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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Summerhaven in Pima County, Arizona — The American Mountains (Southwest)
 

Lemmon Rock Lookout Tower

Coronado National Forest

 
 
Lemmon Rock Lookout Tower Marker image. Click for full size.
By Fred Taylor, May 19, 2012
1. Lemmon Rock Lookout Tower Marker
Inscription. Lemmon Rock Lookout Tower was erected in 1928. It is the oldest lookout still in use on the Forest. This general locale has been used as a fire lookout since the Coronado Forest Reserve was established in 1902. The current lookout structure was constructed according to 1920's standard plans. It contains a work area, kitchen, sleeping area, and fire finder in the same room. This lookout played a role in the first aerial fire patrols which flew over the Santa Catalinas beginning in 1921.

The earliest Forest Service fire towers were trees cleared of branches with a simple platform on top. They were constructed in locales which provided an open view of the surrounding forest. The first wooden tower was built about 1915. Numerous wooden towers were erected during the 1920's, along with the establishment of telephone lines for reporting fire conditions.

Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) enrollees stationed at camps on the Coronado National Forest during the 1930's provided personnel for fire prevention work and additional fire tower construction. Architectural plans were developed throughout the Southwest Region for standard lookout towers made of wood and steel at this time. Few fire towers were built after World War II because of increasing dependence on air surveillance. Today, 50 permanent lookout towers remain on
Lemmon Rock Lookout Tower Marker image. Click for full size.
By Fred Taylor, May 19, 2012
2. Lemmon Rock Lookout Tower Marker
the forests of Arizona. Most are used seasonally, throughout the dry, windy spring and during the first rains of summer.

The Forest Service has always emphasized fire detection and suppression to protect the timber reserves. Fire guards patrolled on horseback or searched for fires from high vantage points in the early years of this century. Wild fires were suppressed as quickly as possible, although forester and conservationist Aldo Leopold, in a review of Southwest fire activities between 1919 and 1923, reported the beneficial effects of fire in maintaining pine forests and in brush control. The Forest Service now emphasizes prevention of fire damage rather than strict suppression. Thus, fire may enhance natural conditions and reduce fire hazards. Modern fire fighting equipment such as airplanes and fire retardants, sophisticated communication systems, and fire management plans help protect and maintain forest and range lands today. The lookout tower, used for almost a century, still plays a valuable role in protecting our forest resources.

This Lookout Tower is listed on the National Register of Historic Place. Please help us to protect it.
 
Erected by Coronado National Forest.
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the Civilian Conservation Corps marker series.
 
Location.
Lemmon Rock Lookout Tower image. Click for full size.
By Fred Taylor, May 19, 2012
3. Lemmon Rock Lookout Tower
Lemmon Rock Lookout Tower Marker is just to the right of the power pole.
32° 26.102′ N, 110° 47.364′ W. Marker is near Summerhaven, Arizona, in Pima County. Click for map. It is a short (0.6 mile) hike to reach the Lemmon Rock Lookout Tower Marker.
Directions to hike: Take the Catalina Highway off Tanque Verde Road in Tucson. Drive 4.2 miles to the Forest boundary and continue 28 miles, past Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley, to the power substation on Radio Ridge. A parking area is on the left, about a mile past Mt. Lemmon Ski Valley, near the end of Observatory Road.
From the parking area follow the Mt. Lemmon trail, on the south side of the power substation, 0.45 miles southwest to the Lemmon Rock Lookout trail. Turn left and follow the Lemmon Rock Lookout trail 0.15 miles south to the Lookout Tower. Marker is in this post office area: Mount Lemmon AZ 85619, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 13 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Honorable Frank Harris Hitchcock (approx. 6.3 miles away); Catalina Federal Honor Camp (approx. 7.8 miles away); Caņada Del Oro (approx. 9.1 miles away but has been reported missing); De Grazia Gallery In the Sun (approx. 9.9 miles away); La Casa Del High Jinks (approx. 9.9 miles away); American Flag (approx. 10.8 miles away); Agua Caliente Ranch and Hot Springs (approx. 11.2 miles away); Acadia Ranch (approx. 12.2 miles away).
 
Categories. DisastersHorticulture & Forestry
 
Lemmon Rock Lookout Tower image. Click for full size.
By Fred Taylor, May 19, 2012
4. Lemmon Rock Lookout Tower
Osborne Fire Finder and Fire Lookout Ranger image. Click for full size.
By Fred Taylor, May 19, 2012
5. Osborne Fire Finder and Fire Lookout Ranger
Sign at bottom of stairs leading up to lookout tower. image. Click for full size.
By Fred Taylor, May 19, 2012
6. Sign at bottom of stairs leading up to lookout tower.
Door Bell for Lemmon Rock Lookout Tower image. Click for full size.
By Fred Taylor, May 19, 2012
7. Door Bell for Lemmon Rock Lookout Tower
Sound the "bell" to let the ranger know you are coming.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. This page has been viewed 883 times since then and 8 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Bill Kirchner of Tucson, Arizona. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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