1929: "Capitol Peak Lookout is unique in its construction. The top of this mountain, some 18 miles West of Olympia, is heavily timbered, largely with Balsam and Hemlock, and in topography, is a flat of some 15 acres. To get a clear view by normal means would have entailed the falling of all the timber on this bench and for some distance below it. As it will be some years before this timber is logged, this would have resulted in both the creation of a fire hazard and a loss of timber to decay. It was therefore decided to top four trees, brace them with sills as high as possible, and too construct upon the floor thus created, a tower. This was done; a tripod tower being erected on a floor 84 feet above the ground. To ascend, the lookout man sits in a bo'son's chair and pulls himself to the floor through a trap door by means of a fixed rope and aided by a counter-balance. The tower itself is a total of 119 feet above the ground. A ladder leads to the lookout point proper. The whole was then guyed and a stiff job made. This lookout is equipped with maps, properly oriented and equipped with an allidade for securing correct bearings. Material secured upon the ground was largely used, only such lumber as was essential being packed to the top of the mountain. The field men for the District were very enthusiastic about the lookout plan, and whole-heartedly gave of their energies during the period of construction, working long hours because on the long climb necessary to get to the point of construction." (22nd Annual Report of the Washington Forest Fire Association)
January 1930: "With the help of a high rigger, four trees were stripped of their branches to a top diameter of six inches. At a height of 84 feet, the four trees were joined by stout cedar joists, rough hewn. These were 6"x16"---24',and were spiked to the trees with 12-inch cut spikes, and further braced to the trees by specially made U-bolts. A floor was then placed on the joists. Because the four trees joined, or any other suitable trees, did not grow so as to form a square, it was decided to erect a tripod tower upon the floor. This tripod base forms an equilateral triangle, with sides 22 feet, a height of 35 feet, and a top triangle of 12 feet. Each leg was set in to the junction of the tree supports and the joists, except one leg, which was offset some four feet to make the triangle. Man power, plus blocks and manila rope, saw all the material hoisted to the top deck, and in the evening of the second day of erection of the tripod, this work was almost complete. To ascend to the lookout proper, a ladder rises from the hurricane deck to the crows nest, wherein is placed a fire finder. A counter-balance bosun's chair was rigged up, with a fixed manila rope running from the floor to the ground. The man, or even woman, who dares to ascend, pulls on the rope to overcome any lack of weight in the counterbalance. On reaching the deck, through a trap, the door is placed in position, and then the hero gets free from the chair. The main trees are guyed with haul-back line, one guy to each tree. The tripod is guyed to the point where the tree supports and the main floor joins. A good sound job was made of this unique structure, which is 119 feet from ground level to the lookout floor." (The Timberman)
1934: "It is also anticipated that the Capitol Peak lookout will have to be rebuilt. Built in 1929, it is supported by four topped trees, braced by cedar sills at the 85 foot mark. A floor is constructed on these sills, and a 30 foot tower completes the structure. It was intended only as a temporary structure until the time (estimated four years) as the hill should have been logged off. Trade conditions have slowed down progress, but it is felt unwise to leave the structure as it now stands, as three of the supporting trees are of hemlock and one of balsom. The area on which it is situated overlooks the State Forest of Grays Harbor and Mason Counties, besides a very large area of Thurston, Kitsap and Lewis Counties." (27th Annual Report of the Washington Forest Fire Association)
1935: "A centrally located 100-foot ring connected lookout tower, constructed from pressure creosoted Douglas fir, has been completed and overlooks the entire area." (Division of Forestry Annual Report)
Activated: March 9, 1942. Olympia Filter Center.
1946: "An 83-foot ring connected lookout tower was built to replace one demolished by wind on Capitol Peak in Thurston County." (Annual Report of the Forestry Division)
February 12, 1955: "Someone shot off the lock, broke two windows and stole several items from the Capital Peak lookout station of the State Department of Forestry. Two sleeping bags and a supply of C-rations were taken by burglars who entered the ground-level house of the lookout station. Max Gulberson told sheriff's deputies the burglary occurred sometime between January 25 and Wednesday, when it was discovered." (The Daily Chronicle)