Rebuilding the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce

Cat manned the Suggeestion Box!

Dinah Sulipeck celebrated her 66th birthday at the Grange Friday with the help of many old and new Chamber members, friends and neighbors along the Klamath River. What fun it was to share a spaghetti dinner made by Robbie Collum. Thank you, Robbie for your considerable time and effort. After some had seconds, it was time to sing Happy Birthday to Dinah and tackle that giant chocolate cake. Even got some sample music thrown in by Lou Sr.

Dinah had some words to share as president. I haven’t known Dinah long, but really appreciate her encouraging good will. It was fun to celebrate her birthday, too. She reminded the Chamber of the Mission Statement, The Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce’s mission is “to promote and encourage business, commerce and quality of life for the citizens of Happy Camp and the Highway 96, Klamath River Corridor.” Businesses all along 96 are welcome.

board serves spaghetti dinner

Chamber Board Members served Spaghetti Dinner for January.

Locating and restoring the Heart of Klamath banner that blew down was discussed. Following Dinah’s report, James Buchner gave a complete Treasurer’s Report. Good news is there is a credit on the telephone bill. Sad news is the Chamber is broke, but memberships are coming in to remedy that problem.

Secretary Cathleen Searle told of how she had come up with a membership list from a brochure and website and asked help in clarifying situations. Anyone wishing to work together in “Community Unity” toward the above mission statement is welcome. The Chamber returned dues to $50 and including 2 additional months if you sign up now. The Chamber telephone was changed to voice mail answered by the president and secretary. Terry Winslow has also offered to answer the phone.

Pete Winslow asked how many had gotten e-mails about the meeting and what we can do to get messages to others who may also have an interest in the mission of the Chamber. Pete offered to send a monthly newsletter. First was sent January 3rd but some couldn’t open it. Pete will send it in the body of a message ”but it won’t look so fancy!” To be notified, send him your e-mail,

The Advertising Committee Report was given by James on the map and directory in the works for several months. Ads on the map will be available on a first come first served basis, but there will be a list of all members also. This membership brochure will be completed in March for April printing. The Board asked the gathering for input in dealing with the missing website. Dinah renewed the name with Go-daddy but who is the host? Restoring it hasn’t been accomplished yet. The members were very concerned about it. Lou Tiraterra, Sr advised to set aside previous mismanagement and proceed, so Treasurer will arrange for a new site with a company Kirk Eadie recommended.

To think that it all started when Cathleen was guest speaker in November on “community unity!” Several expressed the desire to forget the past, rebuilding trust and going forth with the new Chamber of Commerce to serve the members and our community on the wild Klamath River. Next meeting was set for February 1st at Elk Creek Campground and then all pitched in with cleanup and putting up chairs together. That Chamber can really work together and accomplish a lot quickly!


Klamath River, Kayaking, Happy Camp

Siskiyou County unemployment would be worse if one in nine employees didn’t serve the tourists visiting us. At a recent Tourism Workshop, Grace Bennet told about coming changes at the Colliers Information and Interpretive Center on I- 5. Have you stopped by and seen it lately? If you recall, it had displays with the nine cities as well as county information. Those displays will be changed, modernized, and converted to flat screen display. This will enable the county website to be shown. as well as allowing visitors to check out websites of other local attractions or businesses in our area.

Colliers Information & Interpretive Center is busy with 10,000 or more visitors a month in the summer, but they are open 7 days a week for 8-9 hours a day. Right now they get a great many requests about hunting, especially the elk and deer, and also ducks to the east of us. They’ll even have e-cards, modern Internet versions of old post cards, to send to friends and family to tell them how beautiful Siskiyou County is!!

If you haven’t been to the new county website recently, go and visit the site at It will tell you about fishing, kayaking, rafting, mountaineering, ice or lava caves, golfing and other tourism activities we enjoy here! It also has information on events, such as McCloud’s Annual Oktoberfest last week. Participants not only dressed in native German costumes to show off traditional old world dances but also dish up tasty traditional German fare including Sauerbraten with red cabbage, mashed potatoes and gravy, harvest lentil soup and bread, and dessert.

Emilyn Sheffield came from CalState about fifteen years ago to help us with marketing the State of Jefferson and Bigfoot Byways. Karen Whittaker and Bob Warren from Shasta Cascade Wonderland Association reminded us of Emilyn’s visit to Happy Camp. They were also telling accomplishments of their organization and requesting more photos and videos of our area to help them get tourists here from all over California.

Bob and Karen share lots of their efforts with Jonelle Tannahill of the California Travel and Tourism Commission from Sacramento. Jonnelles job is to represent all of California, including Happy Camp. Travel has expanded from the small family on vacation and they see more groups. Visitors to our area come for the beautiful pristine environment not found elsewhere. There was a specialized campaign for people wanting adventure “who are willing for their SUV to get dirty but not scratched.” They like adventure not too wild! Australian, German, Canadian and British are international visitors who love to travel to Northern California. The Europeans love National Parks and nature tours such as birding.

Jonelle and Karen both said a great deal about the Volcanic Byway, perhaps because that byway received thousands of dollars in grants for publicizing it as an All American Byway! They both also shared about how effective it is to have a trailer to go to events, like the Gilroy Garlic Festival where they handed out thousands of pounds of literature to promote an area for visitors. Happy Camp’s Chamber had a trailer for that purpose, but no one seems to know what happened to it a few years ago. Jonelle and Karen have much to offer us in terms of cooperative assistance for tourism. Some local hoteliers are discussing getting together for collaborative marketing for tourism as a district, with open meetings, Brown Act procedures, posting agendas, and discussing issues on the agenda much like the old Associated Chamber did with TOT taxes.

One in every nine jobs in Siskiyou County is in the tourism industry. We have people needing all the jobs we can create! We need to be encouraging tours to this most beautiful place along the wild Klamath River! We live with great beauty all around us.

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.

Things to do, places to go, and summer reading on the wild Klamath River

What are your kids doing for the summer vacation from school? I was reading that Sasha and Malia Obama’s fabulous summer vacation includes foreign travel, the Eiffel Tower, Rome, the Pantheon and the Kremlin, concerts, and being free from school routines. They also spent time volunteering at Fort McNair in Virginia, where the girls helped stuff backpacks with books and toys for the children of military families. But the presidential family limits their television and computers all day until just before bedtime, which is early for the girls even during summer vacation.

While we don’t have opportunities to tour Paris and Rome, I think that kids along the wild Klamath River have better opportunities in some ways. If you want to go away, there are Redwoods and the Pacific Coast to the West of us. They could go explore Oregon Caves just north of us, or the Cat Zoo in Cave Junction. Further up the coast there are the Myrtlewood Carving Factory and Prehistoric Gardens to explore.

Mount Shasta Museum has a display especially for the 100 year Centennial of the Boy Scouts of America. Yreka has the Siskiyou County Museum with many exhibits. They could also see museums in Fort Jones or Etna as well as the Kerbyville Museum. Have you been to the Willow Creek Museum yet, where they have a whole room added for the Bigfoot collection?

Best of all, on a hot day, kids along the Klamath have their choice of going to the Eddy or Clear Creek, or the mouth of Elk Creek for great swimming in clear cold water! They can go rafting or kayaking with their families or just drift boat for a lazy summer day on the Klamath. A student in Cave Junction used to bicycle (not motorcycle) over Greyback to Happy Camp for many years which seemed to ,me to be a great accomplishment!

They could set up a tent and camp out, either in the backyard or, as they grow in maturity and experience, progress all the way to backpacking the wilderness areas We live in the heart of Wilderness Areas so they can go any direction and find more wilderness to hike and backpack through! Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail has always been a wishful dream. Wouldn’t it be fun! The younger set can hike up Town Trail and look down on the entire town of Happy Camp.

We have a museum all about the Karuk culture to see — right in Happy Camp!! And if you haven’t visited the Forest Service Information Center, they are sure to enjoy seeing the fish (real live fish!!) and the mountain lion, and learn more about our forest. We have a beautiful River Park where they can practice disk golf or walk the nature trail.

The Cub Scouts have been busy working on collecting for a nature center: rocks and stones, tracks and just the sort of thing that young boys love to investigate as they discover the beautiful world we live in. One of these days we will find a place to keep all their displays and collections and that will be great fun for the kids! Vinson Brown’s, How to Make your Home Nature Museum was the inspiration for their collections, and in years to come it will help them to earn merit badges in all sorts of fascinating areas! They are also working on getting photographs and learning to operate a camera this summer. It is a good thing to know, since they practice the leave no trace camping, or as the scouters call it leave nothing but footprints, ways in the forest. Rather than collect things, collecting a picture of the beautiful things they have seen leaves them for the next person along the trail to see and enjoy as well.

The Happy Camp Branch Library is open fewer hours and days this summer, but is still a good place to choose a book that will interest your young (or older) readers. If you haven’t read Dear Madam or Land of the Grasshopper Song you are sure to enjoy these classics from this area. A wonderful story of life a boy growing up in Happy Camp is the The Klamath Treasure: The Adventure of Euclid Plutarch Hammarsen If you grew up along the wild Klamath River you will feel like you know Euclid and participated in many of his adventures, perhaps because the author, Trisha Barnes, did just that!

When I was dealing with a disabled van this summer, strolling down to Evans, I found a really great book, a real fish story. Springer’s Quest: Life of a Pacific Chinook Salmon by a former teacher, Nina Gee. She has written the story of this salmon that hatches and endures exciting adventures both in the creek to the river and in the ocean before returning up the Salmon River to spawn. I wondered about some of the vocabulary for youngsters, but the kids knew the words that I didn’t, so it is sure to be helpful to them in studies back at school. You don’t have to tell them that, of course! I learned a few things in a less scientific format than the information could have been presented which makes it all the more interesting for the young folks and the rest of us too.

Have a wonderful summer of doing things, going places, and summer reading along the wild Klamath River!

Veto to New Regulations for Klamath River Use

Governor Swarzengger has vetoed the bill of great concern to the gold prospectors along the wild Klamath River. We want to see the fish and wildlife protected from harm, if there were harmful effects of suction dredge mining, however, most dredgers looking for gold are amazed at how the fish enjoy participating in the sport.

No scientific study has shown dredging to be harmful, and at least one has shown that it is particularly helpful in restoring habitat for fish.

The Governor said that “current law gives the Department of Fish and Game the necessary authority to protect fish and wildlife resources. It is unclear why this bill specifically targets a number of specific waterways for closure of further restrictions,” he said, and “scientific environmental review should precede such decisions.”

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