c.1942: "Hickory Ridge Lookout Station, fire tower constructed by U.S. Forest Service for fire detection purposes. Fine scenic view of surrounding country from Lookout cab. 1/2 mile south of town." ("Illinois Ozark Region - Historic Development of County Names, etc ...")
June 29, 1946: "A two-day hiking trail through the Shawnee Forest wilds of Southwestern Illinois, beginning at the Hickory Ridge lookout tower seven miles southwest of Murphysboro, has been laid out, marked and open for the use of most any sized group, by Wayman Presley of Makanda, assisted by the Buncombe Rural Youth Group." (Free Press)
June 9, 1949: (From a story of a two-day tour of the forest by a group of businessmen.) "The next stop was Hickory Ridge lookout tower, one of 15 which protects 475,000 acres within the 800,000 acre Shawnee area. Roy Olson, forest supervisor, said that the fire protection, which costs about $30,000 a year to maintain, has made real progress in decreasing loss by fire. In 1935, when the forestry service took over the area there were 390 fires which burned over 6,000 acres. Last year there 62 fires with damage covering 1300 acres. The tower proved its value, L.F. Tomlinson of West Frankfort was half way up the tower when his new straw hat was picked up by the wind and sailed down a thickly wooded hillside. A forester at the top of the tower called directions while another forester recovered the hat. From the tower one can see about 15 miles. Each tower is connected by telephone or radio with ranger stations at Jonesboro, Vienna and Elizabethtown and the substation at Murphysboro." (The Daily Independent)
August 18, 1972: An advertisement was published in the 'Southern Illinoisan' for bids for the sale of this and seven other steel lookout towers on the Shawnee National Forest.