Love the New Signs for the Happy Camp Neighborhood Watch Patrol and all the VOLUNTEERS who meet Monday, June 4th at 5:30 at Partners Deli & Arcade on Highway 96 next to the Forest Service District Office to work together to cure crime because we care about our neighbors!!
First Monday of May was the Happy Camp Neighborhood Watch meeting. My apology to any who may have thought it was at the Karuk Housing Authority Conference Room, no idea that they were changing it to the Partner’s Deli & Arcade. It appears that it will be there next month also, June 4th at 5:30. That would make it so convenient to have Dan Effman there, except he didn’t make it this time. Sheriff’s Deputy Gabe Garrison didn’t make it either, but he was taking a “guest” to the jail, and is excused for official business. There was still a good turnout for the meeting, and business was taken care of in an efficient and professional manner.
The patrols have been seen out much more as well. If your home or business needs special patrolling, be sure to contact one of the Happy Camp Neighborhood Watch volunteers (David Culbert, Lisa Bousfield) Do not put it on Facebook, please. If perchance a burglar sees your bragging that you are going on around the world tour for the next couple of weeks, he may think that it is an invitation to stop by and visit your home since you aren’t there.
by Judy E. bushy April 8, 2018
Spring is beautiful along the Klamath River Highway! Happy Camp may be remote, separated from lots of fast food and retail places by nearly 75 miles, but this former Gold Rush town is full of neighborly people. Happy Camp was even listed in a book of Ghost Towns of California, but it endured due to the logging and timber industry.
Outdoor Family Fun
There have always been the hunters and fishing enthusiasts who come to enjoy our town. The goldpanners didn’t stop coming in the 1950’s and we would still have more if they were allowed to pursue recreational gold mining.
Recreation and Refreshment
One of the last big attractions is the rafting on the Klamath River where Happy Camp is situated on the best family rafting place to be found. At the same time, one can be remote enough to see abundance of birds and wildlife to make the trip very enjoyable.
Then in mid-1990’s the last big mill that had employed shift workers around the clock closed and since then families left for employment and the school attendance declines. More retired folks have come back to fond memories of their childhood in this beautiful place.
We are anticipating the opening of the new Karuk health facility, and always grateful that it serves the entire community, as does the Computer Center and other Karuk Tribe organizations.
Small Business Opprotunity
There’s room in Happy Camp for small businesses. The Frontier Café and Saloon has been wearing a “For Sale” sign, as well as the R & C Second Hand store, which also housed a dog grooming business and barber shop next door. Next to the former Barber shop is the former Second Avenue Salon where ladies could go have full beauty care and then Evans Mercantile which at one time held most of the clothes, household and gift retail sales, adding feed and garden, and the brick building that housed the J. Camp Mercantile in the 1860’s made from bricks made in Happy Camp. There’s also an Auto Supply Owner willing to retire, all that’s needed is a young entrepreneur who can operate a successful business in the wonderful town of Happy Camp.
By the end of the week, Karuk members and employees will be enjoying an introduction to the Rain Rock Casino in Yreka. That means soon the gaming facility will be open to the public. It was interesting to see the menu of the food that will be prepared for guests at the Casino, at the Sportsman’s Expo. It must be so very exciting for the new place to open and so many new employees will be working there. One of the biggest needs in our Siskiyou County is for more employment opportunities!!
Spring is in the air! It’s been beautiful, except when the April Showers came. But even the rain brings anticipation of the spring flowers coming and blooming in MayThe Calendar at Marble Mountain Gift Co. is filling up slowly but surely. This Monday was the monthly meeting (delayed a week from the original schedule) at 5:30 at the Karuk Housing Authority.
Ruth Bain let me know that Happy Camp Grange will be having a big Sale. June 2nd will be the big opportunity for an Indoor or Outdoor Yard Sale at the Happy Camp Grange. That will delightfully be able to be held without concern for the weather report. The Grange will be letting you know soon about the plans, and getting out a flier, so plan now. While you are spring cleaning, you can get rid of some dusty clutter, white elephants, or things the family has outgrown, and turn them into income with a Sale so that they can bless someone to whom they will be new!
Harry Wells had History of Siskiyou County published in 1881. It tells how Happy Camp left Klamath County and became part of Siskiyou County which was provided for March 28, 1874, but contingent on a vote. It wasn’t to be easily accomplished,until finally there was a meeting of commissioners to divide up the valuation, debts and cash on hand of the respective counties August 14, 1876.
in the spring of 1851 a Ferry on the Klamath River, five miles below the mouth of the Trinity, was established. The proprietors were Gwin R. Tompkins and Charles McDermit, and they placed it in charge of Blackburn, before they went off prospecting in Oregon. They left Blackburn and his wife with a shanty by the Klamath River. James Sloan, Mr. Janalshan and Mr. Bender assisting, had a tent on the other side of an open air kitchen and dining room.
They talked differently in those days, and Harry Wells tells how “One day, Mrs. Blackburn, a noble woman of the brave pioneer class that have been led by love to follow the footsteps of their idol into the very heart of the wilderness, noticed that the stock of bullets had become exhausted. She immediately molded a large quantity, and by this prudent act and her afterward heroic conduct saving the lives of herself and her husband that self-same night.“
In the night the three assistants were killed in the tent, but the last gave a cry of warning. Alerting, Blackburn and his wife who were able to fight off the attackers.
In the morning, A. E. Raynes, William Young and William Little came on the other side of the River looking for ammunition for occupants of a cabin where they had stayed overnight. The first body that they found, when turned over, turned out to be Mr. Blackburns’ father whom he had not seen for ten years, but was coming from Trinidad to see him. The three men left the Blackburns’ there and went to Trinidad to raise ten men to come and help them.
On the way back, above the Lagoon, these thirteen men came upon canoes with Redwood Creek Indians and had a battle before the Indians withdrew. They then came upon Bald Hill Rancheria and were going to attack, but the occupants had “departed to more peaceful scenes.“
At the mouth of the Trinity River, Durkee’s ferry, they believed the large Rancheria of Klamath River Indians who they believed had attacked Blackburn’s place, but they’d been warmed of the attack and only a few of the 300 occupants were still there, so the party disbanded and went their several ways. It wasn’t until a few weeks later that the owners in Oregon went to examine the site. The place was deserted and left in “ruin and desolation” so they left off pursuing and got back to prospecting up the Klamath River.
Then Harry Wells tells about the founding of Happy Camp and the Fight at Lowden’s Ferry
To Quote Wells, “The founders of Happy Camp, late in July 1851 were Charles McDermit, Abisha Swain, Gwin R. Tompkins, Charles D. Moore, Thomas J. Roach, L. H. Murch, J.H. Stinchfield, Mr. Cochrane, Jeremiah Martin, William Bagley, Daniel McDougall, Jack McDougall, William McMahon and James Carr. They built a cabin which they used as a store-house, and Cochrane remained there to look after the property and mules, while the others scattered along the river mining. Sundays, all met at the cabin.”
With the prospects looking good, around the campfire, the men decided to name the camp, Happy Camp! Happy Camp has endured for 167 years! Many places were abandoned, as prospectors went to where the rumors of gold strikes sounded promising, but Happy Camp is still here.
It had previously been named Murder’s Bar from two prospectors, William Mosier and (Mr) McGee (or by some given as Mr. Reaves) deaths, but a short time before. Therefore, miners were afraid to trust the occupants of the Rancheria upriver a bit. The injunction to keep away from the cabin was not heeded and the sad events at Lowdens Ferry followed. Sadly, conflict, and vengeance were prominent in the early days, bringing death and vigilanteism. It has taken time and the healing of many wounds, to have the community work together in unity, but Happy Camp is a happy place, and the neighbors work together as willing volunteer, buidling a log high school (1933) a Fire Hall and Grange, and the former Clinic on Parkway. when we work together amazing things area accomplished!!
Note:Redick McKee mentions the camp on November 8, 1851 as “Mr. Roache’s Happy Camp at the place called Murderer’s Bar.” Before that, the Karuk name for the site previously there was Akuknihraanhirak. Much later, H. C. Chester, who interviewed Jack Titus about 1883 states that Titus claimed he named the town when his friend, James Camp declared, This is the happiest Day of my life” when he arrived here but this was a decade later.
Saturday there was a Mardi gras gathering in Happy Camp. The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors decided to close our Happy Camp Airport due to lack of maintenance and user fee income. They have applied to the State of California for abandonment of our Happy Camp Airport as well as the Butte Valley Airport.
This did not set will with some of the Happy Camp Community. Katherine Dagastino is the Executive Director of Hope for Happy Camp, a new nonprofit organization in Happy Camp. She invited the community to the Mardi Gras Dinner Party and Silent Auction Saturday. Jeff Ellison and Francine Banzali, were serving the red beans and rice with andouille sausage, salad as well as beverages and desserts for purchase. There is usually nothing so effective to getting a gathering than serving food!! Wonder why that is.!!
The purpose of the benefit was to Save the Happy Camp Airport, providing the committee with funds to begin the process of legalities and Federal Aviation Administration requirements, such as the airport being too short for commercial planes, which would pay the fees to use the airport for coming in. There is also no lighting for evening use. Those who have been researching the issues causing this action mentioned that some trees may need to come down in adjoining properties, weeds and the runway maintenance issues. The Federal Aviation Administration of the United States is a national authority with powers to regulate all aspects of civil aviation
Wendy Beth Buchanan said that in a town full of loggers, it shouldn’t cost us $150,000 to get some trees trimmed. Many residents use firewood and could use the wood as well as being experienced loggers. There was a signup sheet for community members to help remedy some of the problems such as removing sprawling shrubbery and overgrown trees too near the runway. The runway itself may need a total resurfacing which may cost at least $150,000.
The information which Katherine printed out mentioned that our community has few ways of accessing the outside world. In major calamities, when roads may be closed by flood or fire, Katherine feels the airport serves as the only link to help citizens in need. It is true that when Greyback Road to Oregon is closed due to impassable snow, and there is flooding of the Creeks and Klamath River over Highways, or fire, smoke, mud and rock slides, when traffic may be diverted, it can be difficult getting out of town by driving on Highway 96. . If you wish to volunteer to help in the labor of making the Airport more welcoming or to donate to the expenses give Katherine a call at 901-679-6192
We have great appreciated the helicopters from Mercy Flights who can come to take injured or ill patients to medical treatment. During the infamous, 1964 flood the Red Cross brought in food and necessities by helicopter as well
When Larry Wright lived at the airport he mowed lawns and had a campsite available.It was always fun to see the fishing enthusiasts fly in and come down past our cabin to fish in the Klamath! Of coursE, Lairy Dobbins ran a shuttle service up to the airport to the Dunaway House, which tells you it was long ago.
A reminder that the Happy Camp Library has book, magazines, DVDs Books on CD, VHS, Books on cassette, internet and wireless, what else could you want!!
Tuesday is the day from 12:00 to 5:00 PM at 143 Buckhorn Road. To ask a question give the volunteer a call at 493-2964.
Dennis Day of Happy Camp stopped by to share the letter that he received from President Trump. He also received a photograph of President Trump and Vice President Pence in the Oval office. The letter was addressed as well to the W O L F, Web of Life Foundation, Dennis’ philosophical philosophy which can be seen on his website.
Dennis is back in Happy Camp after some months away visiting the further south areas of the country. When he was here before, he was the planner and builder of the large Dreamatcher at the end of Davis Road.