Happy Camp Will Be 150 Years Old in July

By Debbie Wilkinson

This speech was given at the opening ceremony for the Bigfoot Scenic Byway on April 1, 2001

Hello. For those who do not know me, I am Debbie Wilkinson, President of the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce. We wish to welcome you to today’s celebration. After a couple of short speeches we will have a ceremonial ribbon cutting to dedicate and officially open the Happy Camp end of the Bigfoot Scenic Byway. The ribbon cutting will be followed by a parade, food, fun and games. We will have balloon shaving, an egg toss and an egg carry race, as well as music by Happy Camp’s own Genuine Draft band. So stay around for the fun.

Today will mark the beginning of a summer of celebration, for this July will mark 150 years since the first group of miners stopped at the mouth of Indian Creek, approximately ½ mile from here, and found more than enough gold to stay on. In the years following, our little town has fluctuated in both prosperity and population. We have seen boom and bust, flood and firestorms, and we have survived it all.

Though Happy Camp has survived a great many trials and world changes in its first century and a half, the face of our home has changed little where it matters most: the heart and soul of our town, the people who have chosen to make it their home. Lets give ourselves a hand — we deserve it for despite those who would say otherwise, we have survived and we will continue to survive. I fully expect that in another 150 years yet another generation will gather here in Happy Camp to celebrate Happy Camp’s 300th anniversary. There will be new faces and new names, but we will still be here, in our little valley, with new stories that tell the world –We have survived.

As I said, today will kick off a summer of celebration. The festivities will continue in July with our first Annual River Run Bike Rally, which will be held at the River Park on the 6th, 7th and 8th. The summer will end with Happy Camp’s Annual Bigfoot Jamboree on Labor Day weekend. Any body or group who wishes to participate in either event should contact the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce or the Happy Camp Coordinating Council. As always, new faces and new ideas are always welcomed.

Today is about history, and Bigfoot has been with us from the first. Along with mining tales and the other stories that have added color to our history, this legendary creature has helped to shape our image. Here with a short history of Bigfoot is a man that everybody knows, Karuk Tribal Council Vice-Chairman and Chamber of Commerce Past President, Harvey Shinar.

[At this point, Harvey Shinar gave his speech about Bigfoot legends and the inspiration for the Bigfoot Scenic Byway. –ed.]

Thank You Harvey.

Today is also about the blending of modern travel with that history. Today’s family often chooses to forgo the joys of the destination resorts such as Disney Land, in favor of trips into the wilds of America. This interest prompted different levels of government to institute several scenic byway programs. The State of Jefferson Scenic Byway and The newly designated Bigfoot Scenic Byway are both part of the US forest Service’s programs. Here to tell us some more is the Klamath National Forest Supervisor, Peg Boland.

[Peg Boland spoke about the development and completion of the Bigfoot Scenic Byway. –ed.]

Thank You Peg.

Today’s Celebration is not just happening here in Happy Camp. In a couple of minutes, at 1:00 sharp, in Orleans, in Hoopa and here in Happy Camp this Red Ribbon will be cut. This ribbon cutting will not only celebrate our newest scenic byway, but will also celebrate a new beginning for our river communities: The beginning of a new, river long, collaboration of communities and governments. Separate, our voices are small, together we can move mountains. Together we can be a power to recon with.

Now for the event of the day: Perhaps Mike can give us a drum roll as we prepare to cut the ribbon.

[At this point, we turned our attention to the red ribbon held across Highway 96 in front of the bank’s parking lot. –ed.]

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Opening of the Bigfoot Scenic Byway

Opening of the Bigfoot Scenic Byway

Bigfoot is said to be a local resident

April 1, 2001 – Hailed as “a new beginning for river communities”, the Bigfoot Scenic Byway is now open, forging a special bond for river towns from Happy Camp to Willow Creek. Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce’s celebration and ribbon-cutting ceremony was a great success, with some of the most colorful and exciting citizens of the town participating, including Bigfoot himself.

The celebration kicks off a summer of community activity commemorating the 150th year since the time when John Titus and James Camp came to the banks of Indian Creek and named the town.

Debbie Wilkinson served as master of ceremonies for the day, giving a wonderful speech on behalf of the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce. This ribbon-cutting celebration was being simultaneously held in four communities: Willow Creek, Hoopa, Orleans, and of course in our home town of Happy Camp.

Harvey Shinar, Vice-President of the Karuk Tribal Council spoke on the history of Bigfoot sightings in our area. In 1852, he said, Bigfoot was sighted by a Chinese miner in the area of Thompson Creek. More recently, hair samples found nearby in Oregon were proven to be of unknown origin, possibly true evidence of Bigfoot’s presence in our forests.

According to Shinar, the idea for the Bigfoot Scenic Byway came from the Hoopa Valley Tribe. They shared their inspiration with the US Forest Service and now the plan has come to fruition.

The speeches included a few words from Peg Boland of Yreka, Klamath Forest Supervisor in charge of completing the project. Afterwards, the ribbon cutting ceremony took place in the center of Highway 96 in front of the bank’s parking lot, and a short parade was led by Bigfoot.

It is time to look for the new highway signs with Bigfoot’s picture. Hopefully these will be somewhat easier to find than Bigfoot himself.

Tourists: to find the Bigfoot Scenic Byway, direct your cars to Highway 96, from Willow Creek to Happy Camp. When you get here, you can take the Jefferson Scenic Byway north to Oregon, or east to Yreka.

Providing entertainment, the Genuine Draft Band kept the crowd hopping most of the afternoon, their rock sound filling the entire town with music and excitement. (If only Titus and Camp could see us now!)

The children were entertained with contests: balloon shaving, an egg toss and a spoon race (running while holding an egg in a spoon). Winners for each contest were honored by presentations of appropriate plaques: the golden razor, the golden egg, and the golden spoon.

More information on the summer celebrations will be forthcoming. If you can’t wait to hear more, try contacting the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce.
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Happy Camp will be 150 years old in July

Related Websites
Bigfoot Sightings

Origin of the name of Happy Camp

There are several versions of the story of how Happy Camp got its name. This is one of them.

Origin of the name of Happy Camp
Written in Happy Camp on June 11th, 1947
By H.C. Chester

About 1882 or 3 I asked Jack Titus who was a partner with James and Hile Camp in the first store opened at Happy Camp, how Happy Camp got its name.

Titus told me he had a small store at the mouth of Titus about fourteen miles below Happy Camp. He said: James and Hile Camp came over the mountains to his store from Eureka. They asked him if there was any level ground up the river where they could open up a business.

Titus told them there was a place about 14 miles up the river at the mouth of a large stream that emptied into Klamath; that there was a very large Indian Village on the banks of this stream and plenty of vacant land to build on. The three of them went up to this large stream and pitched a small tent.

James Camp immediately took in the opportunities that were presented to them, and declared, “This is the happiest day of my life.”

Titus said: “Then we shall call this particular spot ‘Happy Camp’.” They also named the stream “Indian Creek” because there were so many Indians living there.

The three of them made and burned brick, put up a brick building which stands here to-day.

Truly Yours,
H.C. Chester
Happy Camp, Calif.

The original, handwritten copy of this letter is in the archives of the Siskiyou County Historical Society, in Yreka.

Happy Camp News editor Judy Bushy believes this version of the naming of Happy Camp is wrong because the Camp brothers were not in the original group of miners who came here. She wrote a letter to the editor about this, but unfortunately over the years it has been misplaced. We may have to wait for her book to be published to find out the true history of the naming of Happy Camp.

Related Websites
Happy Camp History

Site Map for Happy Camp News

Happy Camp News Archives

2001
Opening of the Bigfoot Scenic Byway
Happy Camp will be 150 years old in July
Origin of the name of Happy Camp
Wild Flower Season Has Arrived
First Annual River Run
Wild River Ride
Roadless Forests, Anyone?
Bigfoot Jamboree – 2001
Chamber of Commerce Installs New Officers
Fire in Happy Camp!

2002

To be restored soon.

2003

To be restored soon.

2004
Author Speaks To Local Writers Club
Happy Camp Residents Prepare
To Write Novels During November

Gun Control?
Los Angeles County Seal
Our Tree Lighting
Remembering electrical safety makes for happier holidays
Photo of the First Snowfall of Winter 2004-5
A Review Of: Protecting Children From Child Protective Services – By Alan L. Schwartz
December 2004 Pet of the Month

2005

Neighborhood Watch Duties and Procedures To Be Clarified
A Typical January – It Snowed
Advertising Options Reviewed At Special Happy Camp Chamber Meeting
Guidelines for Performing Yoga Exercises
Where Management Ends, Leadership Begins
How to Grow a Thriving Business
Great American Bigfoot Research Organization Team Visits Happy Camp
JavaBobs T-Shirt
Fitness for the Busy Family
Pet First Aid Seminar
The Gathering
Community River Walk
Legalize Gay Marriage
Etna Teen Joins International Gathering of Leaders
Grayback is OPEN!
Karuk Tribal Reunion
Bigfoot Sighting Near Happy Camp
Bigfoot — Imminent Capture Anticipated
River Run Motorcycle Rally
Brandon Tennant Visited Happy Camp
Brad Burns To Perform At The Siskiyou Golden Fair
More Local Bigfoot Activity
Happy Camp Mentioned on
Coast To Coast AM Talk Radio Show – Bigfoot Video-stream Planned

Home Country: How to Name Art – By Slim Randles
Karuk Tribal Head Start Accepting 2005–2006 Enrollment Applications
Bigfoot Videostreaming Will Feature Happy Camp
Chili Cookoff: Scott Valley Bank’s Annual Event Popular Among Locals
The Wooley Fire: Marble Mountain Wilderness
Home Country: Patronizing The Competition – By Slim Randles
Man Found In River
Speeding Leads To Drug Bust
Letters To Louisiana
Fleas: The Unwanted Guests In Your Home
Fire Restrictions Lifted
Art Prints For Home Decorating
Local Man Finds Wisdom In Happy Camp
You Don’t Have to Like Your Body to Love It!
Marijuana Gardens Eradicated
Home Country: The Lesson – By Slim Randles
Bigfoot Footprint Found Near Happy Camp
Do-It-Yourself Carpet Cleaning Tips
Bigfoot Video Cameras Are Down
Man’s Remains Found In Happy Camp
Four Easy Zucchini Bread Recipes
Happy Camp Mentioned On Ray Taliaferro’s Talk Radio Program
Young Man Arrested, Tragic Drug Problem Suspected
Home Country: Deeks – By Slim Randles
New Playground Equipment in River Park
Klamath National Forest Resource Advisory Committee Update
Pasta Recipes – The Very Best in Italian Cuisine!
Planning Stresss Management
Klamath National Forest Employees Receive State-Wide Recognition
Gas Fireplaces: Adding Warmth To Your Home
Thanksgiving Celebrated
Domingo Ramirez Is Still Missing
Warning To Happy Camp Dog Owners

2006
Klamath River Flood 2005-2006
Missing Janeen
Two More Drug Related Arrests
Klamath National Forest Roads, Trails, and River Access Points All Affected by the Flood
Klamath National Forest hires two Deputy District Rangers
An Organized Pantry
Elk Thin Project
Snow Survey Report
FEMA Is Coming to Happy Camp
Songbird Nature Trail and Campground Clean-up Day Successful
The Myth of Fast Weight Loss
Siskiyou County Resource Advisory Committee Seeks Members
Salamander Sandwiches – a Home Country column by Slim Randles
Could It Be… Fiction? – a Home Country column by Slim Randles
Insomnia – Getting The Help You Need
Are Weight Loss Supplements Useful?
Getting Ready – a Home Country column by Slim Randles
Siskiyou County-wide Interagency Narcotic Task Force Arrests Thirteen Happy Campers
Forest Highway 48 Road Between Cave Junction, Oregon and Happy Camp, California Is Open
Creative Thinking – a Home Country column by Slim Randles
Ghosts – a Home Country column by Slim Randles
How To Win The War – a Home Country column by Slim Randles
The Baby Sparrow – a Home Country column by Slim Randles
Red Cross Press Releases
Forest Fires – July and August, 2006
A Fish Story – a Home Country column by Slim Randles
Summertime In Happy Camp

2007

To be restored soon.

New Pavilion for Bigfoot Jamboree 1997

Howard Garthwait was the President of the Happy Camp Coordinating Council which is the organizing body of tghe Bigfoot Jamboree.

In the front of the Blue Bigfoot Jamboree booklet a letter from Howard saying,
“It’s that time of year when the residnts of Happy Camp and the surrounding communities join in to recognize and honor BIGFOOT!


“This year’s activities are once again being held at the Happy Camp River Parfk where during the summer, the Happy Camp Community Services District has constructed a Paviliion is much needed and welcome addition to the park.
Among the usual Jambroee activities, such as live entertainment, concessions, …..

Winners in the 29th Annual Bigfoot Jamboree

As the President of the 1996 Bigfoot Jamboree, Rick Huston said that the Bigfoot Jamboree was a sucess because of the many volunteers who helped work and plan the annual Happy Camp event. Rick announced that volunteers are welcome to help prepare for next years Bigfoot Jamboree in Happy Camp.

Since the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce Show and Shine was rained out in May, that event was postponed to the Bigfoot Jamboree. Seventeen cars and trucks were parked on the shady lawn of the River Park for the enjoyment of on-lookers. First Prize went to Billy Hibberts’ Transam. First place for the trucks was owned by Don Alexander of Yreka. There were also some motorcycles entered in the event.

Steve Zefault, Ivan Hude, Janeen Snopl and Rick Huston of the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce were in charge of the Show & Shine and did a good job getting cars in the parade on Sunday also.

The Grand Prize in the Bigfoot Jamboree Parade was a group of active kids tumbling around, Tumbletown Tots. McCulley Logging celebrated 50 years logging and won first place in the commercial category, followed by Larry’s Market (2nd) and the Bigfoot that kept escaping and had gone to the forest before collecting his third place ribbon. Thanks Lance!

Howard Garthwait, Chairman of the parade said it was one of the bigger parades in recent years. Mike Polluck, Rusty Crocker, Dave Rasmussen and Ryan Rasmussen were the jusdges.

The Lioness Club in their poodle skirts and life size display picture of Elvis won first place in the nonprofit organizatgions. The Cub Scout Color Guard followed, in second, with the tallest Uncle Sam thanks to Jay Clark, postmaster. The Happy Camp Grange won third place.

Larry Wright Jr. flew the Red Baron plane for first place in individual entries. Second place was by the Happy Camp High School Class Reunion of the Class of “76.” Karuk drummers were drumming to keep the parade marching on and won third place.

American Legion Auxiliary No 530 ladies, in large hats with colorful ducks on them, were selling tickets. Sales were brisk in the sale of tickets to enter a colorful little “duck” in the Duck Race. First place winner of the $200 cash prize was Shirley Willis, second place was Dorothy Pence and third place was Alecia Derry. The last little duck across the finish line brought Edward Peters $20. Kim Seago won the beautiful necklace of locally mined gold from the Independence Mine area.

K.D. Peabody won fresh strawberries and jelly jars from Larry’s Market. Pauline Stacy won battery cables from Rick’s Auto Supply. Antoine won bait and tackle from Ron’s Bait and Tackle. Robert Spence won a wooden model duck from the Siskiyou House. Linda Kufner won a hibachi from the Karuk Building Supply

Preston Wilson and Ron Snopl each got five gallons of fas from Miller’s Unocal. Miller’s Unocal is the new station where the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce recently held a Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting with refreshments. (Later to become Klamath-Siskiyou Art Center)

Jean Burnett won pan pizza’s from Headway Pizza and Kyle Stpockton won tanning lotion from Clinic Pharmacy. Deanna Indehar won a handmade hankie angel made by Linda Sutcliff of Happy Crafts. Mary Lauritzen and Maxine McCoy won an hour of labor from Dion Wood and Trevor Zediker respectively. Jean Marasco won a hand painted desert scene from Evans Mercantile. Gerri jacobsen and Larry Wright Jr.  won gas from Siskiyou Petrol Systems. Linda Zink won a cedar birdhouse from Renewable Resource Products. Adrian donated shampoo and conditioner from Hair We Are that was won by Edward Peters. A fun float trip for six down the river by J.J. of River Country Rafting was won by Kenny Seago.

The Auxiliary fundraising chairman Nida Johnson said a big “Thank You” to all the individuals and businesses that contributed and bought raffle tickets from the American Legion Auxiliary for this activity at the Bigfoot Jamboree. Judy Bushy, president of the Auxiliary, also thanked all who donated prizes as well as all the volunteers, especially those who splashed around in the river retrrieving little yellow ducks who had stopped to play!

 Reprinted from the September 26, 1996 Daily News by columnist, Judy Bushy.

 

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