“From Hardship to Gold” reprinted by permission os Jim Part II

The second party of prospectors braving the wild country and tough Indians kept to the west and north sides of the Klamath River. Their travels took them along steep ridges and into scores of forested tributary watersheds of the Klamath River. (It must be understood that the forest was much more open then than now. White people the began suppressing wildfires in the early decades of this century. The Karuk people allowed forest fires to burn, even setting fire to areas that were getting too brushy. This burning allowed new sprouts of grasses and shrubs to grow, made travel better, made hunting easier and made spotting an enemy before he got too close more probable.)

This second party was headed for the Scott River. However, they must have traveled either through Seiad Low Gap into Horse Creek or went up Johnny O’Neil Ridge and down Hamburg Gulch. They missed the mouth of the Scott River. They traveled up the Klamath River as far as the mouth of the Shasta River, in Shasta Indian territory. It is believed that they wintered in the area soon to be called Thompson’s Dry Diggin’s; now known as Yreka. [Later research also told that this group was the combined groups of J. M. C. Jones & Ed Bean group that was joined by the Rufus Johnson group who also came up the Klamath River; and this combined group met up with Oregon Territorial Governor Joe Lane’s group in the Sacramento River canyon and wintered in the Redding area called Blue Tent Creek Camp.] Gold was found there, but the land was dry; a high desert land. In the early spring of the next year, gold was found in the ancient mixed soils of the valley bottom, including in the roots of the bunch grass.

The third party searching for gold in these mountains in 1850 included the man now known to have made the biggest gold discovery in the Klamath Mountain Province, John Scott. It is still uncertain exactly what route they took before finally ending up at Scott’s discovery site of nuggets at Scott Bar. (The largest nugget found in later years, found by Wade & Lindsey, was “…five inches long, three inches wide and weighed 16 pounds!”) It has been reported that his band of miners came inland from the port town of Trinidad in California. In the next several years, we know that supplies were brought to Scott’s Bar by way of Trinidad, Blackburn’s Ferry (Cappell Creek), and the wind-swept summits of the Marble Mountains. Later supplies were brought by pack trail (named the Kelsey Trail after the original trail builder W. R. Kelsey; mule packer) from Crescent City over the mountains of the South Fork of the Smith River, Bear Peak and the northern Marble Mountains to Scott Valley.

In 1851, the prospectors who had wintered near the Forks of Salmon, at Brizille Flat, lived through the winter pretty well. However, in the early months of spring they were surprised to see other eager and gold-hungry miners scurry into the Salmon River country. The new group crossed the Salmon Mountains before winter was really over. Spring snowstorms made life miserable for these hasty prospectors! As they waited for warm weather, they ended up eating all the stores of the miners already there. This was called “Starvation Times” in the Salmon River.

By July of 1851, the group of prospectors that had retreated from Wingate Bar, now being led by Captains McDermitt and Thompkins, (owners of Blackburn’s Ferry), moved from the Salmon River back up the Klamath River. They found very large amounts of gold in the gravel at the mouth of Indian Creek. They had survived the mountainous trails, the river fordings, battles with the Karuk Indians and some survived the “Starvation Times.” Now they had good food, warm weather and lots of gold nuggets! This gold-rich location, and its easy living circumstance, was named “Happy Camp!”

Addendum: at right is one of Jim Waddell’s aerial photos of the little town in the narrow and timbered valley of the Klamath River, c. 1991. The Klamath River is seen at the very bottom, Indian Creek heads into the river from the north at top; Indian Creek road is on the right side of Indian Creek and Buckhorn Road is on the left side of the creek.

Happy Camp aerial photo Northern California
Happy Camp aerial photo Northern California

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.

 

Winners at Bigfoot Jamboree

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

Since the Show and Shine of the Chamber of Commerce was rained out in May, that event was postponed to the Bigfoot Jamboree. Seventeen cars and trucks were parked on the shady part of the River Park for enjoyment of on-lookers. First prize went to Billy Hibberts’ Transam. The first place for the trucks was one owned by Don Alexander of Yreka. There were also motorcycles on display. Steve Zefault, Ivan Hyde, Janeen Snopl and Rick Huston were in charge of planning the Show and Shine for the Chamber and did a good job getting beautiful cars in the parade.

The grand prize in the Jamboree Parade held Sunday by the active3 kids tumbling around, TUMBLETOWN TOTS. McCulley Logging celebrated 50 year anniversary of logging winning first place in the commercial category followed by Larry’s Market and the Bigfoot that kep escaping the cage he rode in. Thanks to Lance!
Howard Garthwait, chairman of the parade preparations said it was one of the bigger parades recently. Mike Polluck, Rusty Crocker, Dave Rasmussen and Ryan Rasmussen were the judges.

Lioness Club in their poodle skirts and a life size picture of Elvis, won first place in the noncommercial/nonprofit category. The Cub Scout Color Guard followed in second by the tallest Uncle Sam delivering the mail. The Grange entry won third place.

Larry Wright Jr. flew the Red Baron plane for first place in the individual entries. Second place was by the Happy Camp High School class reunion class of ’76. Karuk drummers played to keep the parade marching on and won third place.

Ladies in large hats with colorful ducks on them represented the American Legion Auxiliary # 530 at the Bigfoot Jamboree. Sales of tickets to enter a colorful little duck in the Duck Race were brisk. First place winner of $200 cash was won by Shirley Willis, second place winner 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. Antone won bait and tackle from Ron’s Bait and Tackle. Robert Spence won a wooden duck from Siskiyou House. Linda Kufner won a hibachi from Karuk Building Supply, Preston Wilson and Ron Snopl each got five gallons of gas from Millers Unocal – the “new” gas station in town. Jean Burnett won pan pizza’s from Headway Pizza and Kyle Stockton won tanning solution from Clinic Pharmacy. Deanna Indehar won a handmade hankie angel made by Linda Sutcliffe of Happy Crafts.Mary Lauritzen and Maxine McCoy won and hour of labor from Dian Wood and Trevor Zedikier, respectively. Judith Marasco won a hand painted desert scene from Evans Mercantile. Gerri Jacobson and Larry Wright,Jr. won gas from Siskiyou Petrol Systems. Linda Zink won a cedar birdhouse from Renewable Resource Products. Adrien donated shampoo and conditioner won by Edwards Peters.

A fun float trip for six down the Klamath River by J.J. of River Country Rafting was won by Kenny Seago. The Auxiliary fund raising chairman, Nida Johnson, said a big “thank you” to all the individuals and businesses that contributed and bought raffle tickets for their fund raising activity at the Bigfoot Jamboree. Next year, an Independence Day Duck Race is being planned. Thanks to all the volunteers who splashed around in the river retrieving ducks who had stopped to play!

Cub Scout Pack #52 and Jay Clark as Uncle Sam

Cub Scout Pack #52 and Jay Clark as Uncle Sam

1 115 116 117