Arthur Johnson Interview, May 21, 1984


Arthur Johnson


Dan Hall



Download Audio Interview (34.4 MB)

Download Transcript of Arthur Johnson Interview (4.7 MB)


Arthur Johnson recalls his time spent as a lookout during the summer of 1931, working for the U.S. Forest Service in the Slate Creek Ranger District on the St. Joe National Forest in northern Idaho. Johnson talks about packing in his rations, and the make-shift living situation at the lookout. He describes how he identified fires, and the method lookouts used to pinpoint the exact locations using maps. He reminisces about the solitary nature of the work, but notes the enjoyable evening phone conversations with the 10-12 other lookouts in the area. Johnson recalls the danger in being a lookout, and some instances of lookout deaths from lightning.

Document Type

Oral History


Fire lookout stations, Idaho; U.S. Forest Service; Saint Joe National Forest; Avery, Idaho; Wallace, Idaho; Fire lookouts Idaho; Forest fires Idaho; Saint Joe National Forest Prevention and control

Original Date


Time Period

Twentieth century

Geographic Coverage




Original Collection

Forestry, Land Use, and Conservation Oral History Collection, Archives and Special Collections, Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula

Digital Publisher

University of Montana-Missoula. Mansfield Library


Copyright to this collection is held by the interview participants and by the Maureen and Mike Mansfield Library, University of Montana-Missoula. Permission may be required for use. For further information please contact Archives and Special Collections: (406) 243-2053 /

Oral History Number

OH 127-001

Media Type

Sound; Text

Original Format

1 sound cassette (01:00:00 min.) analog + 1 transcript (10 p.: 28 cm.)

Digital Format

audio/mp3; application/pdf

Run Time

00:27:09 minutes

Local Filename

OH_127_001.mp3; OH_127_001.pdf

Arthur Johnson Interview, May 21, 1984