Huckleberry Mountain Lookout
Roxie Metzler was a third generation fire lookout and charter member of the SMS who was a friend to everyone she knew, and she was highly influential in the formation of the Society's restoration ethic. She served as a trusted member of the SMS Board of Directors until her passing in 2008.
Huckleberry Lookout was the last of several lookouts she staffed during her lifetime, and when District officials began to discuss possibly replacing the historic building in the early 1990s, she offered instead to lead and organize a restoration effort (to be carried-out by a combination of volunteers and Forest Service personnel). The SMS supported each phase of her work.
Ultimately, Roxie organized a group of local voluteers called Friends of Huckleberry which worked in partnership with District officials. It was a model project that -- in classic Roxie form -- brought together people from the District, local businesses, colleges, and of course, the SMS.
Don Allen Jr. sanding the SMS-installed
floor at Huckleberry Lookout in 2003
Roxie was never one to take shortcuts, and her devotion to traditional methods was contagious. As an educator with Master's degree, she was particularly skilled at explaining the value of doing things in just the right way.
Roxie's quality ethic and sensitivity to maintaining historic fabric became the prevailing philosophy within the SMS, and set the tone for the work we do to this day.
Huckleberry Lookout stands as a testament to Roxie's efforts. The SMS continues to work with District officials to maintain the structure, and has joined forces with the Forest's Heritage Program Manager, Cathy Lindberg, to pick-up the mantle of Roxie's near completed nomination of the lookout to the National Register of Historic Places.
Thanks to their shared interests, Roxie became a close friend of Doug Newman, the well-known writer and outdoor enthusiast from Eugene who advocated for the preservation of historic fire lookouts everywhere. Roxie guided Doug to Sand Mountain for his first visit to the site after the "new old lookout," as he called it, was under construction.
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Roxie Metzler and Doug Newman at
Sand Mountain in late August 1989