1940: "At the conclusion of the fire season, a tractor trail was partially built to the summit of Elk Rock in Cowlitz County. Bad weather forced the close of this project with about one-half mile of construction to be completed. A Lookout tower will be erected on this point during the spring of 1941. (33rd Annual Report of the Washington Forest Fire Association)
1941: "The CCC undertook to erect an 80 foot lookout tower and cabin on Elk Rock, providing the Association would complete a road capable of allowing a 'cat' to haul up the materials. A road was located in the fall of 1940, and a goodly portion of it constructed. Early this spring, the road was pushed to the top and the CCC fulfilled its share of the load, constructing a tower which fully justified our observations as to the merits of the site as a lookout point. This tower overlooks an area subject to severe lightning storms, and no less than 11 separate fires from this cause were located and extinguished in this, the first year. These lookouts, one at Elk Rock located in the SE 1/4 of Section 31, Township 9 North, Range 4 East, and Squally Jim Lookout, located in Section 27, Township 13 North, Range 6 West, go a long way towards filling in our blind spots." (34th Annual Report of the Washington Forest Fire Association)
Activated: March 16, 1942; Deactivated: October 16, 1943. Portland Filter Center.
1954: "The old trail with thirteen switchbacks to Elk Rock Lookout has been converted into a jeep road." (Biennial Report of the Forestry Division)
October 12, 1962: The tower badly damaged in the Columbus Day storm. To be replaced by the new Ted Gilbert tower. (Longview Daily News)
May 1980: The eruption of Mt. St. Helens completely destroyed the lookout site.