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Bertha Hill Lookout

Bertha Hill Lookout

Drive-UpStandbyElevation: 5520 ft

History

Bertha Hill stands as the location of the Very First Fire Lookout Tower in the Nation.

In 1902 the camp cook for a logging company, Mable Gray, climbed on top of her tree perch twice a day to watch for smokes.

In 1906 a platform tower was built.

In 1910 a platform tower 1/4 mile SE of the present location was built.

In 1918 a 20′ tower with a 6×6 enclosure was built.

In 1923 a 20′ tower with a small glass cabin was built.

In 1932 the 21 year old lookout, Glen Frazier, on his very first day of work – was killed by lightning while at his post.

In 1933 a 40′ pole L-4 was built

In 1958 a 54′ all steel tower was built

In 1964 the 20 year old lookout, Maida Talbot, fell from the tower and was killed. Soon after the metal “skirt” was added to the tower to prevent future accidents.

Maida’s obituation can be found here:https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/23028439/maida-louise-talbott

Bertha Hill is still in active operation as a fire lookout tower and stands as the longest continually manned tower.

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