the Baltic Peak lookout.
Assistant Ranger Walter Puhn, of the Georgetown district, is in charge and those in attendance include all fire guards on the forest, district rangers, and CCC camp work superintendents.
Forest Supervisor Edwin F. Smith planned to attend some periods of the school." (The Mountain Democrat)
June 7, 1962: "Careless picnickers were responsible for a fire at Sly Park last Monday that destroyed over a quarter of an acre of brush and damaged many pine trees in the recreation area.
Despite the fact that fires are not permitted in the recreation area outside the designated camp grounds, campers have ignored the posted regulations.
The fire was spotted from the Baltic Lookout station by Mrs. Eula Mae Nevins, and resulted in CDF crews arriving at the park shortly after noon, where they found fishermen in the area attempting to put the fire out.
Assistant ranger, Vernon Stahl, stated that the fire hazard in the Sly Park area is serious, especially when campers will not cooperate with fire rules of the area. Strict enforcement of the fire regulations will be carried out in the area hereafter, Stahl said." (The Mountain Democrat and Placerville Times)
July 23, 1936: "The fire was extinguished after burning over a small area, by Lee Hill, lookout at Bay View, and a crew of CCC youths." (The Mountain Democrat)
October 31, 1936: "Trees fell thick and fast before the wind. Leland Hill was driving over from the lookout at Bayview Rest and a tree fell in front of him so suddenly that he was unable to stop, hit the tree and turned over.
'He got out of it with bruises and scratches.'" (The Mountain Democrat)
January 27, 1938: "Mr. and Mrs. Leland Hill were in town Saturday from Bay View forest lookout station at Emerald Bay." (The Mountain Democrat)
January 4, 1962: "In 1927 Leland Hill was transferred to the Bayview Ranger Station above Emerald Bay. In those days the only building at the present "Y" was a small coffee shop and hamburger stand called "May's Station" and preside over by "Big May." (Source Lost)
no date - USFS, thanks to Rex Kamstra
no date - USFS, thanks to Rex Kamstra
July 15, 1916: "W.W. Martin and family left Wednesday for Big Hill, on Silver Creek, where Mr. Martin will be located this season as lookout for the Forest Service." (Mountain Democrat)
August 1, 1914: "A merry party of young ladies, under the care of Mrs. W.H. Albright, returned from the Darrington homestead in the mountains Wednesday night. They were: Fern Combellack, Marcella Sigwart, Etta Willett, Edna Maynard, Ethel Frey, and Marybelle Albright, friends of Miss Grace Darlington. The campers report having had a fine time, fishing, swimming, and playing croquet, crowning their trip by killing a rattlesnake with nine rattles and a button, and climbing Iron mountain. Miss Frey ascended to the top of the Ranger's lookout, 75 feet above ground." (Mountain Democrat)
February 12, 1916: "The trip from Park will take two days so that the rangers will have to spend a night on the way at the Iron Mountain Lookout house. Wood and supplies have been cached at the various camps which they will occupy. After estimating the timber in the vicinity of Leek Spring they will make their camp at Bryant's and will cruise the timber in that neighborhood." (Mountain Democrat)
September 30, 1935: "We said Saturday that we were going to tell you about the life of a lookout in the national forests, so here goes... Beating back over dusty, rutty and extremely crooked roads for more than 20 miles, we finally came to a point where the sign assured us that if we took another half mile run straight up, we would reach the Iron Mountain Lookout... Be it said to the credit of Rex Buckle's Chevrolet that we made the last half mile with ourselves and the missus more thirsty than the car... And here is our first impression... The drinks that we got, clear, cold spring water, had been packed in by canvas bags on the backs of horses.
We felt like a little rest, and the forest ranger was glad for a chance to chat... Did he feel lonesome... Not a bit... He didn't like the town anyway, and besides he had his wife and youngster up there with him... And then there was someone like ourselves who dropped in every day, and he had a radio for entertainment, except up there lightning played h--- with it... And really he was sorry that before long there would be a foot of snow, and with that a secondary lookout that would mean that he would have to pack up and move out... He would really like it if he could stay all winter and he is hoping that when the new Alder Ridge lookout, which is to be a primary lookout, is completed, he will be able to win the appointment to it and stay there year around.
Little do most of us think as we drive along the ribbons of concrete that are our main mountain highways, that far above us, on peaks that we cannot even see from the road, there are men, together with their wives and babies, who are watching our progress... And if we should happen to cast a cigarette into a spot where a fire results, these men are on the job and in a few moments time have a crew rushing to the scene... It is one of those things we accept as natural and in the day's affairs, but the romance and completeness of which we do not appreciate until we have seen and felt its innermost workings... And so concludes our saga... weak and ineffectual as it may be... of two weeks spent in the mountains with men who live in and know the mountains for the living things that they are." "Hit and Miss - By 'Joe Beamis'" (Woodland Daily Democrat)
July 15, 1937: "The upper country was hit by a thunderstorm, Friday afternoon and Iron Mountain forest fire lookout, Joe Flynn, reported hail "as big as moth balls."' (The Mountain Democrat)
June 20, 1974: "The old Iron Mountain Lookout buildings are for sale according to ranger Scollay Parker of the Eldorado national forest. The one bedroom house and small garage slated for removal were built in 1934. Anyone interested in these buildings should cal the Forest Service.
Through most of its life Iron Mountain Lookout was used by lookout firemen. But this practice was stopped nearly 20 years ago on the Eldorado. Since then the lookout has been used only sporadically and not at all in the last five years, so the the buildings are falling into disrepair.
The lookout firemen usually supplied their own horse and car and came prepared to spend a good part of the summer on the lookout before going into town for supplies.
As soon as the lookout fireman saw a smoke he would report it by phone and then head for the fire by himself either by car or horseback, whichever was appropriate." (Mountain Democrat)
July 25, 1935: "Ranger Berriman advises that 8 local men are now employed in and around the new lookout at Jakey's Point about one mile from Volcanoville. They are engaged in the construction of roads and trails, in clearing brush to assist visibility and the further improving of telephone lines of that locality. They are under the foremanship of Guy Davenport and will remain on the job until fall storms make working conditions difficult." (The Mountain Democrat)
LEEK SPRING MOUNTAIN
no date - USFS, thanks to Rex Kamstra
October 1952 - USFS, thanks to Rex Kamstra
May 17, 1913: "The Federal appropriation for El Dorado National Forest for the present year is $23,293. This does not include the cost of fire-fighting and the amount from the 10 per cent allowance spent for roads. Among probable improvements for this season are a house for the lookout on Leek Spring Mountain." (Mountain Democrat)
July 10, 1915: "Melvin Marshall, who acted as primary lookout man for the Forest Service last season on Leek Spring Mt., reported for duty on July 1 at the same station again this season. A 60-foot tower has been erected at that place and the lookout man is afforded an excellent view of the surrounding country for many miles." (Mountain Democrat)
September 11, 1915: "Forest officers on the El Dorado National Forest are maintaining a keen competition this season in the prevention and suppression of forest fires, Geo. M. Smith, Forest Fireman at the Lumber Yard Ranger Station on the Amador Grade, made what Forest officers consider one of the best records of the season when he traveled three and one-quarter miles to a fire in 23 minutes--three miles on horseback and one-quarter of a mile on foot down a mountain side.
At 8:40 a.m. on August 25, M. Handy, the Blue Mt. lookout man in Stanislaus Co., south of the Mokelumne River, sighted a smoke near Peddler Hill on the Amador Grade, now a state highway leading from Jackson via Silver Lake to Nevada. This lookout phoned Geo. M. Smith, who in turn phoned Forest Fireman Jas. P. Brown at the Caldor mills and also Melvin Marshall, lookout on Leek Spring Mountain, who was enabled by observation from the 50-foot tower on that mountain to report the direction of the fire to Smith. The location of the fire was given Smith at 8:46 a.m. and he immediately jumped on his horse, making the record ride mentioned above, arriving at the fire line at 9:09 a.m. With the assistance of John Ellis, who arrived shortly afterwards, the fire was extinguished after burning over an area of but 2/5 of one acre, but had it not been reached and extinguished immediately, might have caused a serious conflagration." (Mountain Democrat)
October 16, 1915: "Within a few days construction work on a lookout house on Leek Spring Mt., located within the Caldor district of the El Dorado National Forest near the Alpine State highway, will be commenced by the Forest officers. J.M. Hughes, the Improvement Ranger of the Forest, will have charge of the construction work. He has just returned to Placerville from a detail to the Tahoe National Forest, where he constructed a Forest Service barn at one of the Ranger Stations near Forest Hill. This lookout house is to be 14 feet square, with a rim of glass 30 inches wide around the building at a height where the lookout man may have a great view of the country when he is preparing his meals, etc. A sash door will also be used.
Leek Spring Mt. has an elevation of 7640 feet, and by the use of a 50 foot watch tower which has been placed at that point, the lookout man has an excellant view of a large scope of country, and is enabled to detect fires in their incipiency, and by reporting them immediately to Forest firemen, large conflagrations are prevented." (Mountain Democrat)
November 20, 1915: "M.L. Marshall, who has been the Forest Service lookout at Leek Spring during the summer, was transacting business at the local office on Tuesday." (Mountain Democrat)
May 1, 1925: "On Monday, two popular young people of Placerville slipped away to Sacramento, secured a marriage license, and were married by Rev. J.F. Wilson of the Methodist church.
They thought it would be easy to keep the marriage a secret for a few weeks, but found it not so easy as they expected. Whether it was the happy smile on the groom's face that let their friends into the secret, or a little bird that spread the news--anyway the secret's out. The newlyweds are Mr. Clinton Colors of the Forest Service and Miss Violet Spencer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F.L. Spencer 324 Washington St., Placerville.
The bride will continue her work in the high school and will graduate with her class in June, immediately after they will make their home at the Lookout Station at Leek Springs above Caldor, where Mr. Colors will be stationed this season." (Mountain Democrat)
June 21, 1929: "Eugene Compton left Tuesday for Leek Springs lookout, where he will be on duty throughout the summer with the Eldorado National Forest staff." (The Mountain Democrat)
July 19, 1929: "State Forest Rangers were assisted by a crew from P.G.& E. Forebay Monday in extinguishing a fire which broke out along the pipe line below the El Dorado Power house. The blaze was discovered by the Leek Springs lookout and is thought to have been started by careless smokers." (The Mountain Democrat)
June 4, 1936: "A farewell party was given for Mr. and Mrs. Howard Cullers last week as they are leaving for the lookout station at Leek Springs Mountain. Cards were played and refreshments were enjoyed late in the evening." (The Mountain Democrat)
May 17, 1913: "The first fire guard to be placed in the El Dorado National Forest went on duty last Thursday on Lookout Mountain, and men have been out repairing telephone lines in preparation for use during the fire season." (Mountain Democrat)
June 19, 1915: "Mr. O.R. Murdock of Georgetown, who will act as lookout fireman during the ensuing fire season, reported for duty at Lookout Mt. on the 16th." (Mountain Democrat)
August 11, 1938: "The old Six-Mile House, stopping place for travelers in an earlier day on the route between Placerville and Lake Tahoe and Nevada points, was destroyed by fire shortly after noon Tuesday.
Origin of the blaze was believed a defective flue. A whisp of smoke was noted coming from the roof of the building by the lookout at the Mt. Danaher State Division of Forestry station, and by the time the fire crew reached the scene the entire roof was ablaze," (The Mountain Democrat)
May 30, 1955: "State Forestry officials announced plans yesterday for a three-day experiment to study the feasibility of replacing or supplementing human forest fire lookouts with TV cameras and receivers.
W.D. Winters, deputy state forester in charge of fire control, said the experiment will be conducted from a lookout tower atop Mt. Danaher in neighboring El Dorado County June 8, 9 and 10.
A TV camera will be focused at various locations where foresters will set off smokepots.
If successful, Winters said, the equipment will enable viewers to determine the direction and approximate distance of the smoke." (Humboldt Standard)
1987: The lookout was closed.
February 23, 1998: "Joe Flynn worked as lookout-fireman at Peavine Ridge where in the early 1930's: 'Flynn's shelter was a tent -- and the only bathing facility was a redwood tank at Chicken Hawk Springs. 'That spring was cold, and you got out in a hurry.' " (Mountain Democrat)
December 5, 1935: "The Pine Hill Lookout in the Rescue District, an ECW project, is complete except for the buildings. More than 100 miles of telephone line have been installed during the past summer by a CCC crew for the Division of Forestry. The telephone lines are between the headquarters at Camp Danaher, and various lookouts in the area under the State Forest Ranger's administration. (The Mountain Democrat)
June 25, 1936: "The Lookout station on Pine Mountain can be seen from a long distance, as work on the tower is being done now." (The Mountain Democrat)
June 2, 1938: "Evening lights are again shining from Pine Hill lookout station. Mr and Mrs. Oswald and family are stationed there for the summer." (The Mountain Democrat)
no date - USFS, thanks to Rex Kamstra
no date - USFS, thanks to Rex Kamstra
June 21, 1929: "William Littlefield, of Plymouth, fire guard of the Eldorado National Forest staff at Plummer Lookout, recently revealed his marriage at Reno on Memorial Day to Miss Alma Allen, also of Plymouth. The couple are stationed at the lookout for the summer." (The Mountain Democrat)
July 3, 1915: "Mr. Fred Carpenter arrived in Placerville from Pacific Monday evening. He will go on duty as lookout at Robb's Peak in a very few days." (Mountain Democrat)
April 29, 1927: "William Gray and son Clarence left for the mountains this week to take up their duties as forest ranger and fire lookout for the season." (Mountain Democrat)
no date - USFS, thanks to Rex Kamstra
October 15, 1926: "Allen Hughes returned Monday from the Slate Mountain lookout station and the next day left for the Meyer's summit to do some work for the Forest Service. Mr. Hughes has a new Chevrolet car." (Mountain Democrat)
June 6, 1930: "The bride is one of our finest girls, and has taught her home school the past two years. The groom has been in the employ of the Forest Service the past two years, and will spend the summer as Lookout at Slate Mountain." (Mountain Democrat)
September 19, 1935: "O.A. Cozad, well known Placerville resident escaped with a broken shoulder blade and cuts and bruises Monday evening when his automobile ran off the road in the Slate Mountain District.
Mr. Cozad was given first aid treatment by Dale Rasor, the Forest Service lookout at Slate Mountain and considers himself fortunate to have escaped more serious consequences in the wreck." (The Mountain Democrat)