September 4, 1929: "Work is being pushed on the construction of the Blue Mt. Lookout tower in the Devil's Garden district under the supervision of District Forest Ranger John C. Davis. The steel tower, which is 20 feet high, is completed and a standard forest service lookout house, glass-encased, 14 feet square, is being erected on top of the tower. The lookout when completed will give a commanding view of a large timbered area in Modoc and Lake counties, the scope of the lookoutman's vision reaching well into Klamath county as well." (The Klamath News)
October 19, 1929: "The first steel lookout tower to be constructed in Modoc national forest has just been completed by officers of the forest service. The tower is located on the top of Blue Mountain from which an immense area in the states of California and Oregon can be seen. The tower is 22 feet high and is surmounted by a standard lookout house 14 feet square, which provides both office and living quarters for the lookout man. A porch, two feet wide, protected by a guard rail, surrounds the house on all sides, providing a promenade for the lookout man who can remain on top of his tower within sight of his fire zone and within hearing of the telephone and yet get a little fresh air and exercise. Ed H. Stuart of this place has occupied the Blue mountain lookout during the present season." (The Klamath News)
August 11, 1932: "Alturas, (Modoc Co.), -- Food, water and fuel to keep the home fires burning must be carried up narrow steel steps to the house on top of the Blue Mt. This is quite a chore for Lookoutman Gilbert W. Busch stationed on this lonely peak for the summer as well as somewhat of a worry for his young wife. To Beverley Dolores Busch, infant daughter of the young couple making their domicile twenty feet in the air, it is no worry at all. With the infant just starting to toddle around the parents wonder if during the present government economy program they are justified in asking for funds to safe proof their lofty aerie or merely to tie a stout rope around the waist of the exploring Dolores who has a habit of wandering to the edge of the platform overlooking the rocky grace below." (Sacramento Bee- article courtesy of Beverley Hammes)
April 8, 1934: Panorama photos taken.
1934: The Forest Service erected two tent cabins next to the tower to provide housing for the growing family of the lookout. One tent contained a cook stove, table and icebox, the other contained two beds for the family. Water was hauled from Aspen Spring a distance of 5 miles. Chokecherries and Wild Plum where gathered when in season to supplement the food supply as shopping trips to Alturas were made only once per month (From a visit with Beverley (Busch) Hammes, daughter of the lookout man. July 5, 2012)
June 14, 1945: "The Blue Mountain Lookout position has been filled by a man selected by the Supervisor's office - by the name of Hansen. While this location is on the Doublehead District, transportation facilities and communication facilities plus the fact that this Districts guard at Crowder Flat must service this position makes it advisable for the District to handle the entire set-up. This agreement was worked out in cooperation with Ranger Fischer prior to the 1944 season and presumably it will continue in effect." (Plans - Warner Mountain District - 1945)
1946:During the period of 1942 through 1946 this lookout made 20 first discoveries.
1952:"The stairway at Blue Mountain L.O. opens via trapdoor into interior of the L.O., a definite safety hazard. It should be reconstructed to open onto the catwalk. Further emphasis is needed with lookouts to impress upon them the importance of not being distracted from the detection job by visitors." (Report of Annual Inspection - Happy Camp District - 1952)
September 4, 1953:"On August 27, I made an inspection of Blue Mountain Lookout and the Fire Weather Station. Orville and Genelle Stevens are assigned to Blue Mountain as lookout fireman and primary lookout. Orville was cutting posts on the north side of the mountain in preparation for a fence construction job at Blue Mountain Spring. Mrs. Stevens was at the lookout. A. Personnel Personal appearances of both Mr. and Mrs. Stevens was very good, Orville was dressed in sun tans which gave him the appearance of a Forest Service employee. He seemed quite confident in the work he was doing. B. Station and grounds The station was neat and clean, including the windows. Station grounds were neat and attractive. The landing, where the refrigerator is installed, was somewhat cluttered with boxes etc. This can be expected since there is no other storage space available. At least one half of this landing or the space between the observatory floor and the landing should be sealed before the close of the fire season. As it is, the gas refrigerator is exposed to the weather all summer. At the close of the fire season, it must be lowered from the tower and moved to Crowder Flat for storage, then reinstalled again in the spring. Each of these moves cause considerable damage to the unit. Pack rats make frequent use of the landing and occasionally use the lower mechanism of the refrigerator for storage. The stairway seems to be their only means of access. This should be corrected. C. Presuppression Mrs. Stevens appeared to be very alert and seemed to have a good understanding of the lookout job. She is familiar with the use of the fire finder. The fire finder level is defective and should be replaced. Orville has a 1953 Chevrolet pickup for transportation. It is equipped with the standard compliment of fire tools which were in good condition. D. Safety The proposed new stairway has not been constructed. The present arrangement is a safety hazard because of the trapdoor entrance to the observatory. Every effort should be made to complete this job before another fire season. No other safety hazards were observed. R, Sherman" (Inspection - General)
April 18, 1955: "Several improvement jobs still remain to be done. One is the construction of an outside stairway at Blue Mountain Lookout tower. Need of this improvement has been recognized for several years and since the present trapdoor constitutes a serious safety hazard, every effort should be made to get the job done in F.Y. 1956." (Functional Inspection - Devil's Garden District - 1954)
June 23, 1955: "Should be 2" of litter under fuel moisture sticks. Observer inquired if it would be satisfactory to move anemometer from top of tree to a pole of same height. Was advised that in my opinion it would be. Major changes should be checked with CFR&E before being made." (Report - Weather Bureau Inspection)
August 14, 1955: "The anemometer at Blue Mt. Lookout should probably be replaced. The electric contacts are worn out. It gives a long signal when the switch is closed. Accurate readings would be very hard to take in moderate or strong winds. It would give a nearly continuous signal under these circumstances." (Memo to Forest Supervisor from District Ranger - Devils Garden)
July 22, 1957: "All equipment was in good order." (Report - Weather Bureau Inspection)
September 17, 1957: "Also I am enclosing two pictures of Blue Mountain Lookout showing the new outside stairway that was constructed to replace the old one that entered the Lookout from a trapdoor inside the cab." (Inspection - Modoc)
April 23, 1962: "Sealed bids will be received until 2:00 P.M. May 11, 1962 Pacific Daylight Saving Time at the U.S. Forest Service, 630 Sansome Street, Room 546, San Francisco 11, California, for the construction of the Blue Mountain steel lookout house on existing steel tower, on the Modoc National Forest. The project is located approximately 35 miles north of Canby, California, via county road. Plans and specifications may be obtained from the San Francisco address, or viewed only at the office of the Forest Supervisor, Modoc National Forest, Alturas, California." (Herald and News)
February 24, 1963: "A new $20,314 fire lookout station was completed Oct. 22 by the U.S. Forest Service at the Blue Mountain station. The new unit replaced the lookout station that had been built in 1931. It is located 37 miles northeast of Alturas and covers the Devils Garden area. Construction on the 14 foot by 14 foot all steel structure began in June 1962. The new house was built on the tower already in the area which necessitated a temporary lookout being built for Jesse and Francis Drake, fire watchers. They ended up with an aura of Tarzan about them as they searched for fires from high atop a tall pine tree on the temporary platform built by the forest service. The new lookout boasts a completely glass walled cabin equipped with gas for the lights, stove and refrigerator. The structure was built by Merril W. Means of Oroville." (Herald and News)
July 2016: A modern Vault restroom installed to replace the old port-a-potty.
National Geodetic Survey
DESIGNATION - BLUE MOUNTAIN FIRE LOT 1931 PID - MW0819 STATE/COUNTY- CA/MODOC COUNTRY - US USGS QUAD - HAGER BASIN (1993)
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1931 RECOVERED AS DESCRIBED.