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As It Was: Indian Town Population Outnumbers Happy Camp, Calif.

A settlement known as Indian Town was located near Happy Camp, Calif, on the banks of Indian Creek, halfway between the Swearingen Homestead and the Classic Hill Mine. It was a gold boomtown and outnumbered Happy Camp’s population for years. It had saloons, hotels, stores, butcher shops, bakeries and even a bowling alley.

Nearby was the Classic Hill Mine in the timbered foothills north of Happy Camp. The elevation of this region ranges from 1,800 feet at the foot of the Classic Hill Mine to 7,310 feet at “Preston Peak.”

Two early miners, John Titus and Jim Camp, found substantial amounts of gold that had been locked for millennia in gravel traps in holes and depressions. To reach the gold required help, so Titus and Camp hired men to dig the gold, and armed guards to protect it. All miners who worked at the Classic Hill Mine had to be thoroughly searched before leaving the mining site. The mine became extremely profitable for Titus and Camp.

Horace Gasquet, an early Siskiyou County packer, established the trail for hauling mail to Indian Town, Classic Hill Mine, and Happy Camp.

Source: Waddell, Jim. "Three Hundred Years of Classic." The New 49ners 15 May 2004. Web. 16 May 2015. <http://www.goldgold.com/300-pounds-of-classic-hill-gold.html>.

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Gail Fiorini-Jenner is a writer and teacher. Her first novel "Across the Sweet Grass Hills", won the 2002 WILLA Literary Award. She co-authored four histories with Arcadia Publishing: Western Siskiyou County: Gold & Dreams, Images of the State of Jefferson, The State of Jefferson: Then & Now, which placed in the 2008 Next Generation Awards for Nonfiction and Postcards from the State of Jefferson.  She co-authored Historic Inns & Eateries in the State of Jefferson, featuring 30 locations and their recipes.