Siskiyou Pioneer Hot off the Press!!

Siskiyou Pioneer Annual printed on Klamath River families.

Siskiyou Pioneer Annual printed on Klamath River families.

It’s a beautiful, cool but sunny day in Happy Camp, although there were rumors of a dusting of snow over Greyback Tuesday. It was a clear moonlit night last night coming home. Still, it is now October first, so we must enjoy these sunny days while we can! It was a great quickly trip out of town–Learned a lot and accomplished a lot of errands.

The best part was stopping by the Siskiyou County Museum and got a brand new “hot off the press” issue of The Siskiyou Pioneer from the Siskiyou County Historical Society. This issue (2009) is Gold Rush and Mixing of Cultures in Western Siskiyou County .

The front cover has a photo of Fred Emet Johnson at 17 with his mother. Fred is “third generation from the first white man into the Klamath River area.” His mother is “Tall Julia,” also known as Julia Goodwin Stanshaw Johnson Bell. Since Fred was born in 1905, that means the photo was taken about 1922. After reading “Land of the Grasshopper Song” Fred took a notebook full of notes which his daughter Joy shared.

Rumors had been floating around that Hazel Davis Gendron was writing new history information about this area and this is it. I was greatly looking forward to it. She was joined by Cheryl M. Beck in compiling the book.

First of all it was the photo of Hazel Humphries Joyner holding a photo of her brother, Robert (in the information about Karuk men who had been killed in action in past wars) that was of special interest. Then the forward was a wonderful tribute to the enduring Karuk people.

The balance of the book tells of ten or eleven families, mostly from the Klamath River . One of the difficulties in writing about these families is the belief of some that even mention of the name of deceased relatives may bring bad luck. But the ladies are good genealogical detectives/trackers and found data in formal BIA records which helped.

There are also stories of Squirrel Jim, Tribal Basket Makers and how important music was to people.

If you have membership in the Siskiyou County Historical Society, you are in for some interesting reading when this new edition comes to you. If not, you could join for $25 and receive the new issue next year. Last year’s issue centered on Doris and each issue is a different topic about the history of Siskiyou County.