Jasper Bilby and a crew of 12 men came to Arizona in September of 1910. They were establishing observation and survey stations on several mountains tops in Arizona, including the White Tank Mountains, The Superstitions, and the Catalina Mountains. As members of the Coast and Geodetic Survey, they would spend the next two months on the mountain tops taking measurements for a detailed survey of the United States. Working with acetylene signal lamps at night and heliographs by day, the men sent signals from mountain top to mountain top, taking measurements.
(A heliograph is an instrument with a mirror that reflects the sun light in a signal beam.) The survey crew would live and work at the station on the White Tank Mountains for several weeks and then move west to California to continue the survey. Besides the instruments, the men hauled up tents, cots, cooking utensils, food and water to the top of the White Tank Mountains on the backs of mules.