Bruce Dreher's Backyard Lookout

Working on Square MountainBruce Dreher is another person who has a passion for lookouts. Bruce is a retired Forest Service employee who has worked on preservation projects for a number of lookouts on the Nez Perce National Forest. A couple notable structures Bruce played a key role in restoring are Sourdough Lookout and Square Mountain Lookout.

"It is not on a tower, it sits on the ground but because of contact with the ground the base logs were rotten and we dug those out and replaced them. Actually, we pretty much took the thing down and rebuilt it from scratch."
— Bruce Dreher, historic preservation specialist talking about Square Mountain

Bruce and his wife Nancy also took on a big personal project. They bought an old lookout from the Nez Perce Forest and restored it in their back yard near Slate Creek.

The Dreher's backyard fire lookout

"I worked for the forest service for many years and had lookouts on the district and we were down at the post office one day and saw that it was advertized did anyone want to bid on it and I thought well, somebody will bid a hundred bucks for the hardware in it. So I bid one hundred and thirteen or something like that and I was the only bidder.
It was up a back road that starts near our place so we went up there and took a tent and looked it over. It was just my wife and I and we just set up a tent and camped there and spent all the daylight hours of about eight days marking every piece and taking it piece by piece down and keeping a record of where each piece came from putting it back the same way."

— Bruce Dreher, lookout owner

Bruce and Nancy Dreher in their fire lookout

"Just the idea that it was being put up for bid by the forest service and it suddenly occurred to us that up here on our little hill top that it would be kind of fun to have it. It was just the idea that we'd always been fascinated with lookouts and liked going up on them. It is a point of interest, I can see a good deal of a beautiful part of the Salmon River and the little community of Slate Creek. We've been interested in keeping some of the old buildings around, especially log cabins and lookouts or any of the old buildings, just part of the history so that has been kind of a point of pride to do that."
— Nancy Dreher, lookout owner