October 31, 1911: "State Fire Warden Maxwell C. Hutchins and Deputy J.J. Shepard of Pembroke, were in town last week. For the last one of a series of 15 forest fire observation stations, which covers practically the whole state, a location was secured on Shoot Flying Hill in Barnstable, the highest point in the vicinity. From this point an unobstructed view of the surrounding country within a radius of 20 miles can be obtained and it was chosen for the new fire observatory. For the present the "observatory' on Shoot Flying Hill will be used, but eventually a 30-foot steel observation tower will be erected from which a continual watch on the surrounding territory for any indication of forest fire will be made during the dangerous season." (Sandwich Observer)
August 11, 1913: "The following article,--first published in The Patriot of August 15th, 1904—is now reprinted by request, because of the renewed interest in Shoot Flying Hill. The tower on the hill was taken by the State last year as a Fire Observatory, and an upper story was then added to it by the State Forestry Department. This upper story is enclosed by large windows for the protection of the Observer, Mr. Calvin Benson. He has a circular chart there, with a pointer by the aid of which he is able to locate a forest fire accurately and then report it by telephone to the Forest Warden in whose region it occurs. This system of fire observation makes the tower even more interesting as a place to visit than it was at the time the following article was written. Mr. Benson states that during last summer he had 2355 visitors, and that sometimes he had as many as forty persons in one day. When this special interest is added to the natural attractions of the view, one can easily realize that out Lookout should be maintained upon the 'Roof of Cape Cod.' But the old wooden tower has almost finished its period of usefulness. The Forestry Department was obliged to put in new supports this year, and the State Fire Warden now feels that a steel tower must soon be built to take the place of the old structure. Consequently a time is near when the people of the Town of Barnstable and its summer residents must be ready to act together in order that the steel tower to be erected for the use of the Forestry Department shall also be adapted to the convenience of the visitors who come to see the 'living map' of the Cape stretched out below them. It would be well if all who care for this 'crown upon our Cape Cod mountain,' would make an effort to visit the tower this season so as to understand the present conditions and the future needs. Harriet S. Tolman, 'Green Lodge,' Wianno, Aug. 5, 1913." (The Barnstable Patriot) The balance of the story is rather lengthy, so in a nutshell: The original tower was erected in 1890 at a cost of approximately $200. The observation platform was 20 feet from the ground. For 14 years the tower was somewhat neglected and the weather and other stresses took a toll on the structure and the tower became weakened and rotten. In 1904 and thereabouts a project was undertaken to restore the structure, and then maintain it. 1911 the State Forestry Department made further improvements and converted the tower into a fire observation point. The name of the hill was derived from the days that early settlers would hunt wild ducks and geese from its heights.
March 26, 1917: "The old wooden tower at Barnstable has since been replaced by one similar to the one at Bourne and, being at the summit of Shoot Flying Hill, gives the observer an elevation of 200 above sea level." (Hyannis Patriot)
May 15, 1922: "Mr. Jenkins at his post in the watch tower on Shoot-Flying Hill has been having very strenuous times giving warnings of fire in all directions." (The Barnstable Patriot)
September 11, 1922: A portion of a letter published by the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce to the Adjt. General complaining about damage to private and State property caused by the troops in their training exercises: "3. At some time during the encampment, exact date unknown, a battery and mounted men drove through the State Forest Reservation on Shoot-Flying Hill and destroyed a very large number, estimated at 1000, of five-year old Scotch pine, set out by the Commonwealth. The troops were warned that it was a State Reservation by the Forest Fire Observer on the spot." (Boston Daily Globe)
October 15, 1923: "A Hyannis special in the New Bedford Standard states that the forest fire warden's towerf on Shoot Flying Hill, near the edge of Lake Wequaket, has been visited by 1,600 persons this year. They came from 20 states and six foreign countries. Last year more than 1,800 persons found their way to the spot. The Commonwealth established a lookout on the hill in 1912 and two years later built the present iron structure which is 50 feet high. The warden's observatory is 250 feet above the sea level and commands one of the finest views on Cape Cod." (Hyannis Patriot)
May 1933: "Though accompanied by only a small amount of rain, the storm was the worst in many years. Three and a half miles from the ocean, the windows of Shoot Flying Hill lookout tower were clouded with salt, according to Sam King, forest fire patrolman." (The Forest Worker)