Buckhorn Guard Station

by Stephen R. Carbaugh

There was a station dating back to the 1930s. Until the 60s and 70s such outposts were called "Guard Stations". Anyway, the original Buckhorn Guard Station was a four room structure, i.e., kitchen, bath, bedroom and general purpose room that served as office and living room. Total square footage was about 600 or so. Shake roof and siding - stained "redwood." Heated with a wood stove in the living room with a back-up LPG heater installed in the kitchen near the rear door.

A new residence was built in 1965-66 located down in the hollow below the original station. The original station remained as an office and information structure.

Also, a like structure (two car garage and generator room) was located on the west side of the driveway, adjacent to the original station building. No commercial power available at the time, i.e., a power generator was the only electricity. Telephone was via the "farmer" line (party line) system, in that, one would turn the crank for the operator in order to place a call to the outside world. Incoming calls were designated by a combination of long and short rings with the crank - Buckhorn was three long and two short.

Also, the Buckhorn Guard Station had a 500 gallon storage tank for refueling the Patrol #49 rig and utility pick-up. The fuel storage tank had a hand crank, not electric. The patrol truck in 1965 was a 1961 3/4 ton Ford Style-side with a 50 gallon slip-on water tank. The patrol had a coaster siren with two red lights, one steady and one flashing. A small Briggs & Stratton motor and centrifugal pump supplied a small "live reel" with 100 feet of garden hose and spring loaded nozzle. The utility pick-up was a 1958 1/2 ton Ford short-bed.

Oh, yes, the electrical power supply for the station was an Onan Generator fueled with LPG. However, when the new residence was built in 1965-66, LPG gas lamps were included. This adaptation saved wear and tear on the Onan Generator. During the winter, the lamps gave off heat - a plus during cold weather.

Also, the refrigerator was changed to an LPG type, taking the load off the electric generator. This move also made things much better, i.e., could leave the station for a couple of days without risk of losing what you had in the refrigerator, in that, the LPG system would keep things cold 24 hours a day.

The original structure burned down in the mid-1980s when an LPG regulator froze during a severe winter storm.

Today, 9/9/99, all structures have been removed from the site. No office. No residence. Only memories of the two tours my wife and family enjoyed, first in the original "Guard Station", and last in the "new" residence building.

I trust this information is of some interest to you and others.

Electronic mail messages of 9/9/99 and 9/13/99
from Stephen R. Carbaugh, Forest Service Officer
now in the Santa Clara / Mojave Rivers Ranger District
Thank you, Steve .
Relayed by Diana of Public Affairs, Angeles National Forest, USDA
in response to this question, "What happened to the Buckhorn Guard Station that appears on the 1972 Waterman Mountain Quadrangle, but not on 1995 edition?"
Thank you, Diana
Highlights are mine. JS

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Copyright © 1999 by Jane Strong
Permission is freely granted to reproduce any or all of this page as long as credit is given to me at this source:
Comments and feedback: Jane Strong
Updated 14 September 1999.