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Winter Travelers to Happy Camp Face Arduous Journey

Located on the Klamath River, the remote community of Happy Camp has never been easy to get to. Today it’s a long drive from Yreka down crooked State Route 96.  In the early 1900’s, it was more complicated. Summer travel was fairly easy, but winter travel was another story.

In winter, some travelers caught the Musgrave Stage Line to Walker, but if they arrived too late, they had to stay overnight.  If they arrived at Walker on Saturday, they had to wait until Monday to catch a stage. 

Some took Ed Steel’s auto stage from Yreka to Fort Jones for an overnight stay before catching a ride on Maitland Payne’s Model-T Ford truck and spending the night at Gus Brady’s hotel in Scott Bar. From there the stage went to Hamburg for the night. The next day they took the Hamburg stage to Hornbrook for the night, and on the fourth morning they caught the Hornbrook stage to Happy Camp.

Travelers who hired touring car taxis from Yreka to the Klamath River Bridge caught the Hornbrook stage for the final leg of the trip.


Source: McNeill, James. "Let’s Take a Trip to Happy Camp." Siskiyou Pioneer and Yearbook. Vol. 5. No.6. Yreka: Yreka Historical Society, 1983. 49-51. Print.

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.