James T. Saban (High Park) Lookout - Undated
|Registry Numbers||US 24, WY 1 (view other lookouts in United States, Wyoming)|
|Date Registered||November 15, 1991|
|Nominated by||Stewart Turner, District Forester; Robert E. Mountain, District Ranger, USFS, Bighorn National Forest, Tensleep Ranger District|
Bighorn National Forest
Washakie County, Wyoming
N 44° 08.950' W 107° 12.147' (view using Google Maps)
N 44° 08' 57" W 107° 12' 09"
N 44.149160° W 107.202451°
|Elevation||9,395 ft (2,864 m)|
|Administered by||U.S. Forest Service|
|Cooperators||Powder River Ranger District|
A unique stone and natural wood, 14 X 14 high roof structure, this tower was constructed in 1942 by the Civilian Conservation Corps.
Originally named the High Park Lookout, this tower was renamed in honor of James T. Saban by order of the Chief of the US Forest Service on April 7, 2015. Saban was a CCC foreman and former USFS ranger who died on August 21, 1937, while fighting the Blackwater Fire. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in December 2016.
Mr. Saban was born in 1901 in Shell, Wyoming. He attended the Polytechnic Institute in Billings, Montana, for 3 years and completed a 90-day course at the School of Forestry at the University of Montana. He began his Forest Service career in 1922 in the Bighorn National Forest and passed the Forest Ranger examination in 1923. He subsequently worked in the Chugach, Selway, Lolo, Flathead, Coeur d’Alene, Medicine Bow, Chippewa, and Wyoming National Forests. He resigned from the Forest Service due to ill health and was then appointed a foreman with the Civilian Conservation Corps. In August 1937, he was assigned to Ten Sleep Camp F-35 and had been on duty only 3 weeks when he met his death while fighting the Blackwater Fire.
The lightning-caused Blackwater Fire started August 18, 1937. Firefighters mobilized included officials from the Bureau of Public Roads, the Bighorn National Forest, and the Shoshone National Forest. Additionally, enrollees and foremen from six Civilian Conservation Corps camps were dispatched and engaged the fire.
Three days later, the Blackwater Fire claimed the lives of 15 men, injured 38 more, and scorched over 1,200 acres of the Shoshone National Forest. The 15 fatalities included three Forest Service officials, one from the Bureau of Public Roads, and 11 Civilian Conservation Corps enrollees and foremen, including Jim Saban.
Photo courtesy of Ron Kemnow