Join us in October to Celebrate “Dear Mad’m”

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Just got off the phone with Lisa Gioia-Acres who is inspiring lady who directs the Siskiyou County Historical Museum in Yreka. It is always highlight to stop by the Museum and see the beautiful wedding apparel displayed just now, or stroll the Outdoor Museum, or gather in the Conference room to learn more about the history of our area!!

Lisa confirmed we have the date of Saturday, October 15th, 2016 for the Dear Mad’m gathering at 12:30 at the Museum Conference Room. We will be celebrating Dear Mad’m, Stella W. Patterson, who wrote the book by the same name about the decisions she faced at the age of 80 when she lived in a remote miners cabin on the Klamath River (with her dog Vicki for company.)

San Francisco relatives wanted Stella to return to the city; but she hadn’t lived there since the ’06 earthquake and personal decisions separated her from that society life. Even at 80 Stella felt more adventurous and had always wanted to pursue other endeavors. She may have ordered groceries out of Happy Camp with thrift in mind, but she ordered her iris bulbs from European nurseries.

Some fascinating characters of the neighborhood stopped by and are remembered from her story. They influenced Stella, and in many ways Stella went on to inspire countless others by her story. What was the secret that she learned in that simple life in a rustic cabin on the Klamath River? Many return to Stella’s story when “mature years” weigh heavy, to remember to face life with a spirit of adventure, no matter what your age!

What can you tell us about Cy Jensen and Laura??

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By Judy Bushy

Perhaps you recall Cy Jensenj, well known from the story of Dear Mad’m by Stella W. Patterson, when he was called “Up’nUp”. Do you remember the days down by Ferry Point south of the Clear Creek post office when he was mining with Fred Crooks, “DearSir” in the story.

Thanks to Roberta, we’ve found that Laura came from Trinity (there was hint in the book!!) and they went to Washington to be married.

Do you remember the years along the Klamath, when a couple of men could bring in gold and fish along the Klamath River?? Stella turned 80 years old in 1946 and wrote the book, DearMad’m about a year deciding if a woman of her age could live the adventurous life on the River.
Tell us your stories and remembrances of those wonderful ol’ days along the Klamath River!! Thanks!!

Honey Receives a book, Dear Mad’m!

Honey Receives A Copy Of Dear Mad’m
June 1, 2014 · Posted in Notes from Above Ground


By Honey van Blossom

(Honey is a Belgian Marxist former strip-tease artiste)

A package arrived in the mail with my cousin Little Barbara’s address in the top left hand corner. I found a note inside the book in the package. Little Barbara wrote she and her sister Daina thought I would enjoy reading a book about an eighty-year old woman who begins a new chapter in her life in the mountains of Trinity County (sic: actually Siskiyou County), near where our Aunt Big Barbara taught in Blanchard Flat School in Hoosimbim Mountain during the Great Depression.

I’m approaching seventy, and my cousins approach eighty. This book seemed like it would be just the ticket to a new way to look at growing old.

What reading the book — and then following up with some research — turned out to be was the revelation of a life that vividly soared without a safety net over a ranch in Stockton, literary San Francisco and a remote cabin near Happy Camp in Trinity County. (sic) The author was not an eighty-year old; she was close to ninety when she finished writing it.]
Although Honey was incorrect about Trinity County, Dear Mad’m moved to her cabin near Clear Creek just down river from Happy Camp, CA and was in Siskiyou Mountains of Siskiyou County, California. She seems to have enjoyed the story. Stella moved to the mining claim when she was 80, after a leg injury, and wrote the story, but it went to various publishers and had final editing from the eventual publisher by 1955.
The printing was postponed to 1956 after McCall’s Magazine wanted to include it in serialization that spring.

To see more of Honey’s account of the story:

A letter from DearSir was Shared!!

Sharing Dear Mad'm mementos and reminisce as we walk down memory lane...

Sharing Dear Mad’m mementos and reminisce as we walk down memory lane…

One of the very interesting mementos that Karen Benson shared at our last Dear Mad’m get together was to read a letter from Fred H. Crooks, Clear Creek, Siskiyou Co. Calif. written BY HAND at Clear Creek 5/12/57:
“Dear Mrs. Buck;
“Thanks for your nice letter, and I know Mrs. Patterson would have enjoyed it very much, but she passed away Dec. 23, 1955. She saw her book in print and had the fun of spending some of the money. The Norton Co. paid her $1,000.00 in advance royalties, the McCall’s Magazine paid $5,000.00 for the condensation, and the book is being published in England for which the English Co. paid 3,000.00 pounds at $2.87 per. But money didn’t mean much to her.
“The character writing this is known as DearSir in the book. I have tried to answer all the letters and cards that have come for Mrs. Patterson, but there has been hundreds and I am way behind, they have come3 from all over the U.S. and Canada and are still coming.
“Mrs. Patterson would have gotten a big thrill out of all the letters.
I have her dog Vicki she is 15 the 20th of this month.
“I am still mining every winter.
“Thanks again for your nice letter, enclosed is a picture of Mrs. Patterson and her dog Vicki when she was writing her story.
“Best Wishes
“Fred H. Crooks
“Clear Creek, Siskiyou Co. Calif.”

Friends from Maine Visiting!

New Friends, Peter and Karen from Maine.

New Friends, Peter and Karen from Maine.

The best part of the evening was the opportunity to meet new friends from Maine, Peter and Karen Benson. They brought a very special gift, a first edition of “Dear Mad’m” from 1956 that had belonged to Alice Buck from New Hampshire. Alice Buck had read “Dear Mad’m” and written a fan letter to Mrs. Patterson. Unfortunately, Stella Patterson had passed and Fred (Dear Sir) answered the letter. In fact, he said that he had hundreds to answer and was behind!

Alice Buck kept his letter and it has been passed on to us along with her scrapbook with photos of Stella, Fred Crooks (Dear Sir) and Cy Jenson (Up ‘nup.) There are photos of mining activity, the sawmill, building the road to the mine, cabins and gardens, especially flowers which were a passion of Mrs. Patterson! Alice’s cousin living at Seattle Creek, Capt. Ben Joyce, is shown in a photo from 1943 with Fred, and also one of Dora and baby Tina. The three ladies, Joan Richardson, Vivian Witt and Marie Miller who came to live on Dear Mad’m’s claim and the house built there for them, were also pictured, as well as cats. Cats weren’t mentioned in the book, other than the cougar, to my recollection. Since paper-mache didn’t keep the rodents out, perhaps they decided cats were needed. Roberta Everett brought a rocking chair that had belonged to Stella and a display of Christmas greetings Vivian Witt had painted.

May Showers and Sunshine for Dear Mad’m!

Friends of Dear Mad’m had a very busy weekend! A favorite Happy Camp author, Stella Walthall Patterson (who was called Dear Mad’m) wrote the book by the same name. Four years ago, Linda Martin thought we should have a day to commemorate her and life along the Klamath.

Karen Tulledo planned the Friday reception and made a very special chocolate cake. Abigail Eadie made strawberry cupcakes decorated with delicate icing butterflies and pastel flowers. There was also liver pate, served in an antique coffee can, in honor of another character in the book, Frenchy although it wasn’t made of horse liver as his was!!

Saturday was the Dear Mad’m Symposium Luncheon. Jess Haun, who teaches at Happy Camp High School, was the Master (or mistress?) of Ceremonies again and added her cheerful good humor to the program. Christian Robinson was honored for a literary story he wrote about the author, Edgar Allen Poe which won the Dear Mad’m Writing Contest and was presented with his $200 prize. Dennis Day helped at the book table and mentioned how Robert Service had written a poem, The Cremation of Sam McGee, and that launched him to fame and fortune. Perhaps some of our talented students will have the same experience as they continue their writing. The Happy Camp Chamber and Klamath Writer’s Club were happy that students entered the writing contest and look forward to seeing more of their work in future contest. Thank you to all who contributed to the prize for the Writing Contest as well. Bob Seaman sang the song that went along with the privy or outhouse building project in Chapter four of Dear Mad’m and also read another student’s story, about climbing town trail.

Everyone had been looking forward to the continuation of a poem that Judy Hahn had begun about the Dear Mad’m story and that was such fun to hear. Judy has a real talent for writing poetry and her daughter Christine Robinson joined her as well. Megan Hogue was the winner of the basket of homemade crocheted items and jams made by Norma Seaman. She already mentioned the plum jam was delicious!!

Sheri Boren Kennedy and her helpers made the BBQ chicken dinner with chocolate cakes, as “Nora” brought for dessert. By evening time, the wind had picked up, spring weather being rather unpredictable, but a small group still gathered about the fire at the Klamath River Resort Inn at twilight before the clouds increased.

By morning the rain stopped and more came to the Grange for the Pancake Breakfast which was delicious, thanks to Norma Seaman in the kitchen. Don Clark and his son, Matthew, came as they were visiting Jay and Stella in Happy Camp. Before the fieldtrip to the scene of the story, it began to rain again, and so the field trip was postponed to another time. Bob Seaman received a first edition “Dear Mad’m” donated by Klamath River Resort Inn.

The Committee is looking forward to next Dear Mad’m Symposium April `10-12th, 2015 and looking forward to learning more about life on the Klamath River especially from around 1946 to the serialization in McCall’s Magazine and book publication in 1956.

First Reservation Coming from Maine!

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We are so excited to meet new fans of Stella W. Pattersons book, Dear Mad’m!

Last Tuesday, just before the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce meeting, we had a call from a contact in Maine who had been going to send us a first edition of Dear Mad’m and a scrapbook that she had inherited. We had been looking forward to seeing what was in that scrapbook for sure!! The news was even better, she will be flying here for Dear Mad’m days. So now we have more than just the copy of the book to see and the scrapbook but to really meet a fan of Dear Mad’m from across the country–Couldn’t be better than that!!

Jess Haun will be our MC again this year. Karen Tulledo, who shared her Sourdough Story previously, will be happy to take you on a tour of where the cabins of Dear Mad’m and Dear Sir were located. It’s a beautiful spot to enjoy the wild Klamath River flowing by on its way to the sea. The cabins are gone now. The route the river takes has changed but not the beauty!!

We appreciate the assistance of the members of the Happy Camp Grange helping to make this event a cooperative effort with the Klamath Writer’s and the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce and others, some from the days Stella lived and wrote her book here in her rustic little mining cabin! Our community will share one of our literary favorites with you!

Looking forward to hearing that you will be coming May!! Make your reservation now!

Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce
35 Davis Road, P.O.Box 1188
Happy Camp, CA 96039

Spring Celebration of Dear Mad’m Coming!!

The Fourth Annual Dear Mad’m event is coming May 3-5!

May is Dear Mad"m!!

May is Dear Mad”m!!

The book, Dear Mad;m by Stella W. Patterson was published in 1956 but it told the story of how Stella moved to a cabin along the Klamath River in 1946 when she was eighty years old. This adventure of hers and the friends and neighbors along the Klamath have inspired many since those days.

Inspired by comments by Pete Lismer, Stella;s great grandnephew and author with his wife, Liz, of the autobiography “Dear Mad’m Who Was She?” about involvement of the young people something new has been added. We will have a Dear Mad;m Writing Contest and keep stories they’ve written. We plan to make a book of the stories and the winner’s writings will be presented at the Saturday luncheon.

If you’ve read, Dear Mad’m and enjoyed it, we would love to have you join us. If you haven’t read Dear Mad’m, we’d love to have you join us to celebrate the literary accomplishments of our Klamath neighbors!!

Further information will be added of speakers and Judy Hahns continuing poem, and the campfire musicians and storytellers. But we want you to plan to come and we are looking forward to seeing you there and having a wonderful time together!!