Boisfort Peak - Baw Faw Peak Lookout Site
Located on the line between Lewis and Pacific Counties, Boistfort Peak has a long history with fire and communication sites. The range of vision from this point takes in all of western Lewis, Northwestern Cowlitz, Wahkiakum, Pacific, southeastern Grays Harbor, and southern Thurston counties. The peak has some notability as a high prominence peak making it on the list of Washington prominence at number 71 with 2,680 feet of prominence. The first temporary lookout was established on Boistfort in 1919. So many fires were reported from the summit they decided to make it a permanent station. The following year in 1920, a building was constructed by the Washington Forest Fire Association and the Forest Service. It was a shake cabin with a 1/4 sized second floor observatory. The summit trees had to be cleared, a trail was constructed and a telephone line built connecting the lookout with the district wardens headquarters and the city of Chehalis. The Long-Bell Lumber Company contributed to this project by assisting in trail construction and also in clearing the top of the peak so that a better range of vision was given (around four acres of sapling timber was slashed down). In 1936, an 83 foot treated timber tower with 7 x 7 cab was built. It was shortened by a DNR carpentry crew to 55 feet in 1960 and a live-in DNR cab was placed on top. The site was abandoned in 1967.
Elevation: 3,110 feet
Distance: TBD...not visited yet
The lookout was used as an observation post during WWII. At that time, there was still a 3/4 mile trail to the summit. But, plans were in the works for a road to the top. The first observers in 1942 were Rutherford and Elmer Baxter but they were replaced because they were mixing liquor with business. They were replaced on May 18, 1942 with Arthur and Lillian Martin. By the end of the season, the observer was Mrs. Fred Wilkinson. Another change was made in April 1943 to T.F. Hardy.
First Weather Station
Reported as one of the most experienced woodsmen and fire lookouts in Southwestern Washington in 1925, he continued service for many years. An article in the June 10, 1927 Chehalis Bee-Nugget said he was the "Boistfort Fire Warden, who was also the lookout man in 1927". Then, in October 1937, the Chehalis Bee-Nugget reported: "H.O. Roundtree, lookout at the Baw Faw peak fire lookout station, reported last week end that he had discovered a wild tiger lily that had 61 blossoms on one stalk. The flower was found a few yards from the lookout. He has several snapshots which show the freak of nature."
May 15, 1925: Baw Faw peak, the highest peak and most strategic forest fire outlook in Southwest Washington, situated in the extreme southwestern corner of Lewis County, is to have a full fledged weather observation station, the only one outside of the cities in the state, according to George C. Joy, state supervisor of forests. Mr. Joy visited Baw Faw peak on Wednesday, meeting there with George W. Alexander and O.A. Schick of the Seattle United States weather bureau, who will install the apparatus. With co-operation of the weather bureau in the scientific end of it, the station is being installed at the joint expense of the Long-Bell Lumber Company, which has great timber holdings around and south of the peak, and by the Washington Forest Fire Association. The instruments, costing about $1,000, will include a wind direction and velocity and sunshine recording instrument, a hydro-thermograph and a rain gauge. The instruments will be kept at the fire lookout station on the peak in charge of H.O. Roundtree, one of the most experienced woodsmen and fire lookouts in Southwestern Washington. Last season he located a fire clear over in the Cascades, 50 miles away, to the exact location. Daily weather reports will be made by telephone to the Seattle bureau. The station will be of especial value in registering the upper air currents, rather than mere surface indications." (The Chehalis Bee-Nugget)
Aircraft Warning Service Documents
From 1918 State Forester Report
From the 1927 Chehalis-bee Nugget
From the 1936 Forester Report