Historic place

Clay Butte Fire Lookout Tower on the Shoshone Forest, high above the Beartooth Highway, could be added to the National Register of Historic Places. (Courtesy photo)

A local group, “Friends of Clay Butte Fire Lookout Tower,” seeks information about construction of the tower.

It’s hoped information can aid in the goal of listing the tower on the National Register of Historic Places.

The tower is on the Shoshone Forest, along the Beartooth Highway. It’s accessible via a gravel road built by the Civilian Conservation Corps.

There is unverified information that CCC built the tower, but nearby CCC Camps closed before completion of the tower in 1943.

Lona Quillen, board chair of the group, is asking anyone with information about the actual tower construction for help.

Although no longer an active fire lookout, the tower is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, from July 4 until Labor Day.

Visitors are welcome to tour the tower and experience panoramic views from the glass enclosed lookout station.

The Friends of Clay Butte Lookout arrange for volunteers to stay at the tower for two-week sessions and staff it.

There are two sessions still open, mid-August through Labor Day.

To volunteer or offer information about the construction, call 272-0920.

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