TECATE PEAK LOOK-OUT STATION

 

On Oct 23, 1939,  a new State Division of Forestry look-out station and tower was dedicated by State, Federal and County officials. It is perched on top of Tecate Peak.  It  was built at an elevation of 3855 feet and it has provided an unobstructed view far down into Mexico and for miles along the international border as well as on the United States side. (2)

The lookout station was placed in service by the State Forestry and was manned until the close of fire season each year.  The building was erected under the direction of Robert Dugan, Supv. of the Minnewawa Civilian Conservation Corps Camp in Jamul.  (This camp was located on Olay Lakes Road where Pio Pico is now located).  The building was constructed much like a lighthouse and had a view in all directions.

In the past, said the state ranger, state and federal lookouts at other San Diego county stations have sighted smoke blazes in Mexico, but due to the distance of the lookouts from the international border it has been difficult to learn on which side of the border the fires were burning. 

The road to the lookout started at Tecate Mission in Tecate, USA and went up Tecate Mountain about 7 miles before reaching the peak.  This was a narrow and twisting road and water and food had to be taken up to the men on duty there. 

At the dedication, topping the list of dignitaries at the program was M. B. Pratt, State Forestry, A. P. Dean, Cleveland National Forest Supervisor and his staff, C.R. Tillotson, Asst. Regional Forestry from San Francisco, Ed Fletcher, State Senator and Mrs. Fletcher along with County officials.

The lookout station was in operation for about 40 years, according to Dick Miller who worked for California Fire Dept. and was present when the station was dismantled sometime in the 1970ís.   By this time, there were enough people around to report fires and fires were usually spotted before the person at the lookout tower saw them.  The building was bolted to a cement slab and they cut the bolts and pulled it over with a bulldozer.  The next morning they went back to complete the dismantling of the building and found it had caught fire and burned.  

 

Just another slice of history where the main artery of transportation was Highway 94.

 

No pictures  

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