Mowich - AWS Observation Post
AWS in Washington
The Mowich AWS site was a winter location that replaced Glacier View Lookout during the winter and spring months. It was located in Camp 5 of the St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company, near where the Mowich River hits the Puyallup. Today, the area is known as the Kapowsin Tree Farm. Access is restricted today to permit holders only, a cost of several hundred dollars. Below are the words from 6 memos I have about the Mowich AWS.
Location: NW1/4 S11 T16N R6E
Structure: Temporary Lease of a house
Owner of Land at Time: St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company
Historic image of Camp 5 - Good visibility in all directions for aircraft spotting. Lookout was alongside the railroad on the west end of the camp (right side of picture).
If another station besides National should be maintained in place of Glacier View, I suggest Mowich Lake, which is at the end of the road in the Rainier National Park where the Park Service have an excellent cabin. This is at a high elevation and has good visibility. If this is not considered feasible, a location on the Carbon River Road could be found, or a point further down on the Mowich Ridge road would be satisfactory. Also, Camp 5 of the St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company is located in Sec. 11, T. 16N., R. 6 E. This is on a flat and the area all around it is cut over, so that it has a wide range of visibility.
August 1, 1942 letter from H.L. Plumb, Forest Supervisor
It also appears that the proposal to move Glacier View to Camp 5 of the St. Paul and Tacoma Lumber Company is desirable, particularly in view of the establishment of the State station at National. If this move proves practicable, steps should be taken to carry it out. The Camp 5 location gives good coverage and eliminates the necessity of a station at Tolmie Peak or Mowich Lake.
August 4, 1942 letter from James Frankland (Engineering) to Supervisor, Snoqualmie
A location for the Camp 5 O.P. which will replace Glacier View, was selected. This is alongside the railroad but is on the west end of the camp where the track is level and the machines will not be making much noise. The occupants of the houses nearby state that they hear practically every plane that goes over. The St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company will set off a bunkhouse but some partitions might have to be put in, for which they would supply the lumber. They are unable to secure carpenters so the Lookout himself might have to do the work. The Company was asked to get the building moved by October 1 as the weather is getting rather disagreeable on Glacier View and it is figured the move should be made at about that time.
September 18, 1942 letter from H.L. Plumb, Forest Supervisor
The observers at Mowich will move to Glacier View tomorrow or next day. The new code is Jig 3-5.
July 7, 1943
Glacier View will move to Mowich at 8:00 P.M. Friday, September 24.
September 20, 1943
Showing location of Mowich AWS (Camp 5)
Topo map still shows an opening in the forest and two buildings
1937 Eatonville topo map showing Camp 5 access by railroad