NR By County Test (2)



Brian Beadles
Historic Preservation Specialist
(307) 777-8594

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  • Clay Butte Lookout Tower


    Read All About It:

    The lookout is an uncommon and well-preserved example of a Depression-era fire tower utilizing standard Forest Service plans. Road and foundation construction was begun by Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees in the fall 1941. Final construction of the lookout was carried out by the forest service after the CCC was disbanded in 1942. It was completed in October 1943. The lookout is representative of the history of fire detection and control practices within the U.S. Forest Service, specifically in the Shoshone National Forest from 1943 to 1962-63. It is the only fire lookout that remains standing in the Shoshone National Forest. The lookout is also related to the political and legislative events of the Roosevelt Administration’s New Deal policies and programs, in particular, the development and implementation of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) as utilized by the U.S. Forest Service from 1933 to 1942. The CCC was disbanded in 1942, but the access road, rock quarrying for the lookout foundation, and overall planning and surveying for the lookout were carried out by CCC enrollees. Clay Butte Lookout also embodies the evolution of a distinctive architectural style, which in time became characterized by standardized plans as a result of the specific functional requirements of fire detection, and provisions for the reasonable comfort and housing of the personnel who staffed the often isolated facilities. Clay Butte Lookout incorporates many standard design features, such as the tower, observation cab, and living quarters.



    Date Added to Register:
    Wednesday, January 08, 2014
    Park County
    Smithsonian Number: 


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