Trinity County - Shasta-Trinity National Forest - 37N-7W-12
March 7, 1924: "National forest rangers have reconstructed the telephone lines from Weaverville to Helena to supersede the roundabout line by way of Hayfork, and lines from Trinity Center to Minersville and from Trinity Center to the Bonanza King lookout station." (Livermore Journal)
August 5, 1929: "William J. Hale, injured while on duty on Bonanza King Lookout, Shasta National Forest, July 24, 1929, passed away in Dunsmuir, on the morning of August 2. Mr. Hale was lookout on Mt Eddy, near Mount Shasta, for a number of years and was a familiar around the Shasta Forest headquarters. Last year he went to Bonanza King, in the Trinity District of the Shasta, and continued his services there this season.. His injury occurred when he was looking for a fire. Going around the lookout, with binoculars to his eyes, he slipped on a slanting rock and fell about ten feet into some jagged boulders, causing a basilar fracture of the skull, which resulted in his death. Interment will be in the Dunsmuir cemetery. The only known relative of the deceased is his son, Jack Hale, to whom the Forest Service extends sincere sympathy." (California District News Letter)
November 21, 1941: "As the sun rolled up the eastern hills one morning this fall, Harry Churchman rolled out of bed, stretched and looked over the surrounding country from Bonanza King Lookout. After checking the territory below his lookout for that telltale trailer of smoke and finding none, Harry checked into the dispatcher with the cryptic but ever pleasant, "OK." Now, Harry is a person who likes to watch the sun climb to its zenith, so Harry faced the east and there in the rays of the sun a tall plume of smoke was showing. Taking a shot at it, Harry began to check on his map to check the accurate location. He looked over the Sacramento divide -- but the smoke was beyond that ridge. His line went over North Fork Lookout, but the smoke was still further east -- on past Chalk Mountain, which rears its head above Big Bend, on past Bunchgrass, past Bald Mountain, on the Lassen. Then Harry put his finger on the map and said, "It is there." Calling the dispatcher, Harry proudly reported his find. Over on the Pit District the phone rang, and on answering, Dispatcher Spangler received the report from the dispatcher at Trinity Center, "Bonanza King reports a smoke south of Big Valley Mountain, reading 99-3/4 degrees." Dazed from that report, Spangler swung over to the Hat Creek line, checked with the Lassen Forest Lookout, and to his relief came these words, "Oh! that is just the Little Valley Mill." Why is all this written about one plume of smoke? Harry Churchman was looking at a smoke 78 miles from his station over the Sacramento, McCloud and Pit Rivers, traversing four Ranger Districts on the Shasta Forest, and two on the Lassen Forest, and accurately placing the smoke on the Bogard District of the Lassen. --M.O. Adams, Shasta -" (California Ranger)
June 3, 1954: "Bonanza King was opened May 20 with June Osborne, an experienced lookout, on the job. They said it was advisable to open the lookout due to hot, dry weather and strong winds, which had raised the fire danger to a very high category." (The Dunsmuir News)
June 3, 1954: "Telephone maintenance continued on severely damaged lines, with work performed on the Bonanza King and Coffee Creek lines. Communication was facilitated by the installation of a radio in Bonanza King lookout by Tom Blankenship, Shasta Forest communications technician." (The Dunsmuir News)
June 17, 1954: "District ranger Jack Heinan of the Trinity district, Shasta national forest, states that all three fire lookouts on the district have been activated for the season. Miss June Osborne returned to her post on Slate mountain lookout, which she has occupied for the past seven fire seasons. Mrs. Jeannie Dickson is filling the position of lookout at Bonanza King." (The Dunsmuir News)
June 8, 1987: "Betty Carlson is one of a vanishing breed. Every year for the past quarter-century, the French Gulch resident has trekked to the top of Bonanza King Mountain northeast of Weaverville to take her station in the tiny lookout tower for the summer fire season. Year after Year, she directs firefighters to small fires---which always have the potential to become big fires. The number of lookouts is gradually dwindling, as transportation and technology improve fire detection and firefighting. But there are still 15 manned lookout towers in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest. While being a lookout does not entail a lot of glamour or even recognition, the job is one that a few people appreciate alot. Ed Horgan, fire management officer for the Weaverville Ranger District, said the Forest Service needs the lookouts even though it is cutting back on their numbers. 'There's a lot of talk of going to higher technology. Those things need a lot of refinement,' Horgan said. 'My personal opinion is that they (lookout personnel) will not go away until we can get high-technology up the that can do just about everything a person can.' Horgan said a good lookout not only spots smoke from fires, but also serves as guide to ground crew searching for fire and as a radio communications link for loggers, foresters, and accident victims. Horgan boasted that Mrs. Carlson, because of her dedication and familiarity with the terrain, is one of the best the Shasta-Trinity forest has. Carlson said she has been a lookout every fire season since 1962. And, she said, she is confident that her sightings have helped prevent major forest fires in the area surrounding the 6,955-foot peak on the edge of Trinity Lake." (California Aggie)
National Geodetic Survey
DESIGNATION - BONANZA KING LOOKOUT HOUSE PID - MX1060 STATE/COUNTY- CA/TRINITY COUNTRY - US USGS QUAD - WHISKY BILL PEAK (1986)
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1953 (RAG) THE STATION IS THE TOP AND CENTER OF THE LOOKOUT HOUSE. THE LOOKOUT HOUSE IS A WOODEN STRUCTURE 16 FEET SQUARE AND ABOUT 20 FEET IN HEIGHT. IT SETS ON A CONCRETE AND ROCK FOUNDATION.
THE LOOKOUT IS LOCATED ON THE EXTREME EASTERN RIM AND THE HIGHEST POINT OF BONANZA KING MOUNTAIN, ABOUT 6 MILES NORTH-NORTHEAST OF TRINITY CENTER, ABOUT 4 MILES EAST OF THE TRINITY RIVER, AND ABOUT 4 MILES WEST OF SHASTA-TRINITY COUNTY LINE. IT IS (78.76 FEET) 24.004 METERS SOUTHEAST OF TRIANGULATION STATION BONANZA.