Klamath River Overlook

Fred Boring Not a Boring Historian

Happy Camp! What a beautiful place to live! We have so many people here visiting from so many places far and wide. Some come in elegant motor homes, looking to “rough it” in total comfort. Some come homeless, or nearly so as they arrive with few dollars left in their pockets to seek the adventure that is waiting here for them! As in days of old, some come prospecting for gold, some come to float the Klamath River, hunt or fish, or just to enjoy the gorgeous landscape of blue skies over green forested hillsides, along the whitewater Klamath River flowing to the Pacific.

There is the old legend that if you once cool your feet in the Klamath River, you are bound to return. Perhaps that is the case of Fred Boring. Pastor Fred Boring as he was known as he came to minister in the nondenominational log church that used to be on Indian Creek Road years ago, at the beginning of his 62 years in the ministry. It was fascinating to talk with him for a few hours of the memories of Happy Camp if an earlier day!

He talked of a George Effman who was pastor earlier, and I wondered if he may have been related to the Effman family here now. He regaled me with the talk of Sarah Barney’s Café. He remembers about how Mad Bull and Fighting Stag, Marion Southard, Lee Southard’s sons had prepared for the big Redwood Marathon. That was when they went back and forth with horses to Cottage Grove. We looked at the Zola Peters photos i the office of covered bridges along the Klamath and told about the years when there was no lawmen along the Klamath and other things much before my time, and interesting to learn more about!. It was Fred Boring’s brother, Walt Boring, also pastor in Happy Camp who buried Indian Ned, who lived to be 115 years. They lived healthy back in those days with lots of exercise and no fast food!

It’s funny that when people speak of “The Flood” I always think of 1964, but there was a big flood in 1955, and that was probably the flood that Stella Patterson speaks of in her book, Dear Mad’m. People didn’t know that she was an author until after the book that would “put Happy Camp on the map,” and bring fans who would still come here to see what she loved so much about the Klamath Country 59 years later. After all, it is, 68 years, since Stella was 80 and came back to the mining claim. How things have changed since the days that that area was named by the Clear Creek post office. Fred was reminiscing how people could leave some money and a grocery list and “Pete” the mailman would bring the requested supplies. Bernice Sutcliffe, Bessie Aubrey, Hooley Head, all names of Klamath Neighbors from long ago, and Augnette who had the switchboard for the first telephones in Happy Camp and could help out any caller.

I greatly appreciate Don Zink for sharing about Happy Camp’s lady pharmacist, one of the first! Ms Warner came from San Francisco, bought the pharmacy and served the community in the early times near the Indian Creek Bridge. The pharmacy later sold later to Milton Kevershan who built the new pharmacy and the Post office buidling “up on the hill” after the 1964 flood. The pharmacy building was also Dr, Ives dental office and now the New 49er Prospecting Club!

Speaking of the New 49ers, they had good news this week in court .All of the recreational gold miners in our area are no doubt very happy that the Third Appellate Court of California issued an unanimous decision last week saying that a
State agency does not have the authority to materially interfere with commercial mining programs that are legal on the public lands reversing Brandon Rinehart’s previous conviction for suction dredging without a permit. In case you are interested, the decision is here: http://www.goldgold.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/opinion-9-23-14.pdf The miners are hoping that it will go a long way towards getting a reasonable set of dredging regulations in California for the 2015 season and and we enjoy having the prospectors come to enjoy their summers in Happy Camp. They add to our community in so many ways and some even become residents, probably due to getting their feet in the Klamath River!!

Have you ever wanted to be Mayor of our Happy Camp community?? Perhaps just the “honorary Mayor of Happy Camp, with an opportunity to contribute to a worthwhile charity at the same time. In coming days, there will be an opportunity to earn funds for the charitable organization of your choice, with the person having most “votes” in the form of donations to the charity, winning the honor of Honorary Mayor!! This will be a very fun way to help out some worthy cause! Watch for the news for the October Campaign!!

2 comments

  • Wallace Southard

    I was raised in Happy Camp, my Dad was John Southard,(mad bull) winner of the Indian marathon 1927, I remember the Borings, what happened to Ron Boring I didn’t see him mentioned, My Dad built 2 churches in Happy Camp, one on the west side of Indian creek and one on the west side, Pentecostal . I’m Wally and I now live in Crescent City Ca.

  • I would love to meet Fred Boring. I hope he will be back and will share some of his memories with us about Happy Camp history.

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