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Event to Celebrate Birthday October 14th

October 27, 2012

Stella Patterson was born October 14, 1866, I know that all you loyal fans of Stell’s book remember (correctly) that the book says her birthday was April, but who moves to begin gardening in the country in October?? that was one of those things that were changed from fact. Stella seemed irked with all the changes that the publishers made and wondered if the story would be the same!
So she turned 80 in 1946 and that began the tale of moving to a cabin in the wilds along the Klamath River to live with Vicki, her dog. Mrs. Patterson passed away in December 23,1955 just weeks before her memoir, Dear Mad’m was published. The book became a popular book club selection and was sold internationally. Naturegraph publishers has reprinted the book and we are grateful that it is avaialble here in Happy Camp!

The Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce has enjoyed many inquiries from visitors to our area who have read the book and come to see Dear Mad’ms cabin. Some people loved it so well that they moved here, like three ladies from Chicago, Joan Richardson, Vivian Witt and Marie Miller. In 2011, with the Klamath Writer’s Group, they started a wonderful tradition of honoring Dear Mad’m with a luncheon, and will again do so this year. Instead of the heat of August, it is moved to also celebrate her birthday in October.

The special weekend  with a reception Friday, October 12th. Peter and Elizabeth Lismer were here. they are the authors of a new book by Naturegraph, Dear Mad’m Who Was She? and we anticipate their first opportunity for a book signing of the new publication. Saturday will be the luncheon Symposium, and Sunday morning a Dear Mad’m pancake breakfast will be served before a field trip to the area where her cabin was located.

For further information on 2012 Dear Mad’m Day, go to

Happy Camp is on the Bigfoot Scenic Byway

September 13, 2012

by Judy Bushy
Someone mentioned to me that they were unaware that we had a Bigfoot Byway, from Happy Camp down Highway 96 to Willow Creek.

The theme of this Byway is “where the wildlife watches you!: It was dedicated when Debbie Wilkinson was the President of the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce on April 1st, 2001. The date was chosen for those who feel our Sasquatch is a myth or legend, so everyone could join in the fun! Harvey Shinar was there as both a council member for the Karuk Tribe as well as past Chamber president. Bud Johnson as Chairman took part also.

Peg Boland was the Klamath National Forest Supervisor at the ribbon cutting. Although she was not cutting the ribbon, the accomplishment of the Bigfoot Byway was in large measure the work of Gay Baxter who worked with businesses and organizations along Highway 96 to make it happen years ago.

Some years later, Cheryl Wainwright had the inspiration and enlisted Ralph Starrit’s help as well as community involvement to build a large Bigfoot Statue on the corner of Highway 96 and Davis Road where the Byway begins.

It is perhaps appropriate that the other end of the Bigfoot Byway is at Willow Creek where they have a wooden statue and a Bigfoot wing on the China Flat Museum.

Bigfoot Byway Logo

Silver Anniversary HC Chamber of Commerce

June 26, 2012

It was a very hot evening in July, 1986. The sound of Elk Creek rushing over rocks and pebbles was the background noise. A congenial group of Happy Camp citizens gathered at the Elk Creek Campground at the end of the day. Jim and Carol Jones hosted the business leaders of the Happy Camp community.

They were concerned about the promotion of the businesses of the little community on Highway 96 along the Klamath River. They wanted to advertise, but advertising took more than each business alone could pay. Therefore the idea had been proposed to cooperate together and pool their funds to make the best advertising that would promote Happy Camp. It was decided that each business could put $50 in the kitty to pay for advertising, perhaps a billboard out on Interstate 5 that would bring visitors down Highway 96 to Happy Camp.

Who was at that meeting?

Ben Rosser was the owner of Forest Lodge Motel.

Charlotte was owner of Evans Mercantile started by the Evans family. Guy and Ora Head ran the store until Guy was killed in a train collision and Ora had continued with son.

Adamsons owned Larry’s Market


It was a small group.  But they were the entrepreneurs and business circle of Happy Camp.




2003-2007 Crusin’ the Klamath, with numbers of beautiful antique cars came down the Klamath River for the Show and Shine!

2006  This was the year that celebrated TWENTY YEARS of the  HC CofC and 150 years of town of Happy Camp!  John Gould chaired the committee for another very successful Rollin on th River. The Chamber gave the Happy Camp Community Services District our annual contribution to upgrade the River Park, this year $3,000.

At the first meeting April 4, 2007 Chris Sorenson was president. The previous treasurer, rosemary Boren,  had handed over the books, and there was $9,672-93 in the Chamber bank account besides the Chamber trailer that was used as office at events such as Rollin’ on the River Bike Rally and held archived records. Instead of the regular weekly Wednesday lunch meetings that the Chamber had held for decades, besides the monthly first Tuesday evening meeting, the new chamber officals decided to correspond by emails. Members of the Board were Chris Sorenson, Roberta Arneson Rita Manley, Lehel Garami (Treasurer) Roberta Collum, Montine Blevins and Jon Grunbaum. Four signs were place in Oregon on Waldo Road for $1,200.

Although there are no minutes for elections in 2008 or 2009, the minutes for July 20, 200- show Ian Tripp as President, Dinah Sulipenck as vice president, Carly Manley as treasurer and Rita King and Lisa West as co-secretarys with Charles Brown, Dave Wrobleski, Michelle Wrobleski, high school student Majestah West and Victoria Pope as board members. Later letterhead shows Dinah as president, Carly Manley as Vice President, Rita King as Secretary, Victoria Pope, Dave and Michelle, Charlie Mayton, Jody Jewell and Laurie Bowers as board members.

-December 11,2010 Dinah Sulipeck called the meeting to order, and there was discussion for a couple of hours on qualifications for members of the Chamber of Commerce. Roger Mooberry, Charles Mayten, Jody Jewel, and Rita Manley King resigned from the board leaving only Dinah Sulipeck, President and James Buchner, treasurer as directors. A meeting was held to restore the board to the seven members and Cathleen Searle was appointed as treasurer, Kirk Eadie, Montine Blevins, Pete Winslow and Terri Winslow were the new board members. Dinah did a great job on the Community Tree Lighting event which had been held by Family Resource Center last year, but was previously put on as the Chamber’s gift to the town for at least twenty years.

March 2011-elections, Cathleen Searle as president at a big free spaghetti dinner at the Grange.

Rod Diridon to speak on “Dear Mad’m” at Picnic

August 10, 2011

The Committee to Celebrate Dear Mad’m Day is honored and delighted to have Rod Diridon, Sr. come and speak to us for this occassion.

Rod said in his reply, “I’d be glad to share thoughts about Stella, the Clear Creek Claim and our even earlier times at the Classic Hill placer mine about 12 miles up Indian Creek near the state line.

“Grandfather John Covert filed three mining claims at Clear Creek with Fred Crook around 1910 and Fred, an authentic mountain man, stayed there to do the annual “claim improvements” to hold title. Grandpa wondered off to earned and loose a couple of fortunes. Seems he was a brilliant builder but imbibed a bit too much.

“After quite a time in set design and construction in Hollywood, Grandpa helped to build the Hurst’s Wintoon “Castle” from the mid 1930s to the late 1940s.

“After an altercation with a couple of loggers in a Dunsmuir bar, Grandpa resettled (was resettled) on the Classic Hill Mine that was purchased by Grandma Allie’s Redding-based logging family (Middleton, Cocherine, and Notley) for timber rights. In the late 1940s and early 1950s Grandpa worked the claim illegally in the winter when the streams were muddy so his tailings weren’t discernible. It was a massive old systems with miles of ditches and high flooms, hydrolic “giants” and piping, a small town (blacksmith shop, stables, hay shed, machine repair shop, large orchard, etc.) at the main HQ bunk house and superintendents home dating to the late 1800s….

( After )”Grandma Allie moved to the Classic Hill and they then moved to the Clear Creek claims with Fred. Grandpa built a very nice home, later cut in two and moved to Happy Camp after Caltrans condemned and bought the the claim in the early 1960s to straighten and widen the road…..”

Rod Diridon, Sr. the son of an immigrant Italian railroad brakeman, is called the “father” of modern transit service in California’s Silicon Valley. Raised in Dunsmuir, California, he worked his way through college as a railroad brakeman and fireman receiving a BS in accounting in 1961 and MSBA in statistics in 1963 from San Jose State University. Rod served four years as a naval officer with two Vietnam combat tours.

He is especially proud of son Rod, Jr. (a two-term Santa Clara City Council member and vice mayor recently reelected city clerk/auditor) and daughter Mary Margaret (director of counseling for the Silicon Valley YWCAs). His wife, Dr. Gloria Duffy, former US Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense directing nuclear disarmament negotiations, is now the president/CEO of the Commonwealth Club of California

Dear Mad’m Day August 13th, 2011

July 21, 2011

Former Cabin Site
Klamath River View from Former Cabin Site

Happy Camp is celebrating a literary celebrity of our community. The book “Dear Mad’m” by Stella Patterson has brought many visitors to our community and encouraged many “senior citizens” to lead an adventurous life despite advancing years.

The Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce is planning the luncheon picnic to honor Stella Patterson and those still maintain the spirit she exemplifies today! The Luncheon will be held in the shade of the sycamore trees on the lawn of the Klamath River Resort Inn on the Klamath River, 2 miles east of Happy Camp.

Dear Mad’m Day will be Saturday, August 13th and the picnic luncheon for  $5 donation will be at 11:00 o”clock.  Sandwiches, ribs, jewel and fruit salads and specialty breads are planned, as well as Dolly’s Strawberry Lemonade and dessert.

We are so pleased that guests who have known Dear Mad’m from their time on the River, Peter and Liz who are writing a book to be published by Naturegraph on her life, and Hazel Davis Gendron who used her artistic talents for a drawing of Dear Mad’m and numerous other “Friends of “Stella” from near and far will be coming to the picnic luncheon.

Former Cabin Site

Klamath River View from Former Cabin Site

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Indian Creek

Indian Creek, downstream from the Eddy.

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Happy Camp River Access Buck

A buck at the Happy Camp River Access.

Elk Creek Bridge

The Elk Creek Bridge.

Klamath River

Downriver, about four miles.