John Kufner Retirement
at Happy Camp RiverPark May 15th

Thank you, Mr. Dyar, for the photo of John Kufner receiving Model Coach of the Year Award!

After 38 years of service to the youth of Happy Camp, during which he has coached in football and other sports activities, John Kufner will retire. John has also been the head of the science department of the Happy Camp High School. June 11th will be graduation for the senior class and for Coach Kufner.

There will be a Retirement party for John at the River Park May 15th. Bring a dish to share with all to this potluck retirement party for John Kufner. Spread the news and bring a friend. You can call Ruth at 493-2611, Linda 275-2574 or Wayne Weuignzinger 541-292-6266.No reservations are necessary.

It just doesn’t seem possible that John Kufner won’t be there when school starts in the fall!! But we do hope that he will be enjoying well earned leisure and has fun out on the golf course!

March Has Arrived
in Happy Camp
With Spring Breezes

Spring comes to Happy Camp!

UPDATE by Judy Bushy

There may be complaints by some that we don’t have a MALL in Happy Camp to go shopping for recreation. Others may think we need bowling alley, amusement parks and other recreational centers. Thinking about what we may lack, or what the opportunities are in our area for recreation, may lead you to many suggestions. But the recreation we can all enjoy the most is having a nice family style dinner with friends and some good conversation.

It was great fun to be invited out by a very gracious hostess and talk with other guests, including a former Happy Camper who has returned. Reminiscences about the Woodsman, the Burger Barn, the old Frosty and other places that everyone in town enjoyed in past decades was interesting. In fact, I hadn’t known that before the Silver Eagle (where Our Place is serving delicious sandwiches with options for games and pool now, used to be a sporting goods store.

To have been here in the days of the soda fountain at the pharmacy in Old Town must have been enjoyable too! I found an ad for “Grizzly Adams” movie to be shown at the Del Rio Movie Theater in Happy Camp, before that theater burned down. Although a swimming pool that could be used for therapeutic uses and a snow park where snow could be enjoyed for recreation would both be great assets, we have so many wonderful miles of trails, and chances to garden and visit with other people that it makes Happy Camp a wonderful place to live.

Can anyone tell me if there was an Oaks Café in Happy Camp? If not, where there might have been an Oaks Café in 1940? We came across photos of it with some of Happy Camp but couldn’t identify it. Anyone with good memory of people and places in Happy Camp in 1935 or 40 with time to identify photos would be most appreciated.

Look at the March Calendar and tell me what needs to be added, see what some of the HCHS Senior Class are doing as they race the last few months to graduation, and learn about what the Truant Officer of Siskiyou County shared at Community Solutions Meeting. Whatever you do, please check out the Opinion page where we have two opinions on the effect of the Siskiyou National Monument on our area.

We thank you for your gracious input. Things are really getting busy around Happy Camp with the coming of spring, it is a beautiful time of year along the wild Klamath River!!

Sarah’s Poem About Our Log High School


From “Before The White Man Came”
by Charles S Graves c1934

Composed by Sarah Barney and sung by
Sarah and Mae Barney during the ceremony
of dedication of Happy Camp High School.

Down in a valley
In Happy Camp,
In our log High School
A tribute by all;

Willing hands lended
Lumber was bought,
Logs brought from mountains
To our School lot.

Community Spirit
Labor and toil
Community Spirit
For our High School.

Indian Creek murmurs
Down ‘neath the bank,
Whispering a message
As it goes by.

We’re proud of our High School
Our vision came true,
That we had pictured
From years before.

It’s through our efforts
Burdens and trials,
That our log High School
Stands here today.

Community Spirit
Labor and Toil
Community Spirit
Made our High School.

Editor’s Note: See more information on the Log Memorial High School in Happy Camp and how it was built on the Community page.

Early photo of little log high school & students.

Happy Camp Homecoming Reigns


Happy Camp Basketball Homecoming was Friday night. Posters both for the spirit week competition “dress up themes,” and for the students running for royalty, decorated the walls. Butte Valley teams came to Happy Camp for the games.

Sammi Jo Goodwin and Sterling Conrad were the past year royalty who kept us in suspense until they selected Daniela Sanchez for Homecoming Queen and Brent Boykin for Homecoming King. The freshman candidates were Rosie Conrad escorted by Brandon Tripp and Cayla Hammon escorted by West Timbrook. The Sophomore candidates were Kassandra Polmateer escorted by her big brother, Joey Polmateer and Corey Burnett with Summer Goodwin. The Junior Candidates were Daniela Sanchez escorted by Ronald Reed and Brent Boykin accompanied by Jessica Camarena. The Senior Candidates were Brandon Alexander accompanied by Mardee Towers, and Violet Stearns escorted by Sean Hacking.

With the devastation from earthquakes in Haiti which have been in the news recently the Campus Life Club wanted to use their cake raffle to collect a donation to the disaster victims. They invited the rest of the school population to join them in baking for the Quake Bake raffle. There was a great showing of delicious looking baked goods, cake and cookies, cupcakes and brownies. Some who wished to do more also made pledges for certain donations per point that the teams scored.
Over $400 was raised to help the people of Haiti.

Four energetic basketball games filled the Hokanson gym Friday.

Did you feel the Eureka quake?

There was a 6.5 magnitude earthquake off the coast of northern California! some from Happy Camp, and even as far as Nevada, felt a bit of the tremor, but not all recognized it. There was broken glass and items moved around or shelves emptied but nothing as major as building crashing in Eureka or neighboring towns. Residents were asked to stay indoors and electricity was out in many homes. Repairs were going ahead.

There were expected to be further aftershocks. Despite the magnitude of the quake which was over ten miles deep at Eureka, the community felt mostly shook-up and no tsunami warnings were issued.

How did the State of Jefferson Scenic Byway get its Name?

By Brian Helsapple
State of Jefferson slogans
If down our road you will travel, bring your own gravel.
Our roads are not passable, hardly jackassable.
The Promised Land: Our roads are paved with promises.
Originally trappers working for the Hudson Bay Company ventured into our remote mountainous area in the early 1800s. Then in 1949 California’s second largest gold strike lured thousands of miners from across the nation to challenge the rugged isolation found in the real Northern California.
Those few who remained, staked small claims along the winding Klamath River and many of its tributaries. In the wider valleys, 100 acre homesteads were stepped off. For years the only path in and out was a trail that climbed the mountain behind Hawkinsville, descended down Humbug Creek and continued as a path along the south side of the Klamath River. A treacherous mid-connection also followed along the Scott River. Both were miserably muddy in winger and dusty, run filled dirt trails in the summer. Over which the vast amount of timber had to be transported ‘During WW! Strategic deposits of chrome and copper ores were hauled out. This simply deepened the ruts. The resources left our region to build up the big cities. No tax revenue was returned to the area to improve the trail.
The mythical State of Jefferson actually had its start in 1852. The bill to separate the North from the rest of the state failed to pass the California State Legislature. In 1953 a second failed attempt proclaimed: ‘Southern Oregon and Northern California presents a country of uniform character that is distinct from the rest of California and Oregon. It is necessary to form it into a separate state whose interests were fairly represented in the U.S. Congress.” The spirit behind separation was found in the miners of the far North. At the heart of succession lay better highways and bridges and the development of the vast mineral resources. For almost 100 years, Sacramento and Salem refused to recognize this isolated area. During that time, all the minerals and timber continued to be transported out over trails that were hardly passable by goats. With no tax revenues returned, the citizens justifiable felt betrayed and “double crossed.”
During the fall of 1941, Mayor Gilbert Gable, of Port Orford, Oregon, once again ignited the succession movement. “A spark of rebellion struck fire instantly in the woodsy canyons of the border country.” The Yreka Chamber of Commerce voted to form a 49th State. The Siskiyou Daily News announced a, “name the state” contest.
“Jefferson” was selected. Mayor Gable trickled publicity to the wire services; “Jefferson would be free of obnoxious taxes, no sales, income or liquor taxes…
On Thursday, November 27 and every Thursday thereafter, The State of Jefferson Citizens Committee (members of the Yreka 20-30 Club) voted to barricade the North-South road, 263. They stood with rifles next to bonfires and barrels of burning kerosene, passing out yellow handbills to the few automobiles going by. One of the miners had drawn two X’s on a gold pan that symbolized the “double crossed.” It quickly became the state seal.
The San Francisco Chronicle sent Stan Deleplane, to go up Highway 99 to Yreka, “wherever that was” to do a series of articles. These were to provide some relief from the impending war headlines. In Yreka a garage man explained to ‘Deleplane that the roads were so bad that folks can hardly get out. Unfamiliar with the route conditions at the time, Deleplane headed down the Klamath River Road, attempting to get to Port Orford to interview Mayor Gable. He made it to Happy Camp where he was stranded for three days because the good dirt road ended and the road over to Oregon was impassible. He had to travel back to Yreka and over to Medford to get to the coast. Mayor Gable unexpectedly died the day after the interview
Prose and publicity had a nation watching. The second succession Thursday found the narrow streets of Yreka being covered by four newsreel crews. The small parade of shivering participants of needed to be prodded into action. A somber candlelight parade at twilight defined the final hours. The succession movement had lost its impetus, but officially ended three days later when Pearl Harbor was bombed
With World War II came orders from Washington to the state of California to create a passable road to get the strategic minerals out. This resulted in the present connection at 263 where it passes the Klamath River. The new Highway 96 would be blasted out of rock and built on the opposite North side of the River from its historical location. The original road remains passable but still unpaved today. Remember all the tonnage for WWI and almost half the total for WWII which snakes over Humbug. This route is visible if you stop at an overlook just west of Tree of Heaven Campground.
A total of 2.305 of chrome from Seiad Valley was hauled out, and thousands of tons of copper from Happy Camp. Millions of logs moved over the old route during peace time.
Though the original 49erswere very thorough. Some trace amounts of gold claim to be found today by recreational gold miners using suction dredges. As usual, gold miners do not openly brag about their strikes or locations. Much more recreation gold waits to be explored.
The Klamath River is one of the major sites of seasonal spawning runs of King Salmon and Steelhead.
In the 1930s Herbert Hoover spent many seasons enjoying the river and made a yearly charitable donation to the Honolulu school built on the Kannaka Bar, to provide the children with hot meals between Empire and Lumgrey Creeks. The lure of fishing kept most of the motels and small stores alive and attracted many people to build vacation homes.
In recent times the fish populations have been heavily impacted by many factors affecting their habitat, including eight years of drought. While fishing recovery will take time, other opportunities to explore the area have increased dramatically. Mining, logging and forest management practices all have contributed to a large system of roads that provide almost unlimited access to the quiet forest/
These roads wait patiently to be driven, hiked or mountain biked without the fear of noisy logging trucks careening over them. Seasonal mushroom pickers and deer hunters as well as forest biologists and tree planters tend to be the only traffic. Usually the only evidence of others is a parked pickup
In the million acres of forest you will discover new generations of wildlife that may never have seen a human; bear, bobcat, mountain lion, grey squirrels and chipmunks and thousands of birds and bats. Owl’s willll lull you into sleep beneath a blanket of a billion stars. At dawn, particularly in spring, the area becomes alive with some 222 species of resident and neo-tropical birds that choose this forest to produce their offspring. The pure air is filled with pine tree aromas laced with forest floor mushroom scent. During spring, the lush green conifers are splashed with a multitude of flowers. In fall, vibrant red and gold colors signal time for deciduous leaves to go to sleep forever. The Klamath National Forest has four definite seasons, but none that are extreme.
Easy access to six uncrowded campgrounds can be found along Highway 96. The side roads of Scott River, Grider, Indian Creek and Curly Jack, each offer more remote sites for camping. One of the least visited is Grider Creek, it marks the location of the Pacific Crest Trail that gives hikers access to the Marble Mountain Wilderness Area. Traveling to the campgrounds you travel a stretch of the Klamath River that oftentimes finds a resident bald eagle perched on its traditional pine tree looking for a target. Sometimes it can be seen standing in the water upstream of the shallow island below. This road still resembles the wagon trail our pioneers trekked along to get to a ferry that crossed over to reach Seiad Valley. From this view can be seen a vast amount of gold tailings resulting from a 1940’s bucket line gold dredge operation.
Back on the State of Jefferson Scenic Byway, Osprey, woodchucks, Canadian Geese, Common Mergansers and River Otters are easily viewed from many elevated turnouts all along the route. Deer and Bear can often times be seen crossing the river to get to the fruit trees in people’s yards or just the other side of the river A river that waits to be rafted and played in or perhaps just paused beside to hear its song. Venturing into this land you can discover the pleasure and beauty its isolation provides. Here resides absolute peace, solitude and serenity, perhaps the real meaning and clue to the State of Jefferson.
Highway 96 was officially named the State of Jefferson Scenic Byway in 1992. This roadway travels alongside the river to Happy Camp. The byway then continues over Greyback (4500 feet) to O’Brien and Highway 199. Snow blocks this part of the Byway in the winter, sometimes nearly until June.
The southwest part of Highway 96 was named the Bigfoot Scenic Byway. Beyond Happy Camp, Highway 96 continues to follow the Klamath River to Weitchpec. Highway 96 continues on to Willow Creek and 299. Along, g the way you will discover the Klamath National Forest Six Rivers National Forest, Marble Mountain Wilderness and the south portions of Rogue River and Siskiyou National Forest.

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