Monday, November 23, 2015

Code of the West...Realities of Rural Living in Siskiyou County

Happy Camp/Klamath River Happy Camp is a small, friendly, rural, mountain community on Highway 96 midway between I-5 and the Pacific Coast. This rustic community on the “Wild and Scenic” Klamath River is in northwest Siskiyou County approximately 20 miles south of the Oregon border. Happy Camp is surrounded by the Red Buttes, the Siskiyou and the Marble Mountain Wilderness areas.

Happy Camp is located in the center of the ancestral territory of the Karuk Tribe, which has resided along this part of the Klamath River since time immemorial. Karuk people are recognized throughout the world for the quality of their basketry, and their traditional culture continues to be an important part of everyday life. 3

The Happy Camp/Klamath River/Hamburg/Seiad Valley Area is an important part of early California gold mining history. In the early 1900's more than 5,000 people were in and around the village of Hamburg trying to “scratch out” a living at hundreds of placer mines. By the 1860s most of the mines were “worked out” and the few hardy souls that remained worked in logging or ranching. Small stores survived in the area as supply centers for remote ranches and logging camps.

 The Klamath River area is renowned as a bird watcher’s paradise with scores of birds able to be seen in a remote, scenic habitat. This area is great for the outdoor enthusiast who wants to “get away from it all” and is one of the best locations for fishing, hunting, golfing, wilderness horse packing, rafting, kayaking, boating, hiking, camping, recreational gold mining, rock hounding and mountain biking.

This post is taken from The Code of the West...Realities of Living in Siskiyou County: A primer for living in Siskiyou County, California by the Office of County Administrator 2005

Friday, October 30, 2015

Happy Camp Copes with Crime and Emergency

©Judy Bushy reprinted from Siskiyou Daily News August, 2015
While there is more free time before the summer ends, plan to go to the Neighborhood Watch meeting the first Monday of the month. The Community Emergency Resource Team meets at the same time. 
There has been concern on Facebook about the reports that we are about a hundred years “overdue” for a big earthquake in the West Coast. That makes me grateful not to be living in Seattle, Portland or San Francisco! But it did say that if the big 9.? Quake comes, everything west of I-5 would be toast…not literally of course!
Block diagram of southwest B.C. showing the Juan de Fuca plate descending beneath North America along a subduction zone.
Block diagram of southwest B.C. showing the Juan de Fuca plate descending beneath North America along a subduction zone.

Happy Campers handle electric outages, flood and wildfire with capability that you wouldn’t imagine! But it is a reminder that having water and some basic food and camping gear is a great benefit to get along relatively comfortably in an emergency. See how you could help your neighbors and be prepared yourself if calamity comes! At the same time, show your support to those working to make our community safer and more crime free when they meet the first Monday of each month.Contact Becky Tiraterra or Lisa Scott for further information and to volunteer to help with the Happy Camp Neighborhood Watch program!

Friday, October 16, 2015

Happy Camp's Old Town Park

"Old Town River Park", AFTER Community work!
©By Judy Bushy

In the beginning the park idea was brought to the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce by Charlotte and Willie Attebery of Evans Mercantile and Ellen Johnson. At that time the Chamber was having lunch every Wednesday at the Pizza Place and More that Bill and Ellen Johnson opened after Headway Market on 2nd Avenue closed. They proposed that the half acre piece of land, now owned by two private parties be purchased for the enjoyment of the whole community.

Wouldn't it be wonderful to take  old, overgrown lots in the "old town" of Happy Camp and make a nice "village square" for members of the community to enjoy!                                          
Ellen Johnson BEFORE beginning all the hard work
 to tame the wild weedy lot!

The empty lot that had at once been the site of the Del Rio Movie Theater, Timber Inn Cafe and Saloon with a Dance Hall behind had burned to the ground. It had a long bar, some say the longest bar in California, in a "U" shaped configuration in the back. We still get inquiries about that bar at the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce. The Del Rio had been in that place from 1945 until the disaster on 1975. I remember eating at the Timber Inn when my uncle came to visit me in Happy Camp a few years before then,. The Dance Hall had been called Russell's Hall. After the fire, the lot was overgrown with weeds which became small trees and other assorted refuse added to the eyesore. The purchase of the land, and it's improvement were the first orders of business. The Happy Camp Action Committee was given a $5,000 grant toward work at the Old Town Park. Bill Heitler, who worked for the Forest Service, was working with a group from different Districts, on community improvement projects and they came to Happy Camp to help with the old town park. They put in some water lines and Howard Garthwait, President of the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce at that time, used his engineering expertise to assist in sidewalk improvement.  Yet there was still more to do and funds to bring in.

W. Beth Buchanan fundraiser, with Frank Davis, and two teens who
drew out the winning raffle tickers, (Miss Loyd &    )
Beth Buchanan began to assist with Fundraising in unique ways. There was a big raffle and dinner at the Old Elementary School which began to make the funds grow. Through bake sales, raffles, plant sales and donations from concerned citizens and organizations they raised $24,300 by January 2011.

Beth Buchanan and a group of others: Deb Hale, Patt Celayeta of Clinic Pharmacy, Helen Forbes a massage therapist, Barbara Thrasher of the Happy Camp Post Office, Jill Livingston of Living Gold Press and Wendy Beth Buchanan of Mosaic Press began collecting recipes. They put signs up in bulletin boards, e-mail, phone calls, friendly visits and drop boxes and the recipes poured in. According to Beth, "Project pace was affectionately referred to as "River Time" and suited their job schedules nicely" And they collected"All the best dishes from the creatively self reliant inhabitants of the spectacular Klamath River mountain region at the very top of California's wild west."

Finally, the "Old Town Park" was paid for and became the gathering place for many in the community. There are plans in the works for improvements yet to come: perhaps, drinking fountains, lighting, public restrooms, perhaps a gazebo with a small performing stage. The Happy Camp Service District holds the title to the property and will assume all future maintenance responsibilities. It's a great gathering place for neighbors and visitors alike.

                                      Timber Inn before the fire that destroyed buildings on half an acre of land                                                             in Happy Camp at Washington and Second Avenue. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Literary Tribute to Dear Mad'm by Stella W. Patterson

Many people still come to Happy Camp because they want to meet Stella W. Patterson. Of course, Stella's story of a decision she made at the age of 80 to try living along the Klamath River on a rustic mining claim happened about 1964. But people still come to see where her wilderness cabin was and find out more about her!! After Dear Mad'm was published in 1956 it was very popular across the United States, became a Book "Club selection, and was also published abroad.

After getting all kinds of questions from visitors, Linda Martin had the idea of a Dear Mad'm event to celebrate the story of an adventurous mature woman living along the Klamath River! First Dear Mad'm Picnic was 2011 at the Klamath River Resort Inn a couple miles east of Happy Camp with a beautiful setting on the lawns overlooking the river! Rod Diradon and Gloria, his sister Claudia and her husband Dick  Peter and Elizabeth Lismer and many from town and Hazel Gendron from Redding were among the guests. It was such fun to hear the stories of Stella's days on the river. Pete and Liz were writing a book about Stella at the time and busily taking notes of everyone's impressions. Cindy from the Coast who is a niece of Stella's second husband,  James Patterson, and friends came as well. We had a tour of the site where Dear Mad'ms cabin had been een though our guide was called away for a fire alarm, and several vehicles got stuck in the sand when they left the path. Gloria made great so'mores around the campfire in the eening at KRRI and we watched the fish jumping. Perfect end to a great day celebrating a literary work that took place right here.

Second event, 2012's Dear Mad'm Symposium began again at a reception at Naturegraph Publishers where the owner, Barbara Brown has kept the Dear Madm in paperback since it went out of hardback. Lunch was held at the Karuk Senior Nutrition (old Headway) Building and Dear Mad'm Who Was She? by Peter and Elizabeth Lismer was launched! Everyone was so anxious to hear about Stella's life before and after the year that she wrote about in Dear Mad'm!! There were over sixty people at the luncheon! Judy Hahn had been discovered for her poetry abilities and she started a poem about Dear Mad'm that was so enjoyable capsule of the story!! Karen Tulledo told a Sourdough Story that she had written, Roberta Everett brought a rocking chair that had belonged to Stella too. Bonnie Alvarez and some high school girls, Audrey and Cheyenne served a delicious luncheon like a Sunday Dinner from back in those days!! Happy Senior ladies made homemade pies too!

Third Annual Dear Mad'm Day in 2013 had Jess Haun as the master or mistress of ceremonies. Cindy shared more information on James Patterson and Stella who surprised all their Eureka friends by their marriage February 19, 1907. Kitchen crew grew, and Pancake breakfast was also held at the Karuk Senior Nutrition Site. Bob Seaman sang the Outhouse Song to commemorate the boys building facilities at Stella's mining cabin and also gave a historic tour down Second Avenue and up Buckhorn to the grave site of DearSir, Fred Crooks.

Fourth Annual Dear Mad'm event in 2014 was at the Grange. Karen Tulledo organized the evening reception Friday evening. Norma Seaman brought pate" in commemoration of French's gift when Stella entertained. Sherri Kennedy helped in the kitchen for the luncheon. Rain and wind made the turnout at the Klamath River Resort fireside fewer brave souls around the fire but breakfast was at the Grange Sunday morning.

Fifth Annual Dear Mad'm lunch will be at Naturegraph Publishers, 3543 Indian Creek Road at 11:00 A,M. on Saturday, October 17th. Kathi Jones is bringing some artifacts from Stella Patterson to share.

"Murder's Bar" became "Happy Camp"

Miner from the long Mural on the side
of Parry's Market in Happy Camp, CA.
The spring of 1851, a group of about thirty adventurous prospectors made their way up the Klamath River. They had worked on the Trinity the previous years and at Gold Bluffs so they had experience on this frontier. They planned for the winter and got proper provisions. However, their survival was threatened when a bunch of others, with less foresight and provision and less patience, rushed to the field and the sheer numbers outweighed the supplies left. But they did survive this "starvation time" on the Salmon river. When spring really came they headed up the Klamath

The heavily wooded banks of the Klamath River canyon made the way difficult and they came slowly since they were working the gravel bars, looking for "color" as they came. The party included Captain Chales M. Dermit, the Swain brothers, Captain Gwin Tompkins, Charles D. Moore, Thomas J. Roach, L. H. Murch, J. H Stichfield, Jeremiah Morgan, Mr. Cochrane, William Bagley, Daniel McDougall, Jack McDougall, William McMahoone, Robert Williams, Charles Wilson, John Cox, Charles Southard, George Wood, W. T. Stevens, James Buck, J. W. Burke, Jerry Lane, W. A. J. Mnoote, William Rumley, Barney Ray, Mr. Penny and others. 25 According to Vera Toleman, these were the founders of the town of Happy Camp, The first settlement of what was to become Del Norte County although the place moved from Del Norte to other counties, ending up as a part of Siskiyou County while remaining in the very same place. Only the county boundaries changed!

The town was built on both sides of Indian Creek, near it's junction with the Klamath River. Happy Camp's population fluctuated greatly in the early days, depending upon how the gold was coming in and the rumors from other places. Happy Camp became the miner's base of supplies. They had a cabin for storehouse and cabins to return to Saturday, while the rest of the week they were out looking for gold. Many more miners increased the original party at Happy Camp.

Happy Camp Ambassador's Painted
By Ray the Painter for Judy Bushy
for Happy Camp Chamber Ambassadors.
 Newspapers on the Pacific Coast referred to the town as Happy Camp in 1851, mentioning that previously the area had been called "Murder's Bar." Evidently the gold prospectors were so happy that they hadn't been murdered and the gold potential looked so good, they named it "Happy Camp".

It was in July of 1851 that the settlement of Happy Camp was named. The Karuk had called it athithufvuunupma (Karuk Dictionary Bright & Gehr).

Happy Camp it has been for nearly 165 years, as it has endured.

Happy Camp's Log High School

It was Californians first log high school when it was built in 1933! But for me, this sturdy log building means so much morel. The Log High School Memorial Building in Happy Camp has always meant so much to me about the unity of the community and what we can do by working together!! 

Can you imagine how parents felt when the only way to get their children an education after the eighth grade was to send them to a boarding school, Mt. Shasta or elsewhere, far from home? Postmaster Gorham Humphries was one of the parents who led the move to provide a high school education for the children who wanted to go further in their education. He nearly single-handedly gathered other men who saw the importance of an education for the young people of Happy Camp.

Gorham Humphreys had gone before the Siskiyou County Board of Education and asked for a teacher that could instruct some students who were above elementary level in one room of the elementary school in 1925. They took it before the proper authorities, out in Yreka, but it was the Depression. No one had money for a new building, instead of the single room built onto the  elementary school for ninth graders,  Then Humphreies tried again asking for two teachers if the community provided everything else needed, beyone the elementary room which was inadequate for the purpose. That was agreed upon! An engineer at the Independence Mine, Philip Toleman, and the dentist, Dr. Deason, helped Humphries work out all the plans. Land was donated by Newton and the Forest SErvicfe allowed logging of trees. community worked together and by that fall, there was the Happy Camp High School! Gothsam Humphries son Bobbie was among the students graduating from the first class to spend four years at the log school, graduating 1932.