February 14, 1931: "Recommendations for establishing at once a fire lookout station on Mount McClellan in the Virginia range a few miles south of Virginia City will be made by H.I. Snider, district ranger, to the United States forest service, he said today, following a survey of the district. The station, if established, will be maintained by forest service funds. The peak is 7600 feet high and commands a view for fifty miles to the south in Carson Valley and to the Pinenut range and also commands a view of the east slope of the mountains bordering on the west side of Lake Tahoe. A private telephone line belonging to the Virginia & Gold Hill Water Company is within half mile of the proposed lookout station and an old road is within two hundred yards of the summit. At the present time there is no lookout station that commands a view of the east side of the mountains west of Reno and Carson Valley." (Reno Evening Gazette)
October 23, 1932: "The forest fire lookout station located at the summit of McClellan Peak in the Virginia range, on the east side of Washoe Valley, under construction the past summer by the United States forest service, is now nearing completion, according to H.I. Snider, district ranger, who was a visitor here yesterday from Truckee. Snider made a trip of inspection to the new station, which will be entirely fitted up and equipped this fall and be manned for service next year. A road was built to the site by Washoe county early in the summer from a point near the Five-Mile reservoir of the Virginia and Gold Hill Water Company, over which lumber and material was taken to the peak. The station also will be connected by telephone. Funds for building of the station were provided by the forest service to the extent of $800 and the balance of approximately $400 was supplied under the Clarke-McNary act. The operation of the lookout station will be the first in the western Nevada area bordering the Sierra." (Nevada State Journal)
August 11, 1933: "A fire sighted on the ridge at the head of Jack's Valley by George Merkle, lookout at McClellan mountain, west of Washoe Valley, after the thunderstorm Monday, was extinguished Wednesday without serious damage to the area. Lightning struck three trees on the ridge and was noted as soon as the storm clouds cleared. Word was phoned to W.T. Daniel, fire warden at Glenbrook, who with an aide, traveled several miles on foot over a rough country and reached the blaze in time to hold it within an acre of territory. A crew of 16 men followed from the c.c.c. camp and armed with pack pumps and other equipment entirely extinguished the embers. Water was secured from a nearby creek." (Nevada State Journal)
October 3, 1936: "A fire located on the old King's canyon road near the Carson City reservoir, was placed under control yesterdayafternoon after burning over six acres of timber. The fire was located by the McClellan Peak lookout." (Nevada State Journal)
August 3, 1951: "Eighteen air miles from downtown Reno, on a high wind swept mountain peak in the Washoe mountain range overlooking Big Washoe lake lives Nevada's only woman fire lookout. She is Mrs. Iola Ferguson who has lived in the Carson area for the last 11 years and has been employed as a lookout since 1944 when a manpower shortage forced the state to seek women employes for the job." (Mrs. Ferguson spent every season from 1944 to 1951 on McClellan with the exception of one season.)(Reno Evening Gazette)
July 3, 1970: "The forest fire lookout is gradually being phased out in Western Nevada, not by the pressure of economics but by necessity due to smog. Smog has increased in the surrounding valleys to the point that it has forced the closure of McClellan lookout, a short distance south of Virginia City. McClellan lookout was formerly manned by the Bureau of Land Management." (Nevada State Journal)
The NGS Data Sheet
DESCRIBED BY COAST AND GEODETIC SURVEY 1951 (LGT) THE STATION IS LOCATED ABOUT 7 MILES NORTH-NORTHEAST OF CARSON CITY, 5.5 MILES SOUTHWEST OF VIRGINIA CITY, AND ON WHAT IS LOCALLY KNOWN AS MC CLELLAN PEAK. IT IS A ONE STORY BUILDING ABOUT 14 FEET SQUARE AND 12 FEET HIGH. IT IS THE PROPERTY OF THE FOREST SERVICE. THE LIGHTNING ROD ON THE TOP AND CENTER OF THE BUILDING WAS THE POINT INTERSECTED. THE CENTER OF THE BUILDING IS 42.0 FEET OR 12.8 METERS NORTH-NORTHEAST OF TRIANGULATION STATION MC CLELLAN.