February 17, 1952: "Wind Cave National Park -- The name Ranking Ridge has been officially approved to indicate a ridge near the park. The highest point on the ridge is over 5,050 feet and plans are underway to erect a forest fire lookout tower at this point. The ridge is named for William A. Rankin, first superintendent of the park. He served in the Spanish-American War with Captain Seth Bullock, of Deadwood, and his Rough Riders." (Deadwood Pioneer-Times)
1952: A 40-foot cedar pole tower with a crows nest moved from Elk Mountain to be used as a temporary lookout.
July 15, 1954: "One fire was reported on the Black Hills National Forest this morning. Supervisor Jack Kern, Custer, said a blaze 1 1/2 miles northeast of Pringle, was picked up by Elva Grimes, State Park lookout at Rankin Ridge. It was controlled by three surveyors and the mop-up was done by the Pringle Fire Department and Gordon Wyatt, Hot Springs. It was a lightning strike, reported about 3 p.m. Wednesday. Little damage was done." (Deadwood Pioneer-Times)
1956: A permanent all steel tower and cab erected.