Suggestions for Ecomonic Plan

Happy Campers received an invitation to a meeting by the Karuk Tribe for input on an economic development plan for our local area. We applaud the Karuk Tribal leadership for taking seriously the importance of economic vitality of this area and look forward to that meeting. In the meantime, a Happy Camper has suggestions…..

Dear Sirs

In response to your letter concerning the public meeting to develop a 5 to 10 year economic development plan.

A 5 to 10 year economic plan is a laudable project.

The things that can be produced from the 1.2 million acres of Karuk Ancestral Territory are mining, farming, logging and tourism.

On mining the Karuk Tribe needs to pressure the California legislature to end the moratorium on gold dredging which will bring back the gold tourism activity. This would have an immediate economic benefit to the community.

Tourism includes hunting, fishing and camping. The Karuk Tribe needs to set up a fish hatchery and begin stocking the Klamath River and its tributaries with fish species that can be caught and kept. This can provide jobs for community members running the hatchery and delivering the fish as well as boosting fishing tourism.

The Karuk Tribe needs to take over management of the forest and resume logging to clear land so as to increase the grazing for deer and elk. This will produce larger herds and increase hunting tourism. Before 1850 the Karuk Tribe managed the tree density by burning portions of the forest to create feed for the deer and elk.

The Karuk Trbe needs to build a saw mill to take the logs cut by community members and turn them into lumber that can be sold to produce income for the community members.

The Karuk Tribe needs to encourage local farming of organic vegetables and grains so that local people can buy locally grown foods that are more nutritious than the stuff available from the super markets.

There may be other possibilities but these are the obvious ones.

Pete McLaughlin
Happy Camp, CA

Art & Treasure Weekend

Perspectives by Pete

Perspectives by Pete

©2011 Pete Winslow

One of the very best marriage advice tips I ever received was “Don’t marry anyone without playing at least one game of monopoly with them.”

I’ve done that, intentionally with a few friends and, even with people I’ve known for years, there’s something about the Monopoly experience that will reveal something about your former friend that you never dreamed was lurking inside.

Yard-saling is kinda like that, which is what happened this weekend in Happy Camp, CA. Over one hundred years ago, one of my most favorite authors, James Allen, said, “Circumstances don’t make the man, they reveal him to himself.” And, like a rousing game of Monopoly there is something about being at the helm of a yard sale that reveals qualities in my neighbors, friends, and other visitors that any other normal village activities would not provide the necessary catalyst for; revealing the some time scary depths of an individual or group.

An artist may kindly inform you that the picture you have priced at $.50 is really worth $25 and then gladly pay it. Another “bargain hunter,” and hunter is the operative word, may stomp out of your yard in an indignant huff because you refuse to sell earrings, marked down to $20 for only $.25 cents.

To offer another comparative example, like golf, yardsaling can be a character building experience. In the game of golf, for a right hander, if it curves to the left it’s called a hook, to the right it’s a slice and if shot straight, it’s a miracle!” So there are some who will try and slice your potential profits down by 90% or more.

Others will recheck you up with the inherent true worth of your beloved treasure. But if you are lucky, your day will mostly provide the middle of the road folk who will gently haggle, usually leave with something, including good feelings in you to accompany the few dollars that changed hands. These good vibes are the daily miracles in life and, in the end, are the only really good reason to interact with anybody.

So what does the “Art & Treasure Weekend mean to me? I have, yet again a much DEEPER APPRECIATION for the gentle Art of respectful dialogue and the absolute Treasure of those gentle souls who never lose contact with the with the inner knowledge of the inherent value of every individual we came in contact with!

This weekend, including the preceding days of preparation, have been an enjoyable, exhausting, trying, aggravating, mix of cheerleaders, those diseased with what I call “monopoly heart” and a completely refreshing breed of those who cannot help but breathe life into every situation they bless with their presence.

Have a Blessed, Garbage FREE Day!!

At this glad time of year when there is so much celebration with Hanukkah and Christmas and all they bring, sometimes sadness creeps in, like the Grinch that stole Christmas. Sometimes there are sad memories or missing loved ones who are far away now, but that is usually balanced with the happy and joyous memories of Christmas past.

However, should sad things come along that might ruin the celebration, remember the Rule of the Garbage Truck applies. A recent e-mail explained that “many people are like garbage trucks, they run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger and disappointment.

As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they’ll dump it on you. Don’t take it personally, Just smile, wave, wish them well and move on.

Don’t take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home or on the streets of Happy Camp.

The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life’s too short to wake up in the morning with regrets.

So Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don’t. Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it. Have a blessed, garbage-free day!”

Our Log Memorial High School – 1933

by Judy Bushy

The Log Memorial Building on 4th Avenue & East Street is an important part of Happy Camp’s History. It shows how one man with a vision of giving the young people of Happy Camp an education could enlist the support of many community members. Out of the unity of working together towards that purpose, great things were accomplished. Times looked bleak in 1933 and the country was in the great depression, but that obstacle didn’t stop the community from completing a high school in Happy Camp.

In 1922 Gorham Humphreys started a school for Happy Camp Students that included the first two years of high school. The classes were held at the local grammar school. Mr. Taylor was the school’s first teacher. He was followed by Miss Rudd who taught for four years. The two year course was discontinued in 1928 for about three years, according to Justice Court Judge Philip Toleman. He spoke at a dinner served by the high school home economics department.

Humphreys obtained re-establishment of the two year high school after campaigning at his own expense to the district board. There were about 30 students then and they needed a four year course and a separate place from the grammar school which was also overcrowded.

On March 3, 1933 with all the banks in the country closed and the depression in full swing, Gorham Humphreys, Dr. Mason and Judge Toleman presented to the district board the Grange plan to get people together to build a school for Happy Camp. Toleman said that, “the board had a really a tough row to hoe, taxpayers were broke and appeared to request all expenditures be cut to the bone.” Still, Ed Kaupp of Mt. Shasta helped turn the board in favor of the project and they promised $500 for the purpose.

Bert Newton donated the land, helped build the Log High School and lost his life due to illness contracted when serving at a school activity. Bert Newton started freighting with horses from Hornbrook to Klamath River points in 1910. From 1919 to 1930 he carried mail and parcel post from Hornbrook to Happy Camp, buying freighter franchises from Walter Bower and George Howard. By 1927 a new era arrived—the automobile replaced horses everywhere—so that spring he turned 57 head of stage horses loose with a herd of wild horses on the Bogus Range. He couldn’t even give them away!

Meanwhile, in 1920, he and his partners, his brother I.S. Newton and Harry Pence, purchased most of the unimproved land in Happy Camp. They erected a store, some cabins, a campground and a saw mill. He built the first building on what is now the Happy Camp Ranger Station at 2nd Avenue and Airport Road and leased it as headquarters to the Forest Service for many years. The Log High School was then where the present high school is located.

Gorham Humphreys initiated the idea of the high school building and must have been able to convince many in the community of the value of proceeding to build, as it seems the community worked together with uncommon unity.

Logs for the new log high school were donated by the Forest Service and cut under the direction of Bob Titus. Toleman was in charge of the building operations. Milt Fowler set the foundation forms. Gravel was hauled by Ralph Gordon. Pete Grant, Mike Effman and others chopped notches in the logs. When things got “bogged down” in August (of 1933) men weren’t able to come when needed and a few forgot they had pledged a certain amount of labor. Many in town thought maybe they had “bitten off more than we could chew…” That is when the women of the Grange put on a couple of noon picnics to get a large group together to put on the roof. Other women encouraged the work on optimistically. Ora head (Mrs. Guy Head) encouraged the workers to stay with it, urging all to remember that “Rome wasn’t built in a day!”

In September, two large classrooms were ready for Mr. Lowe and Miss Fite, the teachers, to begin classes. The people of Happy Camp had built a high school for education of its young people with only about $1,000 from the District Board.

In November of 1933 a dedication was held. At that time, Toleman said, “we were hearing a lot about the age of rugged individualism that was past. At this time I would like to say that it was that spirit, combined with a will to help each other, that did the job. And in passing I believe that it is proper to note that the teachers who lead in the education of our youth and who at times may wonder if their efforts are really appreciated cannot help but feel that the answer is YES, when they have occasion to work in or even hear of a high school that has grown under the conditions that this one has here in Happy Camp.”

The first graduating class in 1935 included Mae Barney, Marshall Vanhoy, Ruth Baker, Robert Humphreys, Nina Sedros, Edna Fowler, Paul Good, Geraldine Titus, George Logan and Florence Sutcliffe.

Gorham Humphreys must have felt great happiness when his son, Robert, was one of the first graduates of the school. He had seen a need for a high school and enlisted others to work with him to bring his vision to reality. Several of his children had died but his surviving four daughters and son had a great example of a father’s concern for their education. Of his daughters, Bertha married Tom Carter who was Forest Ranger. Viola became a nurse, Aurelia was a teacher and Hazel went to college in Marin County and then married Finley Joyner. The son, Robert, who graduated in 1935 died in Italy on the last day of the war in Europe.

Eventually a new high school building was needed. The principal, Arthur French, said “For two and one-half years teachers and equipment have been crowded together into 2,400 square feet of floor space.” The new building was expected to cost $438,000 and the bond bill was to be voted on according to the April 16, 1955 Klamath River Courier. “The new facility provided a large modern home economics room and a complete science room. It would also allow development of a commercial department and library.” Dr. Jere Hurley, Superintendent of Siskiyou County’s Joint Union High School District gave the speech dedicating the new building to “the principles of democracy and the Constitution of the United States, to all students –past, present and future.” Short addresses were also given by Sharon Titus, Carol Evans and Gene Erskin of the High School Student Board.

The old Log Memorial Building was to be moved to another site, and perhaps used for a library or museum. It was believed to be the only high school building constructed of logs still in use at the time. When “Old Timers” look at the Log Memorial Building they recall how the whole community united in the effort to bring education to our children.. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when we work together toward our goals!

Happy Camp Community Spirit

To the Editor:

Volunteers! Donations of time, labor and materials! That is the kind of community spirit that built needed places for the local folks in the history of the Happy Camp area, and other towns of Siskiyou County.

Indian Creek School 1883 and 1890, log church, 1928, log high school 1933, Grange hall, (Red Cross) First Aid Station, town Fire Hall, Lion’s Boy Scout building, Library, and the volunteer firefighters, ambulance services and other community efforts. Donations of land, timber, plywood, equipment, and money, manpower and ambition…that is the kind of community spirit that built the Happy Camp Health Services.

I do not believe that local citizens will stand for seeing that Health Service taken over without a fight.

James A. Waddell


Note: Jim is a Happy Camp citizen who moved away awhile. Five white generations of his family have been the pioneers who called this area “home” since gold prospecting and he is also a member of the Karuk Tribe of the Klamath River. He lived on the family homestead (of 1900’s) in the Happy Camp area for over fifty years and enjoyed hunting, hiking the mountains, appraising of timber, working as fishing guide and takes absolutely wonderful outdoor photographs. He helped us with technology at the Happy Camp Community Computer Center for awhile also. Lately he has been blessing us with the stories of the history of this area through tales of his family,  for which we are grateful! A cd of beautiful photos of the area is available (see ad on frontpage of Happy Camp News for further information)~jbushy

Happy Camp Is Like A Fish Bowl

A View From My Hill

Wild flowers at Wingate River Access

Happy Camp Is Like A Fish Bowl

By Linda Martin

Happy Camp is a small town and there’s no bad side of town. Every side is just about like any other. And this causes some people discomfort.

You see, if you’re used to being able to live on the good side of town in a larger community, it is a step down to come to a place like Happy Camp where we’re all together – the good, the imperfect, and whoever comes to live with us.

We’re deep inside the Klamath National Forest – a group of less than 1500 souls. Some were born here. Some have had family here for many centuries and others for more than one century. But many of us have no idea where our ancestors came from. We were born in this country which is not our ancestors’ native land, and we struggle to find a place we can call home. We’ve been drawn to this remote mountain community either by the hand of fate or the will of God, where we learn that Happy Campers are all like one big extended family. We’re together here, deep in the most remote part of the forest, trying to make the best of it.

So if you’re reading this website thinking you might want to move here as many have done before you, consider this. In Happy Camp we’re not just talking about the unity of mankind. We’re living it. There are no bad people here, but there are plenty of imperfect ones and if we’re going to be honest we’ll admit that everyone is imperfect. There are those who let it show and those who try to hide their imperfections, but in general we’re all pretty much alike.

Though there are no bad people here, there are bad drugs that cause some of our citizens to act in ways others consider to be irresponsible and immature. And in a larger town most of those people would be living on ‘the other side of town’ – forced by economic necessity to rent places that we can not see or be bothered by because we never go there.

Well in Happy Camp, we don’t have that type of luxury. There’s no bad neighborhood. All neighborhoods are pretty much alike with both good and troubled people in them. And though we may complain about our neighbors, they are still like our cousins, brothers and sisters, and they’re probably not going away any time soon. So like any big family there are sometimes petty arguments, then we usually get over them because that’s what people in families do.

So if you’re used to luxury living, it is possible Happy Camp isn’t the place for you. True, you could buy a home outside of town and only drive into town to get your mail and groceries, but then you’d miss the true beauty of Happy Camp. By true beauty I mean the friendships and comaraderie you find by associating with all classes of people here. Yet this apparently is not for everyone.

As editor of this news site I have met people who learned about the town from this site and came here to buy property. Please consider this your warning. Though Happy Camp is a beautiful and isolated community in the middle of a gorgeous national forest, we’re not all upscale and if you find that bothersome, you may want to look for other lodging.

However if you love humanity, care about people, and want to join together with all classes to help and find new kinds of friends, this is a great fishbowl to be in.


Linda Martin is the editor and publisher of Happy Camp News. She writes novels in her spare time. Her writing website is at

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