July 30, 1915: "The lookout station on Brokeoff Mountain, about four miles southwest of Mt. Lassen, was totally destroyed by fire about 7:30 Wednesday evening. Forest Ranger Frank Hardin, who was stationed there as a look-out, succeeded in saving his clothing, a few implements, a gun and a Kodak from the fire. The building is a frame platform covered with a heavy canvas tent. The fire started while Hardin was away from the structure, and was presumably caused by live coals from his cook stove. The flames were seen at the Forest Service head quarters at Mineral where the men decided it must be the lookout station burning. Assistant Forest Supervisor Merrill, accompanied by Earl Slater and Curtis Mayhew left Mineral about 10 o'clock that night to go to the top of Brokeoff, thinking Hardin might have been left without matches or bedding and possibly injured. A heavy storm was threatening which also made his condition more perilous. The three men rode to the lookout station, found it in ashes, but were unable to find any trace of Hardin. After searching for him some time they started back to Mineral, reaching headquarters about four o'clock Thursday morning without having found any sign of the missing ranger. About two hours later Hardin arrived at Mineral, tired and exceedingly hungry. When he found himself without a house to live in he packed up the articles he had saved and started for Mineral. Owing to the heavy clouds and the extreme darkness he wandered of the Mineral trail. When he discovered that he was no longer on the trail he proceeded to build up a good fire and camped there until daylight when he resumed his journey to Mineral. The lookout station on Brokeoff was established there last summer after Mt. Lassen had demonstrated that the new station on its summit was no safe place for habitation. Hardin kept a close look-out for fires and also kept an accurate record of Mt. Lassen's activities. The station will probably be rebuilt as soon as possible and a temporary shelter in the form of a tent will be erected at once." (Red Bluff Daily News)
August 10, 1929: "Forest Ranger Hudson, in charge of the lookout station on Broke-off peak, reports an eruption from the main peak of Mount Lassen, smoke and steam spouting 6000 feet into the air and carrying up rocks, which dropped back." (The Oxnard Daily Courier)
June 29, 1933: "The glamor of city life holds no appeal for John Gransbury, forest service lookout stationed on Brokeoff Mountain in Lassen Volcanic National Park. When the first of June rolls around each year, John takes up his duties at a little house perched 9,232 feet above sea level. There he remains until the first winter rains dispel further likelihood of a half mile up-hill hike to his place of abode from the highway, he isn't troubled much by curious tourists. After the fire season closes, John doesn't return to city life as might be expected after a lonely summer. Instead, he journeys to a small settlement near the entrance to the park, where, for the greater part of the winter, he is 'snowed in.' " (Chillicothe Constitution-Tribune - Missouri)
July 29, 1934: "Being a hermit is a passion as well as a profession with John Gransbury, lookout fire observer on Brokeoff mountain in Lassen National Park. During the summer months he lives in a cabin six feet from the rim of a 1,200 deep extinct volcanos crater and surveys the surrounding landscape for fires. When the summer task is finished he moves to a little closed up resort known as Viola, to become caretaker, and is snowed in all winter. When the wind blows, sometimes at a terrific rate, there is always the possibility of the little single room cabin's being blown off into space. Gransbury has held down the lookout job since 1924. He has hundreds of thousands of acres of valuable timber land dotted with farms, ranches and small towns, under his surveillance." (Charleston Gazette - West Virginia)
June 22, 1935: "Two earth shocks were felt yesterday in the area surrounding Lassen Peak, only active volcano in the United States. John Gransbury of Broke-off mountain lookout, two miles from the peak, reported his tower rocked violently from the shocks. He was unable to see any smoke from the crater." (Oroville Mercury)
June 15, 1938: "John Gransbury who has been lookout for the Forest Service on Brokeoff Mountain for the past 15 years, died of a paralytic stroke yesterday at Mineral. Mr. Gransbury served longer than any lookout on the Lassen Forest." (Lassen Advocate - Susanville)
1956: The lookout was burned by a trail maintenance crew.