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Happy Camp, California

Updated on June 6, 2014

A morning walk through Happy Camp, CA

Happy Camp, CA is a small unincorporated town in the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains of Northern California 70 miles west of Yreka and 120 miles east of Eureka and the California coastline.

I've been here thirteen years, and enjoy living in this little town with so many neighbors that try to make Happy Camp a better place.

This page shows what I saw on my morning walk through this remote mountain town on July 9, 2009.

Image above by Linda Jo Martin - A view of Happy Camp as seen from the top of the Town Trail, which starts on Elk Creek Road.

This page was made by Linda Jo Martin, author of River Girl, a Happy Camp novel.

Linda Jo Martin is the Book Lady on YouTube.

Happy Camp, CA is known for being in Karuk Tribe ancestral territory, for being in the center of the Klamath Forest, for multiple nearby Bigfoot sighting reports, for gold prospecting, and for its former timber industry that was destroyed by environmentalist lawsuits to protect the Spotted Owl. It is also a popular site for rafting or kayaking on the Klamath River.

Happy Camp is becoming an artist's mecca with an active art group engaged in planning and building a multi-use art center, and outdoor structures such as the metal Bigfoot sculpture, the largest dreamcatcher in the world, and an old truck repainted and used as a welcome sign. (You will see these near the end of the page.)

When I first moved here on January 11, 2000, there were a lot of empty buildings. The reason was that the lumber industry died out in the late 1980s and early 1990s due to a series of environmentalist lawsuits ostensibly protecting the Spotted Owl. While some owl habitats may have been saved, many Happy Camp families were devastated due to loss of income. Many businesses closed and families moved out of town. That left lots of empty homes and businesses boarded up and abandoned.

It has taken a long time and some new people, but Happy Camp is finally coming back to life. Most of the commercial buildings are now occupied. Many buildings that looked terrible when I moved here have been repainted and loved again.


The State of Jefferson Scenic Byway is Highway 96 from Highway 5 near Yreka, to Happy Camp. From here the route continues over Grayback Road to Oregon. Grayback Road is closed during the winter months due to snow.


The Bigfoot Scenic Byway runs from Happy Camp to Willow Creek, passing by the site of the 1967 Bigfoot filming by the Patterson-Gimlen expedition. For more on that topic - including a few Happy Camp Bigfoot sightings, see Bigfoot Sightings.


There's a Facebook page for the Happy Camp, CA Chamber of Commerce! Please join!

We're in the center of the Klamath National Forest about twenty miles south of the Oregon border... nestled in the Klamath River Valley. The river runs through Happy Camp.

The Klamath River - about 4 miles downriver from Happy Camp.

The Klamath National Forest is huge -- 1,700,000 acres!

Do you think maybe Bigfoot lives here?

Happy Camp changes a lot. That's why I think it is important to preserve a moment in Happy Camp time. Two years from now, much of this could be changed. The town seems on the path to renewal after two decades of distress, despair, decline, and disrepair.

A bit of Happy Camp history:

This little corner of the forest was inhabited only by Native Americans - Karuks - until 1851 when gold miners made their way upriver from the coast. Euro-American settlers stayed because they found gold in the Klamath River and its tributary creeks, and in the hills nearby. There were skirmishes between the Karuks and immigrants, but eventually everyone settled down and intermarried. At this time there are less than ten full-blooded Karuks left.

See: Karuk photos at Pinterest.

Hundreds of Chinese miners made Happy Camp their home. The census for 1880 recorded that 250 Happy Campers were white, 250 were Chinese and 97 were Karuks. The Chinese gold and jade miners lived here from 1860 through 1910 when Chinatown burned a second time. After 1920 there were only a few Chinese settlers left.

After the initial gold rush, after the easy pickings disappeared, the people who stayed were serious prospectors who established gold mines in the hills and along the creeks and the river. There was also a Chinese jade mine next to the South Fork of Indian Creek. There is still an active jade and gold mining operation there to this day: South Fork Mining.

Other industries sprang up. There were stores, a brick factory, and several sawmills. For most of the twentieth century the sawmills provided most of the sustenance for Happy Camp families. In the 1980s disaster struck when a series of lawsuits were filed to ostensibly protect the Spotted Owl. These led to the ruination of the lumber industry in Happy Camp and the eventual closing of the mills.

This is what led to a decade of failure. Happy Camp couldn't sustain new businesses to replace the sawmills. Hundreds of people were forced to leave the area - something that was very traumatic for people who were accustomed to living in a remote area in the woods. Long-established businesses closed because there was insufficient revenue, with so many formerly working people now unemployed or gone. Houses and businesses stood empty and in disrepair. It was at this point I moved into Happy Camp, in the year 2000.

Since then numerous buildings have been re-occupied. Most received renovation. There's been a lot of growth. Two art centers were established in the hope that Happy Camp will become an artist-colony town. One could not ask for a more picturesque place to do nature paintings! An extensive new art center is planned; it will most likely be right next to Highway 96 on the east side of town.

This lens gives almost one-hundred photographs that show what the town was like in the summer of 2009 on the day I walked through at about 8-9 am. This is a moment in Happy Camp time. It isn't the only moment. Happy Camp continually changes. The current trend is that it is changing for the better.

River Girl - ...a Happy Camp novel! (I wrote this one.)

I intended this book to be my gift to the children of Happy Camp - so they would have a book about a girl living near a place they know and love. In the time since it was published it has been read (mostly by adults!) in many other areas throughout the USA. It is available on Amazon - either as a paperback, or for Kindle.

River Girl
River Girl

In 1918 Claire Welch, age nine, moves from the San Francisco Bay Area to the coastal town of Eureka, far to the north. She must leave her dearest friend behind.

From there Claire heads toward a difficult life, traveling inland to Happy Camp, a small town in the middle of a huge forest.

Near Happy Camp, in the Klamath River Valley, she faces the pain of loneliness and learns the true meaning of friendship.

River Girl was written for children and teens, ages 8 to 15.

 

My walk around Happy Camp, CA on July 9, 2009

...my route

I entered Happy Camp from the southwest, passed the green elevation/population sign, and turned left on Second Avenue.

The first photo gallery shows what I saw on Second Avenue that day. Click on the photos to see each one.

Happy Camp, CA, Second Avenue - ...this was at one time called Bridge Street.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
A gift shop? A museum? Where? I'll show you in a minute...This is the sign on the southeast end of town. That was the population in 1990.The Grange Hall. This is where we have community meetings, and it is also where we vote.Sweet peas! There are lots of wild flowers blooming this time of year.We call this the "lower forest service" area.The next sight is the little log church.This building was a video store, but has been empty for the last ten years.Across the street is the Karuk People's Center gift shop and museum.The Karuk People's Center. The architecture of this building is impressive.The Second Avenue bridge - it takes us over Indian Creek.
A gift shop? A museum? Where? I'll show you in a minute...
A gift shop? A museum? Where? I'll show you in a minute...
This is the sign on the southeast end of town. That was the population in 1990.
This is the sign on the southeast end of town. That was the population in 1990.
The Grange Hall. This is where we have community meetings, and it is also where we vote.
The Grange Hall. This is where we have community meetings, and it is also where we vote.
Sweet peas! There are lots of wild flowers blooming this time of year.
Sweet peas! There are lots of wild flowers blooming this time of year.
We call this the "lower forest service" area.
We call this the "lower forest service" area.
The next sight is the little log church.
The next sight is the little log church.
This building was a video store, but has been empty for the last ten years.
This building was a video store, but has been empty for the last ten years.
Across the street is the Karuk People's Center gift shop and museum.
Across the street is the Karuk People's Center gift shop and museum.
The Karuk People's Center. The architecture of this building is impressive.
The Karuk People's Center. The architecture of this building is impressive.
The Second Avenue bridge - it takes us over Indian Creek.
The Second Avenue bridge - it takes us over Indian Creek.

The Karuk Tribe

Karuk means "upriver". Yurok means "downriver". The Karuks have lived in the Happy Camp area for many centuries. Their territory extended downriver to the Orleans area. The Yuroks live further downriver, near the Pacific coast.

The Karuk name for Happy Camp is Athithúfvuunupma.

The Karuk Tribe's administrative offices are in Happy Camp. The tribe has it's own website: Karuk Tribe Official Tribal Website. The Karuk Tribe is one of the major employers in Happy Camp. They get most of their funding from grants. The tribe owns the old elementary school and has built several newer buildings there to accommodate the community health clinic, the dental office, and the People's Center.

The Forest Service in Happy Camp

Another major employer in Happy Camp is the U.S. Forest Service. Their website: The Klamath National Forest.

Every summer there are fires in the forest near Happy Camp. Fire fighting is an important seasonal job opportunity for many Happy Camp people.

The Second Avenue Bridge

The original bridge over Indian Creek at this location was a gift to Happy Camp from the original owners of the J. Camp Mercantile: John Camp, Heil Camp, and John Titus. (You will see their building in the next photo gallery.)

Back around 1865 they ordered metal rods from Eureka on the coast, for the building of the bridge. The rods had to be brought to Happy Camp on the mule train! One can only imagine the difficulty of bringing such an unwieldy, heavy load all the way up the Klamath River Valley on the backs of mules!

That bridge and others were eventually wiped out by floods. There have been many floods in Happy Camp -- both on Indian Creek and on the Klamath River.

My Street Name Rant

I don't know if anyone else cares, but the streets of Happy Camp used to have different names. Second Avenue was called Bridge Street -- because of the bridge. First Avenue was called Church Street. I guess there was a church there at one time. And Indian Creek Road was Main Street back in the old days.

I cannot understand why the streets were renamed "First Avenue" etc. . . . there are only four of these "Avenues" which are really just tiny countrified streets. I have always wondered why someone way back when decided to number the streets -- especially since Happy Camp is such a tiny little village, nobody is going to get lost here anyway. They won't need numbered streets. It isn't like San Francisco or New York where numbered streets are very helpful!

I'd love to have Happy Camp return to the original street names.

Happy Camp, CA street names poll - I'd like to have your opinion on this.

What do you think about Happy Camp, CA street names?

See results

The other side of the bridge - ...we're still on Second Avenue

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The J.Camp Mercantile is one of the oldest buildings in Happy Camp, built in 1865.The American House Hotel was originally built in 1856.A rose blooming in the backyard of the American House hotel.The Klamath Knot Arts Council. Evans Mercantile was here until the flood of 1964.Evans Mercantile has taken the place of the J. Camp Mercantile.Old Town Park. The site of the Timber Inn, which burned down in the 1970s.One backward glance at the old Mercantile building, before I continue on my walk.Ron's fishing guide service is in an old service station building.The only full-service restaurant in Happy Camp - The Frontier Cafe.Looking southwest from the corner of Second Avenue and Highway 96.
The J.Camp Mercantile is one of the oldest buildings in Happy Camp, built in 1865.
The J.Camp Mercantile is one of the oldest buildings in Happy Camp, built in 1865.
The American House Hotel was originally built in 1856.
The American House Hotel was originally built in 1856.
A rose blooming in the backyard of the American House hotel.
A rose blooming in the backyard of the American House hotel.
The Klamath Knot Arts Council. Evans Mercantile was here until the flood of 1964.
The Klamath Knot Arts Council. Evans Mercantile was here until the flood of 1964.
Evans Mercantile has taken the place of the J. Camp Mercantile.
Evans Mercantile has taken the place of the J. Camp Mercantile.
Old Town Park. The site of the Timber Inn, which burned down in the 1970s.
Old Town Park. The site of the Timber Inn, which burned down in the 1970s.
One backward glance at the old Mercantile building, before I continue on my walk.
One backward glance at the old Mercantile building, before I continue on my walk.
Ron's fishing guide service is in an old service station building.
Ron's fishing guide service is in an old service station building.
The only full-service restaurant in Happy Camp - The Frontier Cafe.
The only full-service restaurant in Happy Camp - The Frontier Cafe.
Looking southwest from the corner of Second Avenue and Highway 96.
Looking southwest from the corner of Second Avenue and Highway 96.

The J. Camp Mercantile and Happy Camp History

You can find out more about the old mercantile building and see photos from earlier eras by reading an article I wrote for Evans Mercantile on Happy Camp history. The article tracks the history of dry-goods stores in our town and introduces some early Happy Camp residents.

This photograph shows what the building looked like in 2000 when I moved to Happy Camp. Since that time the owners have had it painted by local sign painter, Ray Arneson - restoring the lettering on the front of the building and painting over the old Shell Oil advertisement.

The American House and Henry Doolittle

The American House is the original name of the old wooden hotel that stands on the corner of Second Avenue and Indian Creek Road. The original structure was built by Henry Doolittle in 1856. It was one of the first buildings in Happy Camp built by Euro-American settlers, but it burned down twice and this is a later version in the same location.* (see the update in the next paragraph.) This photo shows what The American House looked like in 2000 when I moved here. Since then the trees have been cut down and the entire building painted for the first time by the new owner.

[*UPDATE, 2010: I received email from the current owner of the American House. She states that there's no evidence that the hotel ever burned down. She wrote: "It never burnt down...there is no evidence to support that onsite archeologically nor have I ever read it in written records. There are two legal property lots associated with the site...maybe an outhouse burned on the property - but never the hotel. In the 14 years since I bought it ... my caretaker, and the many folks digging deep, especially in the basement, show layers in time going back literally thousands of years to the time the Karuk first occupied the site. Each major flood swirled the contents in the basement which then settled and formed an historic record back to the 1860s."

I was told it burned down twice by the daughter of an early resident. I also noted the current structure doesn't resemble the hotel shown in the first two hotel photographs shown on the Evans Mercantile History web page but it does look like the building in the photo at the bottom of that page. I agree that if the hotel had burned in that location, there should have been some evidence in the basement - ashes, or even burnt timber. Here I find conflicting information: local legend vs. the owner's statement of evidence discovered. I post the controversy here so it is out in the open, so everyone can make up their own minds on this issue.]

In the only books about Happy Camp history, it was noted that Henry Doolittle left Happy Camp in 1872 after many years of community service as a business owner, Postmaster, and Justice of the Peace. After I established Happy Camp News in 2001, a descendant of Henry Doolittle, Richard Ramsey, wrote to me about him. From Mr. Ramsey I learned that Henry Doolittle left here and went to Washington state.

Strange personal tie-in: my mother, who has never lived in Happy Camp, married a man from Washington state named Bob Doolittle, back around 1987. There's a resemblance!

There are two streets and a creek in the Happy Camp area named after Henry Doolittle. His brothers, Albert and Alphonso, lived here for a while too but left long before Henry did.

The American House has had other names over the course of the last century. It was called the Cuddihy Hotel and the Baker Hotel. The most recent owner changed the building's name to The American Hotel. It is now a private residence.

The Timber Inn

I'm not qualified to write much about The Timber Inn because I never saw it before it burned down in 1975. It was on Second Avenue right next to the backyard of The American House. In this photo it is right behind the "garage".

The Timber Inn housed a café, bar, and dance hall. Behind that was the Del Rio Theater - the only theater Happy Camp has ever had. After the Timber Inn and Del Rio Theater burned, corn started growing in the ruins -- popcorn that had been dropped by people watching movies in the little theater!

Old Town Park

The property where the Timber Inn once stood was vacant for years until 1999 when Happy Camp Community Services leased the land to create Old Town Park. Now there are fund raising efforts to buy the land and develop the park. If you would like to donate to this project, send your donation money directly to:

Happy Camp Community Services

PO Box 1129

Happy Camp, CA 96039

They will hold donations in an escrow account until $45,000 is raised.

Fishing in the Klamath River

I'm not a fishing enthusiast, as I'm a vegetarian, but Happy Camp is famous for fishing opportunities. My landlady once told me she and her husband moved here for the fishing! Happy Camp has been called the "Steelhead Capital of the World." There's also a lot of salmon in the river.

That's about all I can tell you about fishing. Locally there are several people working as fishing guides. You can see Ron's business sign in the photo gallery above. Google Klamath River fishing to learn more about it.

The Frontier Café & Saloon

If you compare this old picture with the picture of the Frontier Café and Saloon in the photo gallery above, you may soon be as confused as I am. It looks like the bricks from the Shell building were moved to create the saloon part of the Frontier. Or is the saloon the Shell building with a cafe built on the side? The Shell building seems to be sitting in the place where Highway 96 was extended, leaving Happy Camp's Second Avenue off the highway. I guess I'll have to ask an old time resident to be sure. If you know the answer -- leave a message in the guestbook below so I can find out what happened to that Shell building!

I've never been in the saloon except for Chamber of Commerce meetings when we used to have them there, but I've eaten at the café many times. They have wonderful meals including vegetarian tacos and lasagna. (I'm a vegetarian, remember?) The waitress, Debbie, makes some of the best salsa in town! They also have plenty of food for people who aren't vegetarians. It is a full-service restaurant.

News Flash! ... the American House Motel is now for sale ... - This video gives a better look at the house, and the owner is in it.

Learn more about the house here: A detailed description of the American House Hotel in Happy Camp...

Dear Mad'm - By Stella Walthall Patterson, published by Naturegraph in Happy Camp

In 2011 I had an inspiration for a Dear Mad'm Day - and guess what - the Chamber of Commerce liked it, and they've been celebrating Dear Mad'm Day ever since then, every year.

Learn more about Dear Mad'm Day here: Friends of Dear Mad'm.


Dear Mad'm (Women of the West)
Dear Mad'm (Women of the West)

An 80 year old woman leaves the city to spend a year on a remote mining claim near Happy Camp. (True story!)

 
Dear Mad'm, Who Was She?
Dear Mad'm, Who Was She?

New! A biography of Stella Walthall Patterson, by two of her relatives! This tells the story behind the amazing author of Dear Mad'm.

 

Up the hill on Highway 96 in Happy Camp, CA - ...I love the uphill hike - for the exercise.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is the Karuk Senior Nutrition Program building - formerly Headway Market.Time to walk up the hill - Highway 96 - the Bigfoot Scenic Byway.On the way up the hill there's a mileage sign.At the top of the hill you can see the recycling bins and Clinic Pharmacy.A Chamber of Commerce sponsored beautification project... we need more flowers!This old restaurant is being converted into a private residence.JavaBob's Bigfoot Deli has been closed since 2006.This building housed a laundromat and a florist shop; now it is a private residence.Next to that - G&L Tires and storage lockers and the yellow laundromat.Next to that - Ron's Used Cars. Ron is a great mechanic. Too bad he's retired now.
This is the Karuk Senior Nutrition Program building - formerly Headway Market.
This is the Karuk Senior Nutrition Program building - formerly Headway Market.
Time to walk up the hill - Highway 96 - the Bigfoot Scenic Byway.
Time to walk up the hill - Highway 96 - the Bigfoot Scenic Byway.
On the way up the hill there's a mileage sign.
On the way up the hill there's a mileage sign.
At the top of the hill you can see the recycling bins and Clinic Pharmacy.
At the top of the hill you can see the recycling bins and Clinic Pharmacy.
A Chamber of Commerce sponsored beautification project... we need more flowers!
A Chamber of Commerce sponsored beautification project... we need more flowers!
This old restaurant is being converted into a private residence.
This old restaurant is being converted into a private residence.
JavaBob's Bigfoot Deli has been closed since 2006.
JavaBob's Bigfoot Deli has been closed since 2006.
This building housed a laundromat and a florist shop; now it is a private residence.
This building housed a laundromat and a florist shop; now it is a private residence.
Next to that - G&L Tires and storage lockers and the yellow laundromat.
Next to that - G&L Tires and storage lockers and the yellow laundromat.
Next to that - Ron's Used Cars. Ron is a great mechanic. Too bad he's retired now.
Next to that - Ron's Used Cars. Ron is a great mechanic. Too bad he's retired now.

The Headway Market

When I moved here in 2000 the Headway Market was empty and the former owner worked at the hardware store. For a few years the Family Resource Center rented the building, but they had to leave when the Karuk Tribe purchased it. The tribe did a major remodeling project and now it is used for the Senior Nutrition Program.

Highway 96 - the Bigfoot Scenic Byway

The Bigfoot Scenic Byway runs from the Bigfoot statue at the corner of Highway 96 and Davis St. to Willow Creek, California 75 miles south west of here.

You'll see the Bigfoot statue in a minute. We're almost there.

JavaBob's Bigfoot Deli

When I moved here this building was yellow and empty. In 2004 or 2005 my neighbor, Bob, opened JavaBob's Bigfoot Deli in the building. Unfortunately he closed in 2006. He left town to go look for Bigfoot in other areas of the country.

The local real estate office uses the windows there to display properties for sale. If you'd like to see some go to the River Connection Realty website.

Why the Town Moved Uphill

After years of terrible floods, after having homes and businesses ruined, newer construction projects moved uphill for safety reasons. The Klamath River still floods every few years. I was caught in a Klamath River flood on December 30, 2005, and had to stay in the church in Horse Creek for two nights because the Klamath River Highway was flooded in either direction.

Highway 96 in Happy Camp, California - ...also known as the Bigfoot Scenic Byway

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The main forest service office in Happy Camp doubles as the town's Visitor's Center.The Bigfoot Car Wash is across the street from the forest service office.Napa Auto Parts is one of the most useful stores in town.The liquor store also has DVD rentals, gifts, and food.The Karuk hardware store closed a few years ago.A rafting mural on the end wall of the old hardware store....or kayaking?The Great Blue Heron is one of many birds often seen here.There's a storage facility behind the old hardware store.
The main forest service office in Happy Camp doubles as the town's Visitor's Center.
The main forest service office in Happy Camp doubles as the town's Visitor's Center.
The Bigfoot Car Wash is across the street from the forest service office.
The Bigfoot Car Wash is across the street from the forest service office.
Napa Auto Parts is one of the most useful stores in town.
Napa Auto Parts is one of the most useful stores in town.
The liquor store also has DVD rentals, gifts, and food.
The liquor store also has DVD rentals, gifts, and food.
The Karuk hardware store closed a few years ago.
The Karuk hardware store closed a few years ago.
A rafting mural on the end wall of the old hardware store.
A rafting mural on the end wall of the old hardware store.
...or kayaking?
...or kayaking?
The Great Blue Heron is one of many birds often seen here.
The Great Blue Heron is one of many birds often seen here.
There's a storage facility behind the old hardware store.
There's a storage facility behind the old hardware store.

Urban Sprawl in a Small Mountain Town?

This part of Happy Camp reminds me of urban sprawl. It is blandly industrial, unlike what most people would expect a tiny mountain village to be like. There's no consistent theme and the buildings don't match. It dates to the years of the lumber mills whereas the older section of town on Second Avenue dates from the gold prospecting era.

Buildings on Highway 96 are far apart and the street is wide - probably to accommodate lumber trucks which are rarely seen here anymore. The empty hardware store and the building that used to be JavaBob's Bigfoot Deli add to the feeling of urban sprawl due to their emptiness. I hope they can be put back into use soon. There are also empty lots that could be built on.

At least now the old restaurant is occupied again after all these years. It gives hope that the town will eventually recover from the distressing post-lumber mill years.

Urban sprawl in Happy Camp, CA - I'd like your opinion on this.

Is the upper Happy Camp area urban sprawl or picturesque?

See results

More Highway 96 photos from Happy Camp, CA - ...the journey continues!

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The only bank in town.The Forest Lodge.The Bigfoot tow truck service.The answer to the question most frequently asked by tourists: Is there a gas station here?The Bigfoot statue and the Klamath-Siskiyou Art Center.The Klamath Siskiyou Art Center's fish mural.Closeup of a Bigfoot hand.Closeup of another Bigfoot hand.A look down Davis Street from Highway 96.
The only bank in town.
The only bank in town.
The Forest Lodge.
The Forest Lodge.
The Bigfoot tow truck service.
The Bigfoot tow truck service.
The answer to the question most frequently asked by tourists: Is there a gas station here?
The answer to the question most frequently asked by tourists: Is there a gas station here?
The Bigfoot statue and the Klamath-Siskiyou Art Center.
The Bigfoot statue and the Klamath-Siskiyou Art Center.
The Klamath Siskiyou Art Center's fish mural.
The Klamath Siskiyou Art Center's fish mural.
Closeup of a Bigfoot hand.
Closeup of a Bigfoot hand.
Closeup of another Bigfoot hand.
Closeup of another Bigfoot hand.
A look down Davis Street from Highway 96.
A look down Davis Street from Highway 96.

The Bigfoot Statue

This statue was intended to be a community project; it started with a call for scrap metal in 2001. The artists who did most of the work were Cheryl Wainwright of Happy Camp and professional artist Ralph Starritt of Yreka.

Davis Street - Uptown Happy Camp, CA - ...a hub of artistic, commercial, and recreational activity. Sort of.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Siskiyou House has antiques and a State of Jefferson museum.The next building houses the New 49ers gold prospecting club.The US Post Office has a wooden Bigfoot statue.Across the street is what used to be called the Happy Camp Mall.The owner promises to open a coffeehouse.Bigfoot mugs and shirts are available in the Bigfoot Shop Smart store.The Bigfoot Outlet Store was closed when I walked by.The Chamber of Commerce office is next door.Across the street: Parry's Market with a lovely summer garden.
Siskiyou House has antiques and a State of Jefferson museum.
Siskiyou House has antiques and a State of Jefferson museum.
The next building houses the New 49ers gold prospecting club.
The next building houses the New 49ers gold prospecting club.
The US Post Office has a wooden Bigfoot statue.
The US Post Office has a wooden Bigfoot statue.
Across the street is what used to be called the Happy Camp Mall.
Across the street is what used to be called the Happy Camp Mall.
The owner promises to open a coffeehouse.
The owner promises to open a coffeehouse.
Bigfoot mugs and shirts are available in the Bigfoot Shop Smart store.
Bigfoot mugs and shirts are available in the Bigfoot Shop Smart store.
The Bigfoot Outlet Store was closed when I walked by.
The Bigfoot Outlet Store was closed when I walked by.
The Chamber of Commerce office is next door.
The Chamber of Commerce office is next door.
Across the street: Parry's Market with a lovely summer garden.
Across the street: Parry's Market with a lovely summer garden.

Happy Camp, CA Art

...there are lots of artists in town.

Artists in Happy Camp

Happy Camp artists have worked hard to try to save this town from the post-lumber mill doldrums. The Bigfoot statue was the first major art project. While that was being constructed art shows began to provide a night out on the town complete with potluck dinners and wine. There's now an art show monthly to introduce a new art gallery exhibit. There are also weekly dinners to raise money for the proposed Klamath-Siskiyou Art Center complex of buildings that will be built next to Highway 96 on the east side of town.

The Giant Dreamcatcher in Happy Camp, CA

...created by Dennis Day

Davis Street starts with the Bigfoot statue and ends with the giant dreamcatcher.

To learn more about the creation of this huge dreamcatcher see my interview with Dennis Day: The Largest Dreamcatcher in the World.

Indian Creek Road, Happy Camp, CA

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The grasshopper carving is in front of the dreamcatcher.The old pickup truck is across the street from the dreamcatcher.Now I'm headed down Indian Creek road, looking back at Davis Street.Going downhill, back to the lower section of Happy Camp.Around the bend, down the hill...
The grasshopper carving is in front of the dreamcatcher.
The grasshopper carving is in front of the dreamcatcher.
The old pickup truck is across the street from the dreamcatcher.
The old pickup truck is across the street from the dreamcatcher.
Now I'm headed down Indian Creek road, looking back at Davis Street.
Now I'm headed down Indian Creek road, looking back at Davis Street.
Going downhill, back to the lower section of Happy Camp.
Going downhill, back to the lower section of Happy Camp.
Around the bend, down the hill...
Around the bend, down the hill...

The making of the grasshopper in Happy Camp, CA - by artist, Barbara Yates

In the Land of the Grasshopper Song

In the Land of the Grasshopper Song: Two Women in the Klamath River Indian Country in 1908-09
In the Land of the Grasshopper Song: Two Women in the Klamath River Indian Country in 1908-09

Two young women were sent to the Klamath River Valley to help civilize the natives in 1908. This is a memoir of their experiences here.

 

The Old Truck

Until recently that truck was stuck in the brambles and poison oak behind the pharmacy. My son showed it to me years ago and I took this picture of him standing on the hood on March 24, 2003!

I wasn't happy when one of the local business owners pulled the truck out of the bushes behind the pharmacy to sit on the corner of Davis St. and Indian Creek Road - on her property - but despite the fact that it is a wreck, it does look okay there. It definitely symbolizes something about Happy Camp.

Broken. Old. Lumber. Town.

At one time she had a huge log across it where the big bend is in the truck's bed... and that looked even better. I'm sorry that the log was removed.

When people pull into Happy Camp from the Grayback Road route over the mountain from Oregon, this is the first thing they see. I hope they aren't thinking that if they stay long enough their vehicle will end up like that one!

One thing for sure -- when you live in a remote place in a rugged mountain range you're entitled to your own sense of beauty -- and I've never heard any complaints about the truck.

Happy Camp High School, Happy Camp, CA - ...remodeling project, summer of 2009.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Walking down Indian Creek Road I come to the Happy Camp High School football field.Debris from the current remodeling project is piled up behind the fence.This man is removing the wooden exterior of the building.The high school's front doorway.Inside the office everything has been removed.The front of the building is also getting a face lift, and new windows.Even the roof is gone!A trench was dug across Indian Creek Road to install a new sewer line.The backhoe.The trench.
Walking down Indian Creek Road I come to the Happy Camp High School football field.
Walking down Indian Creek Road I come to the Happy Camp High School football field.
Debris from the current remodeling project is piled up behind the fence.
Debris from the current remodeling project is piled up behind the fence.
This man is removing the wooden exterior of the building.
This man is removing the wooden exterior of the building.
The high school's front doorway.
The high school's front doorway.
Inside the office everything has been removed.
Inside the office everything has been removed.
The front of the building is also getting a face lift, and new windows.
The front of the building is also getting a face lift, and new windows.
Even the roof is gone!
Even the roof is gone!
A trench was dug across Indian Creek Road to install a new sewer line.
A trench was dug across Indian Creek Road to install a new sewer line.
The backhoe.
The backhoe.
The trench.
The trench.

The Old Log High School

At one time Happy Camp didn't have a high school. Local residents got together in the thirties and built one of logs. That old high school still exists at the corner of Washington and Fourth Avenue, behind the newer and much larger high school you saw in the photos above.

Now the old log high school is used as a senior citizen center. Also the occasional government food give-aways take place there.

Tall Timber Tall Tales is by a former Happy Camper named Jack Layton, who I met on Facebook, in the Growing Up In Happy Camp group.

Happy Camp's Indian Creek Road between the high school and Second Avenue - ...this used to be called Main Street in the early days of Happy Camp.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The corner of Indian Creek Road and Fourth Avenue.Fourth Avenue. The old log high school is at the end of the street.Indian Creek Road . . .A cellar overgrown with brambles. Could this be the cellar of Henry Doolittle's house?A few commercial buildings... in what used to be Happy Camp's downtown area.Why did the chicken cross the road? ...because she's in Happy Camp!The Indian Creek Cafe used to be a full service restaurant; now a burger joint.Back to the Klamath Knot Art Center at Indian Creek  and Second Avenue.
The corner of Indian Creek Road and Fourth Avenue.
The corner of Indian Creek Road and Fourth Avenue.
Fourth Avenue. The old log high school is at the end of the street.
Fourth Avenue. The old log high school is at the end of the street.
Indian Creek Road . . .
Indian Creek Road . . .
A cellar overgrown with brambles. Could this be the cellar of Henry Doolittle's house?
A cellar overgrown with brambles. Could this be the cellar of Henry Doolittle's house?
A few commercial buildings... in what used to be Happy Camp's downtown area.
A few commercial buildings... in what used to be Happy Camp's downtown area.
Why did the chicken cross the road? ...because she's in Happy Camp!
Why did the chicken cross the road? ...because she's in Happy Camp!
The Indian Creek Cafe used to be a full service restaurant; now a burger joint.
The Indian Creek Cafe used to be a full service restaurant; now a burger joint.
Back to the Klamath Knot Art Center at Indian Creek  and Second Avenue.
Back to the Klamath Knot Art Center at Indian Creek and Second Avenue.

The Klamath Knot - An award winning nature book by David Rains Wallace.

The Klamath Knot: Explorations of Myth and Evolution, Twentieth Anniversary Edition
The Klamath Knot: Explorations of Myth and Evolution, Twentieth Anniversary Edition

This book is a bit scholarly - not an "easy read" but it is an award winning philosophical examination of the biology, geology, flora and fauna of the Klamath-Siskiyou Mountains. I read parts of it to my daughter when we were homeschooling and we both enjoyed it. At least I did and at the time she acted like she valued the experience! The San Francisco Chronicle called this one of the best non-fiction books of the twentieth century.

 

Aaron Martin's Amazing Happy Camp Area Videos - Pssst... Aaron is my son... the one that was standing on that truck, a long time ago...

The Bigfoot Jamboree celebration in Happy Camp! This happens every year.

Happy Campers swimming in Indian Creek near Doolittle Bridge.

Somewhere near Happy Camp.

Where Aaron demonstrates how to jump off the top of what used to be my van, and then injure himself by hitting a tree.

Aaron's friends... I think this was at River Park in Happy Camp.

Back to Old Happy Camp

At this point I've completed a circle. Here's a map to show you where I went. You can click on the map to go to Google maps and explore Happy Camp more.


This is the original cover of the book, which was published in 2002. The author came to Happy Camp at that time, for a book signing in front of Parry's Market.

Between the floods: Happy Camp, California 1956-1965
Between the floods: Happy Camp, California 1956-1965

This is the amazing memoir of a former Happy Camp, CA citizen, Linda Willis. She came here in the fifties with her husband, Dempsey, who worked as a lineman for Pacific Power. At first they lived in a local trailer park but as time went on and children were born, they moved up the creek to Doolittle Road. Their house is the one across the bridge on the right side.

This book explains everything about how they got their property, where they got their water, and how the house was built in sections. I very much loved reading Linda's Happy Camp memoir and hope she will have this reprinted. Great book!

 

Through Old Chinatown and Home on Highway 96 - ...the final leg of my morning walk.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
This is how the American House looks from Indian Creek Road.An old barn in what used to be Happy Camp's Chinatown.One of the oldest homes in Happy Camp - now for sale.The Highway 96 bridge over Indian Creek.The Karuk administrative offices, clinic, and dental office.Indian Creek River Access.The confluence of Indian Creek and the Klamath River.The Klamath Inn.Now a walk along highway 96... I'm almost home.This home has been empty since I moved here in January 2000.
This is how the American House looks from Indian Creek Road.
This is how the American House looks from Indian Creek Road.
An old barn in what used to be Happy Camp's Chinatown.
An old barn in what used to be Happy Camp's Chinatown.
One of the oldest homes in Happy Camp - now for sale.
One of the oldest homes in Happy Camp - now for sale.
The Highway 96 bridge over Indian Creek.
The Highway 96 bridge over Indian Creek.
The Karuk administrative offices, clinic, and dental office.
The Karuk administrative offices, clinic, and dental office.
Indian Creek River Access.
Indian Creek River Access.
The confluence of Indian Creek and the Klamath River.
The confluence of Indian Creek and the Klamath River.
The Klamath Inn.
The Klamath Inn.
Now a walk along highway 96... I'm almost home.
Now a walk along highway 96... I'm almost home.
This home has been empty since I moved here in January 2000.
This home has been empty since I moved here in January 2000.

Scenic Byways of Northern California

Scenic Byways of Northern California: From the Siskiyous to the Cascades
Scenic Byways of Northern California: From the Siskiyous to the Cascades

Travels through Northern California scenic byways. I'm mentioned in the acknowledgement section of this book! That was a huge surprise for me! Published locally by Naturegraph Publishers.

 

Religions and Churches in Happy Camp, California

There are seven that I know of. If I've missed anything, let me know in the comment section on this page.

1. Happy Camp Christian Fellowship - the only church in Happy Camp with their own website!

2. Assembly of God Church - in Indian Meadows.

3. LDS Church on Park Ave. - next to the elementary school.

4. Happy Camp Bible Church - the old log church on Second Ave.

5. All Saints Catholic Church on Indian Creek Road.

6. Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses - on Indian Creek Road, moving to Hwy. 96.

7. Baha'i Faith in Happy Camp - contact through Naturegraph Publishers on Indian Creek Road.

Let me know what you think of Happy Camp!

Any comments about Happy Camp, CA? - A beautiful town to live in.

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    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 7 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Hi Linda, this is a really interesting lens about a place I didn't know anything about. I like how you transposed the beauty with the boarded up buildings. There are so many places like this in the U.S. that with a little work could be brought back to life. You are lucky to have so many gorgeous views from your home. Blessed by an Angel.

    • capriliz lm profile image

      capriliz lm 7 years ago

      I just love your lens. And your bigfoot and grasshopper just make it all the better. I know now that I have to update my home travel lens. I see that I can add lots more to improve the lens itself.

    • profile image

      bdkz 7 years ago

      Beautiful!

    • profile image

      kimmanleyort 7 years ago

      This is a spectacular lens! Great idea to take us on a walk. The photos really made me feel like I was there. Any spotted owls?

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      A virtual trip to Happy Camp is always a pleasure, Linda ... this one is exceptional, thank you! xx

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      Wow! This is ONE humdinger of a lens and a walk -- I see you decided to take that walk on my birthday too! Nicely done my dear!

    • Ramkitten2000 profile image

      Deb Kingsbury 7 years ago from Flagstaff, Arizona

      Wow, what a walk! Love the layout and photos, especially that one of your son on the old, overgrown truck. Too bad it was moved. And I've heard of the Klamath River but never the town of Happy Camp. Looks like a place I'd love to see, so if or when we're on a road trip and pass through northern California, I'm stopping by. I made a note of it in our road atlas.

    • Rich-H profile image

      Rich 7 years ago from Surrey, United Kingdom

      Really enjoyed my virtual tour of Happy Camp! Beautiful lens :)

    • Linda BookLady profile image
      Author

      Linda Jo Martin 7 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      [in reply to kimmanleyort] I've never seen any kind of owl here as long as I've lived here! However I have seen mountain lions... once on my front porch! And I've seen a huge bear walk past my kitchen window at night. Once when I was out walking a bear walked across the highway about 50 yards in front of me. That's why I prefer to take my walks in town unless I have company.

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 7 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      What a fabulous lens. We have relatives in Clear Lake, Ca is Happy Camp anywhere near there? I grew up in a small town in B.C. Life really speeds up when you move to a city. I sort of like small towns and I really loved this lens! If it was in my power to give you a purple star, you'd have it. 5*s instead.

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 7 years ago from Idaho

      This is wonderful, we just drove by happy camp! You pictures all look familiar to me. That area is so beautiful! Nice lens!

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 7 years ago

      I love small town America! You have done Happy Camp much justice here! Kudos and thanks for the tour.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 7 years ago from Templeton, CA

      I'm glad you mentioned Dear Mad'm. I loved it when I read it several years ago. It was my introduction to Happy Camp. It sounds like somewhere I'd want to spend a vacation. Maybe I will -- if I ever have time for a vacation. When is the best season to visit? I don't think I'd choose fire season.

    • Linda BookLady profile image
      Author

      Linda Jo Martin 7 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Barb, the best seasons here are spring and fall. Try to avoid heatwaves and snow.

    • sarita garg profile image

      sarita 7 years ago from Hisar

      Fantastic lens...

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      I really enjoyed this virtual trip to Happy Camp, California.

      Poutine

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Lovely! Your pictures brought back many happy memories of camping and hunting each year in the Siskiyou mountains.

      Oh yea, I think that cement thing looks like a fish breeding/keeping tub. I recently saw a show on tv about Koi farmers in southern calif, and they had many many 'bins' like that holding the different fish.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 7 years ago

      Wow! Great lens and pictures! Blessed by an angel!

    • profile image

      jlstacy420 7 years ago

      I really enjoyed seeing Happy Camp, the last time I saw it was when I was there back in 1999, and before that was when we moved away in 1997, Can't believe how much it has changed over the years and thanks for the great tour brought back loads of good memories of me growing up there.

    • profile image

      RitaKing 7 years ago

      Congratulations on this piece it is really well done!

      The old truck was moved to the corner of Indian Creek and Davis Road by a group of community volunteers. The truck is the base for Cheryl Wainwright's newest sculpture. The project has taken two years . We are very close to erecting the first phase. Volunteers have been collecting metal items used in the lumber industry, saw blades, chainsaw bars, and huge chains to create this sculpture. The theme of her creation will be "Happy Camp Renewal." The piece will be a huge welcome sign greeting our visitors from the Oregon side. If you would like to volunteer or would like more information about the "Welcome to Happy Camp" project. Please contact Rita King , Bigfoot RV Park and Cabins 530-493-2884. Again, Linda Thank you so much for creating this site.

    • profile image

      SeanToly 6 years ago

      That was an amazing trip down memory lane.. Thank you very much. I lived in Happy Camp from 1972 to 1984. My mom worked at the Forest Service. Those pictures brought a bit of a tear to my eye, I had such fun times with my friends on our bikes, or inner-tubing, or just plain hanging out. The square concrete spa we used to call it has been there forever, I remember it since 2nd grade, I think we all thought it was some sort of spa. however it was so porous and looked like an old pigeon stoop, no one was willing to fill it with water to see if it held and then sit in it., It was kind of gross. and if you wanted to go swimming Indian creek was right there. There where so many great swimming holes in Happy Camp.

      It is amazing to see my friend Andreas Goldau's family business gone, and my other buddy, John Anderson, his building is right next to the old Red Barn, It used to be called Fishings my Thing. I went to school with Rick Boren who's dad ran that automotive shop. We lived in the house behind the Hall's market that burned down. Across the street from the Liquor store. Amazing changes, thanks again for such a great display. I will keep checking back to see the new high school updating,. Wow back in the day, Mr Clark was the principle, and the teachers Hokanson, Trestrail, Sullivan, Fogle, and Kuffman, , big smiles here, great memories.

      I also remember that truck, there are several around town, including the one that used to sit in the alley behind the burnt Halls market.

      For all of the other class of 84 alumni that are reading this comment and have seen these photos, remember Hokanson used to make us run that 3 mile loop ( we recognize in your pictures ) during PE, who'd a given a thought then that it would help shape who we are now. I used to think he was torturing us slightly,.. Props to Happy Camp High.

      Then after school we would hang out at the hamburger place where my friend Anthony's mom worked, we spent many a quarters on space invaders and playing pool or snooker.

      It seems amazing I would reflect on those moments as the best of times, they sure where.

    • profile image

      SeanToly 6 years ago

      That was an amazing trip down memory lane.. Thank you very much. I lived in Happy Camp from 1972 to 1984. My mom worked at the Forest Service. Those pictures brought a bit of a tear to my eye, I had such fun times with my friends on our bikes, or inner-tubing, or just plain hanging out. The square concrete spa we used to call it has been there forever, I remember it since 2nd grade, I think we all thought it was some sort of spa. however it was so porous and looked like an old pigeon stoop, no one was willing to fill it with water to see if it held and then sit in it., It was kind of gross. and if you wanted to go swimming Indian creek was right there. There where so many great swimming holes in Happy Camp.

      It is amazing to see my friend Andreas Goldau's family business gone, and my other buddy, John Anderson, his building is right next to the old Red Barn, It used to be called Fishings my Thing. I went to school with Rick Boren who's dad ran that automotive shop. We lived in the house behind the Hall's market that burned down. Across the street from the Liquor store. Amazing changes, thanks again for such a great display. I will keep checking back to see the new high school updating,. Wow back in the day, Mr Clark was the principle, and the teachers Hokanson, Trestrail, Sullivan, Fogle, and Kuffman, , big smiles here, great memories.

      I also remember that truck, there are several around town, including the one that used to sit in the alley behind the burnt Halls market.

      For all of the other class of 84 alumni that are reading this comment and have seen these photos, remember Hokanson used to make us run that 3 mile loop ( we recognize in your pictures ) during PE, who'd a given a thought then that it would help shape who we are now. I used to think he was torturing us slightly,.. Props to Happy Camp High.

      Then after school we would hang out at the hamburger place where my friend Anthony's mom worked, we spent many a quarters on space invaders and playing pool or snooker.

      It seems amazing I would reflect on those moments as the best of times, they sure where.

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 6 years ago from Massachusetts

      I think I've seen this town on the map when I was travelling in the Redwoods area of Northern California. It sounds very familiar. I'm lensrolling this to my Idyllwild, CA lens (which is much further south near the Coachella Valley).

    • Lisa-Marie-Mary profile image

      Lisa-Marie-Mary 6 years ago

      I really, really enjoyed walking through your town with you! Thank you for taking me along with you!!! :-D

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great job on this lens. I enjoyed reading it.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 6 years ago from La Verne, CA

      This area of CA is so wild. I love it. So much like wilderness, Not like old Pasadena. is it?

    • jeanwolf50 profile image

      jeanwolf50 6 years ago

      I had a friend that moved to Happy Camp when I was in 5th grade. I never knew where it was. What a great place.

    • Barb McCoy profile image

      Barb McCoy 6 years ago

      Excellent lens about an interesting place. I have seen the signs but never stopped...now I will. :)

      Adding to my favorites and adding a blessing.

      ***Blessed by an Angel***

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 6 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      Interesting lens...blessed

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      I remember years ago when I lived in California driving through Happy Camp...I'm glad it's coming back.

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 6 years ago

      Great lens with a lot of history facts, I love it! I'll feature in my Ghost town Body lens

      Regards

    • profile image

      CatJGB 5 years ago

      Wow, that was really interesting, thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      great write up on Happy Camp! I'm from California and I enjoyed reading this today.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      When i was a little guy I went to the Heads house for a cub scott meeting and we all got to get in the cement pool. Myself, Roy Sutcliffe and Bobby Head.

    • CubScouter94 profile image

      Tasha Marie 5 years ago from Mahomet, Illinois

      Great Lens and GREAT PHOTOS! Thanks for sharing! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      does it not snow in happy camp? why not a ski resort?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: Theres prolly some Ski Resorts in the world that are bigger then the town of Happy Camp! lol

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Happy Camp is a great place! I love it here! I've lived here all my live! I'm really going to miss it here when I go away to college! But I'll always come back to my river <3 Theres no other place I'd rather be then this river :)

    • dahlia369 profile image

      dahlia369 5 years ago

      Nice place and great lens, very much enjoyed it! :)

    • Ddaboss65 profile image

      Ddaboss65 5 years ago

      I think I would like to go there some day. Please check out my lens on Northern California Coast, I will be adding more story and history as your lens has given me some good insight.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I spent the summer of 1952 in Happy Camp with my father. I have a picture of him standing in front of the Ranger Station Fire Danger sign - Fire Danger High that day. I spent most of the summer fishing at the mouth of Indian Creek or up at the swimming hole where Indian Creek makes a turn to the east. I met a girl named Rowena there whose parents had a restaurant on the east end of town. The other person I remember was a fellow my age named Leland.

      I used to go to the bar on the south side of 2nd street with my father after he got off work. One day one of the regulars brought in a rattlesnake in a glass jug. He would bet the other customers they couldn't keep their hand on the glass since the rattlesnake struck at anything warm that touched the glass. The fellow with the snake won all of the bets.

      I was always amazed that summer that it was still light at 10 PM most of the summer. Some of us kids would hang out on the 2nd Street Bridge until it was too late to see anymore. It was a nice summer in a place I will never forget.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @Rich-H: Hi. I live 10 miles from Happy Camp. Been here since 2000. I too am a mad crocheter, selling at local crafts fairs in the fall and online around the world. A new crafts group has been formed that will meet every Wednesday evening in the old log cabin school, now called the Senior Center. I missed the first one because I just heard about it, but I plan on going from now on, to have company while creating garments or freehand artistic sculptures. Do you have such a crafty group where you live? Keep up the good work!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @Linda BookLady: Hey, Linda. There are definitely owls living here, but you only see (or hear) them at night. They go into hiding during the day.

      In 2002 or 2003, there was a family of small owls (don't know which species) being raised in my fireplace chimney. For 2-3 months in the spring, we could hear the cheep-cheep-cheep of the chicks, asking the mommy-owl to be the next one to get fed beak-to-beak.

      There are also really large barn owls here. A couple of times since I moved here, I've gone out onto the deck at night and an owl with a 3' wingspan, that had been sitting on the edge of the roof, swooped off the roof, right over my head, and flew into the night. Scared the you-know-what out of me!

      I, too, have seen many, many bears, several mountain lions, bobcats, fisher martens, elk and otters while living here. A very large blue heron just flew by my window, just behind the monitor! I feel very privileged to be living in my own private nature preserve. How many people can do that these days?

      I want to compliment you on this site, very readable and informative; just saw it for the first time. I never knew that Karuk means upriver and Yurok means downriver. Keep up the good work. Hope you got your taxes in on time.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I would love to visit Happy Camp.

      Looks like fun! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Awesome place but what concerns me is the number of residents that are on the megans list. That scared me have not been back since.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I first knew of Happy Camp as a child because of my dad. I was born in Eureka but grew up in Blue Lake leaving in 1956. Dad was a log truck driver mostly hauling out of Orleans, Somes Bar, Hoopa and Willow Creek. He spoke of H.C. and the Hupa's that talked about Sasquatch. Some times he and other loggers would see unusual footprints near their log sites.

      I've always been fascinated by the town of Happy Camp but not visiting until much later in my life. I made up stories for my kids when they were they were growing up. One was about "Happy Camp Sam". Years later there was a movie call "Harry and the Hendersons" that was similar.

      My very first visit to H.C. was in the early 80's and we camped somewhere along Elk Creek. Then in the 90's we visited again on our way back to Oregon going over the mountain on Hwy. 48, a fantastic drive. I want to visit again. Something draws me to the place. It's special, an understatement. The pictures and information that you have presented are wonderful. Thank you.

    • erin-elise profile image

      erin-elise 5 years ago

      What a great lens. I also live in California, near Sacramento, and I would love to move to a small town like Happy Camp. Thank you for doing such a great job on this lens. Take care

    • Linda BookLady profile image
      Author

      Linda Jo Martin 5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      @anonymous: We get snow, but not that much snow! The nearest ski resorts are at Mt. Shasta and Mt. Ashland.

    • Linda BookLady profile image
      Author

      Linda Jo Martin 5 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      @anonymous: I went to look, and sure enough there are a lot more people listed than the last time I looked at the list, about five years ago. Parents need to keep an eye on their children!

    • SpenceG profile image

      SpenceG 4 years ago

      Beautiful pictures. I love exploring historical towns and this is now on my list.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I am thinking of coming there to serve as a nurse, in the clinic. You have done a great job of a view of the town. Thanks a million!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Ddaboss65: hi there i think i know you not to sure but i was in the 64oth and served in taji iraq. Was wondering if you did as well? 2LT?

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Great job!!! The highlights of Happy Camp are great, makes me miss home :)

    • Linda BookLady profile image
      Author

      Linda Jo Martin 4 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      @anonymous: Thanks Jess, come on back, one of these days..

    • profile image

      sybil watson 4 years ago

      I haven't heard of Happy Camp for years! My aunt and uncle used to live near Fort Jones, not too far away. Your lovely stories and beautiful pictures make me homesick for California.

    • Linda BookLady profile image
      Author

      Linda Jo Martin 4 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      @sybil watson: Come back to visit, one of these days, Sybil...

    • JuneNash profile image

      June Nash 4 years ago

      Interesting place! If I'm ever in the area I will have to drop by!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @Linda BookLady: Hi Linda....

      Arthur and I were hunting this last October and up in the Benjamin Creek area we saw the most Beautiful Owl fly out of a tree... it looked at us first and then it was gone... it was early in the mornin... but just beautiful

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I've been working on family ancestry and have just learned that my great-grandfather, Julian Ephraim, lived in Happy Camp at least from 1940 to 1966 when he passed away and is buried at the cemetery there. His wife's name was Juliette. Does anyone have any recollection of them, what they did there (was he a gold prospector?), and where in town they lived?

    • Linda BookLady profile image
      Author

      Linda Jo Martin 4 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      @anonymous: Hi Kathi... I could ask around. Also... ask on the Facebook "growing up in Happy Camp" group. Maybe someone there remembers him.

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 4 years ago from California

      We went through Happy Camp a few years ago, on our backway into Oregon. This was really interesting, and now when I go back that way I know more of the history and the area. Heck, I may even have to stop and meet the author of the book River Girl :)

    • kashmir-ladakh lm profile image

      kashmir-ladakh lm 4 years ago

      Hey frankly speaking your lens reminded me of the beautiful days i spent camping in the valleys during my kashmir ladakh package tour. my memories got refreshed after reading this wonderful lens. thanks a lot I really enjoyed your work.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I was nineteen when we moved there. Dempsey was 20 and we had been married for four years. Yep! Do the math---------we were fifteen and sixteen. Our son was two. At that time Dempsey worked as an equipment operator with California Oregon Power Company and he worked for Red Orrell, who was the District Lineman. Johnney Dolezal was his lineman. We have been married for 60 years and have seen the passing of most of the people in my book. Thank you for this presentation! I have enjoyed reliving old memories.

    • Linda BookLady profile image
      Author

      Linda Jo Martin 4 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      @anonymous: Thanks for commenting, Linda! I loved reading your book and hope it will always be in print and available from Amazon.com.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      John Green brought me here. One of the more frightening bigfoot tales was alleged to occur in the '50s between Happy Camp and Orleans. I thought it would be a great place, but suspected it was now probably a skeleton of a mining/lumber town. I could go on for a chapter typing why I like the atmosphere there so much from what I see and read on this site, and I know it isn't for everyone, but I'd love to spend time or live there. I really appreciate the effort put into this site and bookmarked it for some enjoyable future visits.

      The walking tour pics were terrific and the kid in me loves the bigfoot haunt, along with the old abandon pickup truck, football field and historic homes and businesses. All this settled in the majestic Pac NW beauty makes it what I consider idyllic. What a wonderful place! If those structures and swimming holes and mountains could talk...

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      getmoreinfo 4 years ago

      This is a very interesting story about happy camp, thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

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      Laura Hofman 3 years ago from Naperville, IL

      What a nice tribute to your town! I never heard of Happy Camp until I read your lens. Very interesting! I would like to get there for a visit one day.

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      Faye Rutledge 3 years ago from Concord VA

      I just finished reading your book, River Girl, and this was an interesting and timely tour of Happy Camp. I really enjoyed it! I wouldn't mind living here myself. Thanks for the tour. :)

    • Linda BookLady profile image
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      Linda Jo Martin 3 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      @Faye Rutledge: Thanks! I hope you enjoyed the book. It is a lovely small town sheltered from the rest of the world. It feels like going back in time.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 3 years ago from Concord VA

      @Linda BookLady: Oh, yes, I loved the book! I'd love to visit the town, but it's too far away from VA. I also live in a small town (not as small as Happy Camp), and love it. :)

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      Thank you SO much for this page. It's brought back so many memories, and pulled at heartstrings I'd not felt tugged in some time. Someday, I'll come back home, even if only for a visit, and to show my daughter where her first home was.

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      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      It looks like the kind of place an artist like me might enjoy.

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      Zoka 3 years ago

      What I beautiful place!So many things that visitor can see and enjoy in it.

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      Kathryn Grace 3 years ago from San Francisco

      This looks like a beautiful place to visit. I think I would enjoy spending an entire week up there. Thank you for introducing it.

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      john-black 3 years ago

      I really appreciate this post. I've been looking all over for this! Thank goodness I found it on Bing. You've made my day! Thank you again!

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      CampingmanNW 3 years ago

      Having grown up on a working horse ranch/truck farm just across your Northern border, I have an affinity for small towns. Nice job on presenting and promoting your town. Cheers

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      GEMNITYA5 3 years ago

      5 Star Work shows in your lens. California is great place to visit.

      Blessings

      GEM

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      rlandrum 3 years ago

      Hello everyone,

      Most of you wont know who I am and that is ok. I just went through all the photos and stories and what an overwhelming feeling of missing something so bad. I spent some of my younger years in Happy Camp, fishing, floating the creeks, swimming in the creek behind the house.

      Strange as such a young child that I have certain memories of growing up in Happy Camp. I remember the night the theater burnt down, I was fairly young then. I can remember at times that dad would leave the house and cross the creek to go to the fire station and jump on the trucks. I remember always getting yelled at by the neighbor as we picked the cherries from his tree.

      I remember Miss Round as being the teacher that started me on my coin and stamp collection that I have carried on with my whole life. I remember the Black widow spiders that we raised in class. Just many overwhelming memories.

      I am now older in years but always think about the times in Happy Camp. I have many times thought about the friends I had growing up and wondered what has happened with a lot of them? I am very thankful that as a child I was able to grow up in such a nice place. It is a huge playground for growing up.

      I did make a trip up through Happy Camp last summer and stopped down at the mouth of Indian Creek where I spent so much time fishing and playing in the water. As I walked up Indian creek from the river and entered under the bridge I was heart broken to see that the bridge had been (tagged) with a lot of paint. This made my trip so bitter sweet as I remember nothing but good things about growing up there and then to come into town and see that it was just run down was very hurtful. It put tears in my eyes. I don't think that kids realize what they have in the area and what they are actually doing to there own community.

      A place where I thought of as Gods country is being destroyed. It is such a gorgeous place and it is just being run down by those who don't care!

      I will make more trips up to Happy Camp just so I can remember my childhood. One thing that I want more than anything is to fish all the holes where I used to as a child. Elk Creek, Indian Creek, Clear Creek and the Klamath.

      I do just want to say hi to everyone that remembers me and hope your lives have been filled with as much happiness as mine.

      I have been married for 28 years, have one daughter that has given me one granddaughter and then I have a son which works for me in my welding business.

      I appreciate you for taking the time to read my note and wish all of you the best.

      Roy Landrum

    • Linda BookLady profile image
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      Linda Jo Martin 3 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      @rlandrum: You would like the "Growing Up in Happy Camp" Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/148321148620559/

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      McBirnie's 2 years ago

      Seeing these pictures beings me down memory lane! My grandparents lived north of Happy Camp on Clear Creak and my grandfather worked on the roads until he retired. We would visit our grandparents in Happy Camp from 1950s - 1976. I attended the little Log Church. Then in 1976 they had to move due to his failing health. I remember the town and the old swimming hole that we referred to as Johnny's place. I remember that my grandfather after work would stop in the Saloon / Cafe while my grandmother shopped in the stores.

      My grandfather [Walt] always learned to live back on the river, but unfortunately that was not possible. I too long to visit and hope that I can one day with my brother Willie. We both have fond memories and it was heartbreaking to watch it deteriorate.

      Please keep updating us because we walk down memory lane through your eyes!

      The McBirnie's

    • Linda BookLady profile image
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      Linda Jo Martin 2 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

      Hi there (McBirnie's) . . . sounds like wonderful memories. Happy Camp did deteriorate after the mill closed down, but it is coming back strong and beautiful. The Chamber of Commerce and other community volunteers have done a lot to spruce the place up. The little log church is still there!! Also, the log high school...

      About this page: I need to fix this page up! It was recently moved from the Squidoo site to this site (HubPages) and some of the photos were lost in the move. Not a real problem - as I have the photos and just need to reinstall them.

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