35a. PINE MT LOOKOUT 1943

According to New Hampshire Fire Lookout Historian Iris Baird, in her book Looking Out for Our Forests, in the early 19402 Barbara Mortensen of Berlin, NH became part of Pine Mountain’s history.

Historian Baird notes that there were a few women during World War II who took on fire tower and airplane lookout work, which until then had been “men's work.” A pioneer of a sort, like our Dolly a century earlier, Barbara was one of these select few new female USFS employees.

 


The photos below are of Barbara at work in 1943. They were copied from the National Archives site where their source is cited as the U. S. Office of War Information:

 

“Barbara paid her own way on
the railroad and then walked up the
Dolly Copp B Road to her tower." - I. Baird

 

"On Pine Mountain..... Mortensen had a station with
a live-in cab perched atop a forty foot wooden tower
... her husband was in the Navy and at sea.” - I. Baird

“Her dog Brenda had a little trouble
getting up the stairs to her living quarters
at least for the first few times." - I. Baird

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The device

 

 

 

 

 

 

As for the view she continually scanned, all photos are dated 1943 from the National Archives.



View northeast into Maine along Androscoggin River Valley

Above and below: June 1943 views from
the Library of Congress archive, "from the fire
tower manned by Barbara Mortensen, a fire
and airplane lookout on Pine Mountain."


View of Peabody River Valley south past
Dolly Copp, Carter Notch at left, Presidentials at right

 

 

 

 

 

“She was very close to the Town
of Gorham and was able to enjoy the
band concerts from her lookout...” - I. Baird