My-ena-ca Art Supper & Dear Mad’m Events

By Judy Bushy
Alan Crockett announced a delicious dinner and new Art Show coming up this Friday, October 12th at 6 pm. Both the Fabulous Friday Supper and the Art show will take place at the Klamath-Siskiyou Art Center on Davis Road and Hwy 96 in Happy Camp! The My-ena-ca show is a bombastic combination of Artwork from 3 of our favorite artists from the river communities: Myanna, Nena Creasy and Veronica Rasmussen–Boasting a wide range of eclectic materials, styles and approaches from painting to sculpture.Plus – there’ll be an exceptional Enchilada sinner with slow cooked beans, spanish rice and a sensational salad for only$ 7.00. And of course a thirst quenching soul satisfying blend of beverage options and a music mix guaranteed to get your toes tapping and arms swaying.

Later Friday evening there will be the Reception for the authors of the new book, Dear Mad’m Who Was She? by Peter and Elizabeth Lismer who were relatives of Stella W. Patterson. Stella wrote the book, Dear Mad’m about moving to a remote mining cabin on the Klamath River when she was 80 years old. It was published in 1956.

Saturday, the Dear Mad’m Symposium will be at the Karuk Building (Headway) on 2nd Avenue and Highway 96 across from The Frontier Café. The coffee will be on at 10 ‘o’clock and the program includes lunch and learning from Peter and Elizabeth Lismer about research and writing the biography of Stella.

Later that evening there will also be a Camp fire down on the Klamath River as we did last year. This will be held at the Klamath River Resort Inn 2 miles upriver from Happy Camp–beautiful site for a camp fire!!

Sunday morning the Happy Camp High School Seniors will have a Pancake Breakfast. It will be at the high school on Indian Creek from 8 to 11 am.

At 10 we will all meet to drive to the site of the Dear Mad’m story and Rod Diridonm Sr. will tell us his memories of visiting his grandparents there when he was a youngster. There will also be birthday cake since Stella W. Patterson was born October 14, 1866.
All in all we are looking forward to seeing you there this weekend.

River Girl Published by Local Author, Linda Jo Martin

River Girl, by Linda Jo Martin, is a historic novel about a girl growing up in the Klamath River Valley near Happy Camp, California.

Newly published story, River Girl
Buy at Amazon

River Girl has recently been published! It is so exciting to have a brand new book published by Linda Jo Martin of Happy Camp.

Linda writes novels in her spare time and this is for young girls and teens. It is a story of a young girl who comes to Happy Camp in the 1920’s. Although it is fiction, Linda takes her historical research very seriously!

It is most of all a very good story and I enjoyed it very much. It’s a lovely way for a young girl to enjoy a quiet summer afternoon reading!

It is available on Amazon, but you can stop in at Marble Mountain Gift Company and get a copy or at the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce office weekdays. For further information on the book or the author see

Art & Treasure Thanks!

Thanks from the C of C too!!

Thanks from the Chamber too!!

Well it has taken me a bit of time to get this done, but here is a nice BIG THANK YOU to the following groups and people that made our fund raiser for the Library so successful…

Thank you to the KLAMATH SISKIYOU ART CENTER for the use of the Bigfoot corner and your building, it’s a great location.

Thank you to the following “vendors” who participated: Dolly’s Deli (great strawberry lemonade), South Fork Mining (Rich Kelly) with the beautiful Happy Camp Jade, Kathy Harvey and her “blooming” plants, Becca Cote with her art and treasures, Lisa & Ann with jewelery and home canned items (the pickles are great), Elba & Rose Long, as always beautiful wood turnings and crochet items.

A special thank you to Todd “Tone” for the providing of musical entertainment, it is enjoyed as always.

Now a GREAT BIG THANK YOU, to the following for having made donations of items or gift certificates to our Raffle, without your generosity it would not be possible: Clinic Pharmacy, Country River Rafting, Scott Valley Bank, Connor Cardlock, South Fork Mining, River Threads, Pizza House, Frontier Cafe, Health & Harmony, HC Ambulance, Jacob’s Farms, Greg Macdonald Photos, Nena’s Metal Sculpture, Peg Rathburn Windchime, Beth Buchanan,Cindy Sturdevant, Lisa Bousfield and egg toothoriginals.

Once again thank you and see you at the Library.

Celebrating Dear Mad’m Day!

Happy Camp's Dear Mad'm

Happy Camp is celebrating a literary pioneer from our community. Dear Mad’m Day will be Saturday with a Picnic Luncheon at 11 o’clock (for a $5 donation.) The picnic luncheon will be held in the shade of the sycamore trees on the lawn of the Klamath River Resort Inn on the Klamath River east of Happy Camp, a beautiful setting for a picnic!! Bring your folding chair or blanket for the picnic.

We are so pleased that guests who have known our Dear Mad’m from their time on the River, will be with us. Rod, Claudia, and Tom Diridon were the “young friends” in a photo of “Dear Mad’m and her young friends” on the cover of the original book in 1956. Rod Diridon, Sr. will be sharing about Dear Mad’m and those days on the Klamath River. Peter and Elizabeth Walthall Lisner, whose book (Dear Mad’m, Who Was She?} will be published by Barbara Brown at Naturegraph Publishers will be here as wel. From Redding,l Hazel Gendron, who used her artistic talents for a drawing of Stella Patterson. Dave Tulledo will be escoring a group who want to see the old mining claim where Dear Mad’ms cabin was located before the highway went through the spot!! Other “Friends of Stella” from near and far will be coming also.

There will also be the presentation of Dear Mad’m and Dear Sir awards, Books will be available for purchase as we honor our local neighbors who use their writing and artistic talents to enrich our lives.

An evening around the Campfire by the River sharing tales of Dear mad’m days will bgin at 9 PM.

The Writers Group of the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce is planning the luncheon picnic to celebrate Stella Patterson, and those who still maintain the spirit she exemplifies! Reservations are requested for the picnic so we have enough dessert for all guests! You can make your reservation by e-mail at or call Linda Martin 493-2099 or Judy Bushy 493-5248.

The Story Behind Dear Mad’m

Stella Patterson
Stella Walthall Patterson
October 14, 1866 –
December 23, 1955

By Judy Bushy

This weekend we took a drive down Highway 96 just to enjoy the sunshine on the River, and the forest and blue skies. We came to the pullout near where Stella Patterson had her cabin and stopped to enjoy the view.

At the time of her eightieth birthday, Stella W. Patterson was faced with a dilemma. Her decision involved when a person is OLD and how she wanted to live her “senior years.” Stella made a surprising decision and became a hero to seniors who have since loved her book, Dear Mad’m.

Stella was born October 14, 1866 in the bustling city of San Francisco. Stella enjoyed the urban opportunities for social and cultural life, but after the earthquake of 1906 she left the city.

At the time of her 80th birthday, while visiting friends in Arcata on the northern coast, she was invited to live with relatives eager to do for her and take care of her in “declining years.” When a doctor told her that she had “young legs” it set her thoughts in a different direction. She owned a cabin on a mining claim in the wilds of Clear Creek near the friendly little town of Happy Camp, on the Klamath River. She decided to give living in that little cabin a try for a year. She wrote to the caretaker and set off for Willow Creek where she rode with the mail delivery up to the mailbox on Highway 96 below the cabin.

The title of her memoir of life on the Klamath came from, perhaps a senior moment, when Fred, the caretaker arrived, and she’d forgotten his name. In her correspondence she had said, “Dear Sir,” so she fell back upon that salutation. Fred replied, “Dear Mad’m,” and thus the nickname, which was later to become the title of the book, began.

The book tells of her life in that solitary and somewhat primitive cabin in its beautiful surroundings. She lived alone there with her dog, Vickie, and it turned out she had many adventures.

While Stella Patterson still traveled some, her delight was to return to her little cabin on the Klamath. She loved to garden and put up jams and jellies. She sent the memoir of the year she moved to the cabin to agents, critics, and finally a New York publisher who edited it. She called it “slashing,” her story. In the fall of 1955 she moved to an efficient little travel trailer, near Everett and Thelma (who had been like a daughter to her) in Redding. Her life drew to a close there in December 23, 1955 at the age of 89. It was just two weeks before Dear Mad’m was to be published, January 6, 1956.

The book had far reaching effects. It became a popular book club selection. Three ladies from Chicago retired from the Telephone Company and came to live near Happy Camp, because of reading her story. They enjoyed gardening and artistic endeavors and were active in the community. They were loved and appreciated in the community although they too are gone now. When Highway 96 was improved and straightened (Yes, it is possible that there were more curves and corners!) the road went right through her cabin, which was moved out of the way.

Naturegraph, a local Happy Camp publisher, kept the book in print since that time, for which we are grateful. Stella was a hero of sorts to persons of mature years, who still have more years to appreciate life and blessings. It’s a good book to read to remind a person of all the wonderful reasons we love life on the lovely wild Klamath River at the top of California.

1 2