What is the first thing you notice coming to Happy Camp? It appears that, for many at least, it is our Bigfoot Statue at the corner of Highway 96 and Davis Road. Whenever visitors come to town, they usually can be seen taking their photos with the big guy!!
It all began when Cheryl met Sculptor Ralph Starritt, famed for transformation of junk into works of art. Her enthusiasm for the project began to grow and I recall her excitement when she reported on her project at a meeting of the Happy Camp chamber of Commerce!
It was early 2001 during a River Clean-up that a conglomeration of fabulous litter began to be collected in the Forest Service parking lot. Cheryl Wainwright organized the community to collect this junk metal for a special project and clean up the River at the same time.
As sometimes happens, it took a longer time as we might have supposed to get enough material and donations and get the Bigfoot Statue built, but the whole community watched, and many helped the project take place. Contributions of scrap metal, rocks, and donations from Frontier Café, Evans Mercantile, Clinic Pharmacy and the Forest Service came in for supplies, equipment, and lodging for Mr. Starritt when he came to town for the project.
Eventually, Bigfoot found a home on the corner of Highway 96 and Davis Road and attracts quite a bit of attention there!! It is appropriate that it is on the corner where the Klamath Siskiyou Art Center has met for years, and faces the corner where they have bought the place that is becoming their new Art Center, since it is the largest artwork in town. Well, perhaps not, Diann Hokanson made us several murals, and the one on the side of the Market at the other end of Davis Road is 109 feet long, which is longer than Bigfoot is high!! There is also a sepia colored stage coach scene on Evan’s Mercantile on the side nearest the Brick Building. There was a beautiful color mural on the side of Pence’s Hardware, which became Karuk Building Supply and was obliterated when painting for the new computer operations that building has now become.