Tuesday, October 13, 2015

First Prospectors to Settle at Happy Camp, CA

The spring of 1851, a group of about thirty adventurous prospectors made their way up the Klamath River. They had worked on the Trinity the previous years and at Gold Bluffs so they had experience on this frontier. They planned for the winter and got proper provisions. However, their survival was threatened when a bunch of others, with less foresight and provision and less patience, rushed to the field and the sheer numbers outweighed the supplies left. But they did survive this "starvation time" on the Salmon river. When spring really came they headed up the Klamath

The heavily wooded banks of the Klamath River canyon made the way difficult and they came slowly since they were working the gravel bars, looking for "color" as they came. The party included Captain Chales M. Dermit, the Swain brothers, Captain Gwin Tompkins, Charles D. Moore, Thomas J. Roach, L. H. Murch, J. H Stichfield, Jeremiah Morgan, Mr. Cochrane, William Bagley, Daniel McDougall, Jack McDougall, William McMahoone, Robert Williams, Charles Wilson, John Cox, Charles Southard, George Wood, W. T. Stevens, James Buck, J. W. Burke, Jerry Lane, W. A. J. Mnoote, William Rumley, Barney Ray, Mr. Penny and others. 25 According to Vera Toleman these were the founders of the town of Happy Camp, The first settlement of what was to become Del Norte County 26

The town was built on both sides of Indian Creek, near it's junction with the Klamath River. Happy Camp's population fluctuated greatly in the early days, depending upon how the gold was coming in and the rumors from other places. Happy Camp became the miner's base of supplies. They had a cabin for storehouse and cabins to return to Saturday, while the rest of the week they were out looking for gold. Many more miners increased the original party at Happy Camp.

 Newspapers on the Pacific Coast referred to the town as Happy Camp in 1851, mentioning that previously the area had been called "Murder's Bar." Evidently the gold prospectors were so happy that they hadn't been murdered and the gold potential looked so good, so they named it Happy Camp.

It was in July of 1851 that the settlement of Happy Camp was named. Happy Camp it has been for nearly 165 years, as it has endured.

Bricks were made in Happy Camp!

One of the early buildings, in the 1800's, built in Happy Camp, near the Indian Creek Bridge was made of brick. Those bricks were made in Happy Camp. The building was built on Main Street (now part of Indian Creek Road) and Bridge Street (now called Second Avenue across from the American House Hotel.

At one time it was the business of J. Camp & Company Merchandise and Drugs.

Later it was feed storage for the Evan's Mercantile, the oldest business in Happy Camp that is still in operation.

Popular Book About Dear Mad'm Published 1956

Many people still come to Happy Camp because they want to meet Stella W. Patterson. Of course, Stella's story of a decision she made at the age of 80 to try living along the Klamath River on a rustic mining claim happened about 1964. But people still come to see where her wilderness cabin was and find out more about her!! After Dear Mad'm was published in 1956 it was very popular across the United States, became a Book "Club selection, and was also published abroad.

After getting all kinds of questions from visitors, Linda Martin had the idea of a Dear Mad'm event to celebrate the story of an adventurous mature woman living along the Klamath River! First Dear Mad'm Picnic was 2011 at the Klamath River Resort Inn a couple miles east of Happy Camp with a beautiful setting on the lawns overlooking the river! Rod Diradon and Gloria, his sister Claudia and her husband Dick  Peter and Elizabeth Lismer and many from town and Hazel Gendron from Redding were among the guests. It was such fun to hear the stories of Stella's days on the river. Pete and Liz were writing a book about Stella at the time and busily taking notes of everyone's impressions. Cindy from the Coast who is a niece of Stella's second husband,  James Patterson, and friends came as well. We had a tour of the site where Dear Mad'ms cabin had been een though our guide was called away for a fire alarm, and several vehicles got stuck in the sand when they left the path. Gloria made great so'mores around the campfire in the eening at KRRI and we watched the fish jumping. Perfect end to a great day celebrating a literary work that took place right here.

Second event, 2012's Dear Mad'm Symposium began again at a reception at Naturegraph Publishers where the owner, Barbara Brown has kept the Dear Madm in paperback since it went out of hardback. Lunch was held at the Karuk Senior Nutrition (old Headway) Building and Dear Mad'm Who Was She? by Peter and Elizabeth Lismer was launched! Everyone was so anxious to hear about Stella's life before and after the year that she wrote about in Dear Mad'm!! There were over sixty people at the luncheon! Judy Hahn had been discovered for her poetry abilities and she started a poem about Dear Mad'm that was so enjoyable capsule of the story!! Karen Tulledo told a Sourdough Story that she had written, Roberta Everett brought a rocking chair that had belonged to Stella too. Bonnie Alvarez and some high school girls, Audrey and Cheyenne served a delicious luncheon like a Sunday Dinner from back in those days!! Happy Senior ladies made homemade pies too!

Third Annual Dear Mad'm Day in 2013 had Jess Haun as the master or mistress of ceremonies. Cindy shared more information on James Patterson and Stella who surprised all their Eureka friends by their marriage February 19, 1907. Kitchen crew grew, and Pancake breakfast was also held at the Karuk Senior Nutrition Site. ?Bob Seaman sang the Outhouse Song to commemorate the boys building facilities at Stella's mining cabin and also gave a historic tour down Second Avenue and up Buckhorn to the gravesite of Dear Sir, Fred Crooks.

Fourth Annual Dear Mad'm event in 2014 was at the Grange. Karen Tulledo organized the evening reception Friday evening. Norma Seaman brought pate" in commemoration of French's gift when Stella entertained. Sherri Kennedy helped in the kitchen for the luncheon. Rain and wind made the turnout at the Klamath River Resort fireside fewer brave souls around the fire but breakfast was at the Grange Sunday morning.

Fifth Annual Dear Mad'm lunch will be at Naturegraph Publishers, 3543 Indian Creek Road at 11:00 A,M. on Saturday, October 17th. Kathi Jones is bringing some artifacts from Stella Patterson to share.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Martin Cuddihy and His Family

(With sincere appreciation to Kathryn Rose Jenkin Adit for permission to reprint the information which she gave to in a personal letter to Judy Bushy for Happy Camp News.)

Martin Cuddihy was born in Ireland, November 9, 1832. He lived most of his life in Happy Camp, shere he ran various business establishments. In 1960, he built the American House Hotel, which was run by the family until 1918.

At that time, Del Norte and Siskiyou county were one county. Martin was a County Supervisor and had to travel by horseback to periodically to attend Supervisors Meetings.

One of his daughters by his second wife, Rose (called Roya) was considered quite a horsewoman and she would often accompany him, riding over the mountain on horseback and then staying with Madame Gasquet on Smith River while Martin went on to Crescent City.

Martin had two wives, both from Ireland. Rosa H Armes was born in Dublin in 1835 and died 5/22/1868. Hannah Merrigan was born in Ireland 10/23/1844 and died 9/23/1902.

One of his daughters with Rosa was Kate (born about 1858) She went to Crescent City as a young woman where she married John McLaughlin Jr. He died from complications following a Fourth of July Fireworks accident in 1886. Kate also died young on 4/7/1892. Their children went to live with various family members.

A daughter, Rosa Agnes McLaughlin (born August 13, 1880) eventually came back to Happy Camp to live with her grandfather Martin Cuddihy and his wife, Hannah.One of Rosa's eyes was crossed, and Martin arranged for an operation to correct that. In about 1904, Rosa married William Henry Jenkins in Happy Camp. Hannah had died in 1902, and Rosa and William took over running the hotel. They had four children who lived: Harold Morrell was born 11/3/1905, Joseph Henry was born 1/2/1908 or 1/31/1008, Kathryn Rose, myself, was born 9/191911, and Helen Ruth was born 11/05/13 as well as an infant who died at or near birth.

In 1913 just prior to the birth of their last child, William left Happy Camp to look for work and was presumed lost somewhere in the wilderness.
Photo of Rosa Agnes McLaughlin Jenkins, Martin Cudihy's grand-daughter in her youth.

Cuddihy's American House in Happy Camp

Martin Cuddihy came to Happy Camp in 1860 and bought a saloon and a hotel, which was to become well known for quality lodging as the American House Hotel. He was a business partner with Henry Wood and George Bickel rented one of his buildings.

Herman Reinhart wrote about his stay at the American House Hotel and the quality of hospitality that the hotel was known for. It was during his stay there that he heard about the Rogue River Wars that had begun, and wondered about the safety of his brother who he had left in Oregon before coming to check out gold prospecting possibilities on the Klamath River.

According to Vera Toleman, Cuddihy owned other pieces of property in town and had interests in several mining operations. His interests were varied and he took an active part in commmunity affairs. After Cuddihy's death, Jeremiah Lane bought it and then Mr. & Mrs. Charles Blockwell and then Nathan Evans" That was when Nathan Evans started a general merchandise business that has continued to the present time as Evans Mercantile.

Later, the Baker family bought the building. Dora Baker also served as the librarian and the Happy Camp Library was kept at the hotel. Her daughter, Ruth took over the library later and was always happy to have readers stop by the Hotel for books. Ruth remained the sole occupant of the hotel in her later years until she was moved to Beverly Manor, a nursing home in Yreka California.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Log Memorial High School, Happy Camp, CA

It was Californians first log high school when it was built in 1933! But for me, this sturdy log building means so much morel. The Log High School Memorial Building in Happy Camp has always meant so much to me about the unity of the community and what we can do by working together!! 

Can you imagine how parents felt when the only way to get their children an education after the eighth grade was to send them to a boarding school, Mt. Shasta or elsewhere, far from home? Gorhan Humphries was one of the parents who led the move to provide a high school education for the children who wanted to go further in their education. He nearly single-handedly gathered other men who saw the importance of an education for the young people of Happy Camp.

They took it before the proper authorities, out in Yreka, but it was the Depression. No one had money for a new building, instead of a single room in the elementary school which was inadequate for the purpose. But given a few materials, the community worked together and by that fall, there was the Happy Camp High School!