Boat Mountain Lookout Tower
US 1694, AR 13

Lookout Details

Registry Numbers US 1694, AR 13 (view other lookouts in United States, Arkansas)
Date Registered August 14, 2022
Nominated by Jason Johns
Location Newton County, Arkansas
Coordinates N 36° 06.695' W 093° 01.913' (view using Google Maps)
N 36° 06' 42" W 093° 01' 55"
N 36.111587° W 093.031877°
Elevation 2,221 ft (677 m)
Built 1936
Administered by AFC


  • 100ft Aermotor with a diagonal staircase
  • 6 Landings/7 Flights
  • Site Visit - 3/20/22 

Information from Ron Kemnow's site

March 2, 1936:  "Fifty of our boys under the supervision of Foreman Reid and Hale of Camp Harrison and Foreman Holt of Camp Jasper are rapidly bringing the construction of the Boat Mountain road to a close.  The road will be about three miles long and will in the next few days be open for traffic.
      A fire tower is being constructed on the top of the mountain.  This road and tower will do much good in the suppression of forest fires.  In addition, it should be a source of interest to sightseers, as many beautiful scenes are to be found there."  (Harrison Daily Times - from the CCC newspaper 'The Dirt Dauber')

​April 23, 1936: 
 "A road up to the top has been built by forest rangers and a lookout tower erected on Boat Mountain.  The primary reason is to enable the rangers to combat possible forest fires over a vast extent of country.
     The mountain, about ten miles south of Harrison, is now open to the public and will become a favorite picnic point of interest.  From the tower, streams and towns for fifty miles in all directions may be located.  Harrison, Bellefonte, Western Grove, Yardelle, Valley Springs, Hasty and Jasper may be recognized.  The visitors are awed by the vast extent of beautiful country and colorful mountains, farming land, forests and sky."  (Harrison Times)

May 28, 1936:  "A steady stream of cars Sunday carried visitors from several counties up the new road to the peak of Boat Mountain, 2220 feet above sea level and the highest mountain close to Harrison.
     The State Forestry Service has built a steel observation tower, 100 feet high, on top of this mountain, and visitors who are not afraid of climbing the flights of steps to the 'cab' atop the tower, can look down upon Jasper, Western Grove, Valley Springs, Bellefonte and Harrison, with a clear view in all directions."  (Harrison Times)

August 27, 1936:  "The next big local event is next Thursday, when the state forestry service entertains with a picnic at the site of the observation tower on top of Boat Mountain.  Speakers will include H.W. Wheeler, chief lecturer of the U.S. Forestry Service, C.A. Gillett of the state forestry service, and Senator Roy Milum.
     A bunch of games and contests are slated for the afternoon, Harrison merchants donating the prizes.  Traffic on the new road up the mountain will be one-way alternately for those going up and down.
     Boat Mountain, about eight miles from Harrison, is almost twice as high as this city.  If you're not subject to dizzy spells, the climb up the 100-foot steel tower is diverting."  (Harrison Daily Times)

September 11, 1936:  "An ordinance was passed granting a franchise to construct telephone lines in the city to connect the State Forestry office with lines at the city limits leading to Boat Mountain observation tower, south of Bellefonte.  Harlan Martin, district forester, represented the State Forestry Commission in obtaining the franchise, which gives the Harrison office a private line to the observation tower."  (Harrison Daily Times)

July 15, 1937:  "The second annual Forest Festival will be held on Boat Mountain, Wednesday, August 4th, E.H. Martin, district Forest Ranger, announced today.
     A program has been prepared that will provide plenty of entertainment for both young and old, Mr. Martin said.  The festival represents the annual get-to-gether meeting of the Cooperators and Volunteer Fire Guards of the Forestry Commission, although the public is invited to attend."  (Harrison Daily Times)

August 14, 1956:  "Mr. and Mrs. Joe Russell of Boat Mountain Forest Tower yesterday were presented with their wings and certificates for participation in the Ground Observer Corps by M-Sgt. Robert H. Burneson, U.S. Air Force representative for Northwest Arkansas.
     Mr. and Mrs. Russell operate Ground Observer Post Mike Golf 50 black and have given more than 2300 hours watching for and reporting aircraft to the Air Defense Filter Center in Joplin, Mo., since April 7, 1956.
     The Russells find that aircraft spotting does not interfere with their regular job of watching for forest fires.  Sgt. Burneson pointed out that in most cases volunteers, are asked to spend only two hours per week as observers, a small price for an adequate air defense system." (Harrison Daily Times)


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