August 13, 1936: "Projects underway in Nantahala Forest, which are not dependent on the $10,000 ERA grant, include the erection of a new stone tower, 43 feet high, at the summit of Wayah Bald, 15 miles west of Franklin. This tower will replace a 25-foot wooden tower which had been used 10 years until it was recently razed. The new observatory will be built of native stones to harmonize with the surrounding, and will follow plans drawn by government engineers. It will be three stories high. A lobby and rest rooms will be on the first floor. The second floor will be used as an observatory for the public. It will be encased in glass windows and surrounded by a balcony. The top floor will be a fire observatory to be used by the warden only. It will be equipped with instruments for finding the exact location of fires observed, and will be connected by telephone with headquarters in Franklin. Living quarters for the warden also will be on the third floor. The tower will be 22 feet square at the base with five-foot concrete foundation blocks 12 inches thick. It will taper at the top to dimensions 16 feet square. Its weight has been estimated at half a million pounds, and the foundation has been excavated to bed rock." (The Cherokee Scout)
September 9, 1937: "The spotlight of public attention was focused on another scenic attraction in North Carolina with the dedication on Labor Day of the John B. Bryne Memorial Tower. This tower, located on Wayah Bald, near Andrews N.C., in the heart of the Nantahala National Forest was designed by the U.S. Forest service to serve a dual purpose. An observation level 24 feet above ground has been provided for visitors to the tower. From this vantage point may be surveyed a variety of scenery from every point of the compass. Rugged timber-covered peaks accentuate the contrast to the farm-dotted Tennessee Valley below. Above the public observation level is the towerman's quarters, where is housed the equipment necessary for fire protection. Throughout the fire season, in the spring and fall, the towerman keeps a lonely vigil on the lookout for the puff of smoke which, if spotted in its infancy and quickly controlled, may save thousands of dollars in fire damage and preserve fine stands of timber and countless number of wildlife. In dedicating this tower as a memorial to John Byrne, the U.S. Forest Service has provided not only a facility for the protection of the forests which he loved, but has also made available for the enjoyment of the public one of the outstanding scenic points in Western North Carolina." (The Cherokee Scout)
January 1939: "The John B. Byrne Memorial Tower on Wayah Bald is accessible by car just 15 miles west of Franklin over an excellent Forest Service graveled road. This stone tower has an inside stairway to the observation platform for tourists which is below the floor used by the lookouts." (A Guide to Forestry Activities)
November 23, 2016: The lookout structure was burned in the Camp Branch Fire, leaving only the stone base. Reconstruction is planned for sometime in the future.