1914: The site first developed as a heliograph lookout. (See: Tumwater Mountain entry for March 20, 1914)
June 22, 1915: "Under supervision of A.H. Sylvester, supervisor of the Wenatchee national forest reserve, lookout stations are being erected on four mountains in Chelan county for the purpose of detecting and subduing forest fires. One peak to be utilized is Tiptop, near the old town of Blewett. During the summer season one man will be on constant guard at each of the four places, one of which will be the central station. Each man will be equipped with a heliograph and compass, in order to get bearings and signal to the central station, which will have a phone and can send assistance at once." (The Semi-Weekly Spokesman-Review)
June 23, 1916: "The telephone line from Blewett to Tiptop mountain will be completed in a short time and as an aid to report fires in that section will be a great help." (The Leavenworth Echo)
July 30, 1920: "Lookout--Dan Shaser at the summit of Tiptop mountain from which point he reports fires over an area of 600 square miles." (The Leavenworth Echo)
August 12, 1921: "The forest service is building a telephone line from Tiptop Lookout some 15 miles south of here to the Forest Office at Leavenworth. This piece of work will put the Tiptop Lookout in direct communication which is a very important factor, because once a fire is spotted it is very important that it be immediately reported so the location can be platted and a fireman sent to suppress it. Ranger Brender says that he will rush this work as much as possible as he thinks the telephone a big factor in fire suppression. (The Leavenworth Echo)
September 9, 1921: "Forest Ranger John S. Brender and crew are now building a telephone line to connect with the one just completed to Tiptop mountain to connect with the Ingall's Creek firemen's cabin at the old bridge site of the creek. This makes it possible to get into quick communication with all parts of Mr. Brender's district." (The Leavenworth Echo)
June 20, 1924: “Forest Supervisor A.H. Sylvester has virtually completed the placing of summer employees in the Wenatchee National Forest.” “On top of Tiptop H.C. Stewart will be lookout.” (The Leavenworth Echo)
August 15, 1924: “A lookout station is under construction on Tip Top mountain.” (The Leavenworth Echo)
July 5, 1929: “E.S. Gaines, Forest Service lookout on Tip Top, says he has about the finest view of the surrounding country from his station that anyone could want, and he invites folks who like their scenery very much 'in the air' to pay him a visit any time the spirit moves them. Mr. Gaines will be only to glad to welcome visitors and will take pleasure in pointing what he considers the greatest variety of rare scenic points of interest that can be viewed from any one spot hereabouts. Tip Top is approximately 5200 feet above sea level and can be reached over a good trail up Ruby Creek. On the way the hiker passes through Deer Park, where deer can nearly always be seen grazing, and then on through Camas Prairie to the station, from which vantage point the following peaks may be seen: Mission Peak, 6887 feet; Table Mountain, 6243 feet; Three Brothers, 7370 feet; Miller Peak, 6460 feet; Mt. Lillian; Bee Hive Mountain From the station the visitor can look down upon Blewett Pass and Sunset Highway and on clear days may be seen Glacier Peak, 40 miles away and 10,436 feet high; Mt. Rainier, 50 miles away and 14,408 feet above sea level, and Mt. Adams, 75 miles away and reaching a height of 12,807 feet.” (The Leavenworth Echo)
September 27, 1930: “Mr. and Mrs. George Dennis stationed at Tiptop lookout, have had a special treat all summer in the way of newspapers being dropped off daily, the pilots shutting off the motor and swooping down close to the lookout and dropping the papers within easy reach. Fires on Polollie ridge and Waptus lake were reported to Dennis by Pilot Louie Brennen, co-pilot Johnnie Haunsell, who spotted the fires and dropped a note at the lookout, giving a detailed location by local landmarks. The re;ports were phoned from the lookout to Ranger Burch at Salmon le Sac, and men were promptly sent in to check the blaze before it spread. Dennis is completing his third season as lookout in the Wenatchee national forest, having been previously stationed on Alpine and Sugarloaf lookouts where his work was so satisfactory that he was chosen to act as instructor for the lookouts at the guard training camp at Van Creek last spring. He is a graduate of Washington State college.” (The Wenatchee Daily World)
October 1930: "On Sept. 2, about 5 p.m., a Mamer Air Transport plane driven by Johnnie Haunsell, 419 Paulson Building, Spokane, Washington, dropped a fire report on Tiptop lookout on the Wenatchee, reporting a fire near Taylor River Ranger Station on the Snoqualmie. It was the first report received as none of the lookouts saw it, and enabled four men to find and extinguish the fire before it spread. Both the Wenatchee and Snoqualmie offices sent letters of appreciation to the company, whose headquarters are in Spokane, Washington. M.W. Prasch" (Six Twenty-Six)
May 8, 1932:"There was a look-out at Tip-Top station near Leavenworth, Wash., who didn't know until afterward that a hot, sizzling streak of lightning struck not ten feet above his head. A district forest ranger stood almost within shouting distance and witnessed the direct hit on the diminutive building wherein sat the anxious watcher. 'A great flame,' he said afterward, 'seemed to roll over the building and shot out one of the guy wires that anchored it to a cliff. It burned the guy off and blasted loose about two tons of rock, but the look-out, deafened by incessant thunder, was ignorant of his flirtation with death. Had the station been not protected by the lightning cage it would have been shattered and its occupant killed.' " (The Sunday Oregonian)
August 4, 1932: “Mrs. A.B. Kester spent a week up at Tip-Top lookout station with her husband.” (The Wenatchee World)
June 23, 1933: Leavenworth District: Harold Kester, Tiptop lookout. (The Leavenworth Echo)
May 29, 1934: "Harold Kester of Leavenworth is on Tiptop, on Camas creek overlooking much of the lower country where the early season heat has created especial fire hazard." (The Wenatchee Daily World)
June 1, 1934: “John Nelson was placed on Sugarloaf lookout on May 21, and Harold Kester was placed on Tiptop Wednesday of this week.” (The Leavenworth Echo)
April 1935: "Under the date line of February 27, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer carried a feature story describing a trip from Seattle to Spokane via a Northwest Air Lines' plane. A few days prior to the publication of the story a staff photographer had made the trip and had evidently written his column while still very much enthused about the trip. One of the highlights of the trip was described as the delivery of a copy of the P-I to 'Forest Ranger' H.B. Kester on Tiptop lookout, and a picture of the Tiptop lookout house was offered as proof that the photographer was an eye witness to the delivery. The picture showed that the building was shut up tight for the winter, shutters were all down, and considerable snow on the ground. During the time the lookout is occupied, the man stationed at Tiptop receives a newspaper daily donated by the friendly pilots of the Northwest Air Lines. Evidently the station was pointed out as the lookout house where a newspaper was delivered during the summer months, and the staff photographer in order not to overlook any interesting high spots of the trip declared himself an eye witness to the delivery of a newspaper from a plane to a lonely lookout in the month of February. I wonder how many readers of the P-I will be convinced that we have found lookouts on duty this time of year. R.W. Crawford" (Six Twenty-Six)
June 4, 1935: “U.S. Forest Service lookout stations have been manned in the lower areas of the Wenatchee national forest, where an unusually dangerous fire season is in prospect, Walter E. Anderson, fire assistant,announced this morning. Albert Kester is on Tiptop.” (The Wenatchee Daily World)
May 1938: Plans were approved for the erection of a garage - woodshed at the lookout.
June 8, 1950: "The first forest service lookout in this district went to work Tuesday when Mr. and Mrs. Don Fife reported to the Tip Top lookout station, 10 miles out of Cashmere." (Walla Walla Union-Bulletin)
National Geodetic Survey
DESIGNATION - TIPTOP PID - SX1145 STATE/COUNTY- WA/CHELAN COUNTRY - US USGS QUAD - TIPTOP (1989)
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1941 (JCS) THE STATION IS LOCATED ON TIPTOP MOUNTAIN, LYING ABOUT 14 MILES W OF WENATCHEE, 9 MILES SW OF CASHMERE, AND ABOUT 2-1/2 MILES E OF U.S. HIGHWAY 10. IT IS ON THE HIGHEST POINT IN THE VICINITY.
THE STATION MARK IS 15 FEET NE OF THE NE CORNER OF THE LOOKOUT TOWER AND PROJECTS 3 INCHES. IT IS STAMPED TIPTOP 1941.
TO REACH FROM WENATCHEE, GO N ON U.S. HIGHWAY 10 TO CASHMERE, THENCE CONTINUED W ON U.S. HIGHWAY 10 FOR 9.9 MILES TO DRYDEN. FROM DRYDEN, CONTINUE NW ON U.S. HIGHWAY 10 FOR 1.7 MILES TO JUNCTION OF U.S. HIGHWAY 97. TURN LEFT ONTO U.S. HIGHWAY 97, GO 4.8 MILES TO A POINT WHERE HIGHWAY CROSSES THE PESHASTIN RIVER. CONTINUE S ON THE HIGHWAY 0.9 MILE. TURN LEFT OFF HIGHWAY AS PER SIGN CAMAS CR. RD. AND FOLLOW THE MAIN-TRAVELED ROAD 1.2 MILES. TAKE RIGHT FORK AND GO 0.4 MILE TO A FORKS. TAKE RIGHT FORK AS PER SIGN TIPTOP L.O. 6, DEET PARK 4 AND FOLLOW THE MAIN-TRAVELED ROAD 1.1 MILES TO A FORKS. TAKE THE LEFT FORK AND FOLLOW THE MAIN ROAD KEEPING ALL LEFT FORKS FOR 2.1 MILES TO SIGN ON RIGHT RUBY CREEK TRAIL. THE AZIMUTH MARK IS ABOUT 100 YARDS UP THE HILL TO NE OF THIS SIGN. CONTINUE ON THE MAIN-TRAVELED ROAD FOR 1.9 MILES TO TIPTOP LOOKOUT TOWER AND THE STATION. A DRIVE STATION.