YOU are invited to Dear Mad’m Activities, October 11-13, 2013


You are invited to Dear Mad’m Celebration in Happy Camp, CA!

Stella W. Pattersom was an adventurous lady even when she was eighty and moved to a mining cabin on the Klamath River! The book that she wrote about her experience has been popular ever since it was published in 1956 and we still celebrate.

The Dear Mad’m Day Celebration in Happy Camp, California is coming up in October around her birthday. The 2013 Events will start on Friday, October 11, and will continue through Sunday, October 13. We have a lot planned!

Friday evening – Reception

Saturday, 11am – Luncheon Symposium, Speakers, Award Presentations, Book Signings. 

Last year, Bonnie Alvarez and her youthful helpers served a delicious meal, reminiscent of a Sunday afternoon dinner back in those days, fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, confetti coleslaw salad and fresh corn on the cob. Happy Seniors ladies brought an assortment of home baked pies for dessert. We can hardly wait to see what fabulous meal she will be cooking up for us this year. We will again be meeting at the Karuk-Headway Building at Second Avenue in Happy Camp.

Saturday evening – Stories, songs, and camaraderie at the bonfire down on the banks of the Klamath River at the Klamath River Resort Inn and Rafting Lodge.

Sunday – Pancake Breakfast. This year we will have the choice of sourdough pancakes that were served in life along the Klamath River as well as regular pancakes, coffee, juice and special recipe pancake toppings. If you were at the 2nd Annual Luncheon you will remember the story about sourdough pancakes that Karen Tulledo shared. The breakfast will also be at the Karuk-Headway Building on Second Avenue.

Later there will be the annual trip to see the homestead site of Grandma and Grandpa John Covert’s place where the Diridon youngsters spent their summers. Near by were the cabins of “Dear Sir” and“Up and Up” as well as the three Chicago ladies, who are another part of the story,

Registration for the event will remain the same as last year, $40 for the entire weekend activities. Advance reservations are $30 for the weekend or $20 for Saturday only if you aren’t able to stay for the weekend.

Last year, Pete and Liz Lismer were launching their new book, Dear Mad’m, Who Was She? so it was special to learn more about the rest of Stella W. Patterson’s life. Liz Lismer brought a photo album with photos of Stella from her years married to a San Francisco Judge. We are looking forward to finding out more of the mysteries that have been researched and unraveled in the past year. We hope to hear more of the poem about Dear Mad’m that Judy Hahn shared with us last year also!

 Roberta Everett shared the rocking chair that Stella propped against the door that first night that she spent at the cabin on the mining claim on the Klamath River. Claudia brought photos from the summers at their Grandparents place on the River, We also were able to see some photos of the Patterson clan. We appreciate those who bring things to share.

Registration for the event will remain the same as last year, $40 for the entire weekend activities.Checks should be made payable to the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce. (Advance reservations are $30 for the weekend or $20 for Saturday only, if you aren’t able to stay for the weekend. Send your check to HCCofC at P. O. Box 1188, Happy Camp, CA 96039. Call the Chamber for further information 530-493-2900.)

 For more information, or if you have information to share or donate (information or items) or wish to nominate someone with adventurous attitude in their senior years for awards, please call the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce at 530-493-2900, or send us an email at

Hope to see you there!


Dr. Gloria Duffy’s article about the first Dear Mad’m Day picnic in 2011, published in Commonwealth magazine, Oct./Nov. 2011.

Celebrating Our “Dear Mad’m”

by Judy Bushy, Happy Camp, CA
“Dear Mad’m” is a book by Stella Patterson, published in January, 1956. Why do we who live along the beautiful wild Klamath River cherish the story that Stella, known as Dear Mad’m tells??
First of all, Dear Mad’m was a great storyteller. Her book illustrates what life on the Klamath is like. She wasn’t afraid to move to a primitive cabin in the midst of the Klamath Forest in the heart of the Siskiyous alone!. She enjoyed the beauty and diversity of the countryside around us. A great setting for fun with friends!
The fact that she was 80 years of age when she moved to the little mining cabin on the Klamath is hopeful for those who see the golden years come so soon! She was spry and adventuresome, and still able to enjoy life to its fullest. She had friends of all ages and situations down on the River. That’s quite common. In an area where the population is sparse enough to be considered a frontier, You have opportunity to not limit your friends to those your age category, but to fellowship with different ages, backgrounds and views! Our Klamath neighbors are the best reason to live here,\
Stella mentioned that the publisher wanted some things changed in her story, most notably her birthday moved from October 14th to April because it fit the story better. It’s a minor matter and doesn’t hurt the story at all, because the true riches we enjoy in the story are the highs and lows and adventures of living with friends and neighbors along the Klamath River!
Three ladies in particular moved to Happy Camp after reading her book. Vivian Witt, Marie Wilson and Joan Richardson, and lived on the same mining claim the rest of their lives. They were also a great contribution to the small community of Happy Camp! Many still come to see the land where Dear Mad’m lived, and tell of reading the story numerous times. It’s a story you can go back to and enjoy again and again.
We also are so thankful for those we have met as we seek to learn more about Dear Mad’m. Especially we have been so grateful for Rod (and Gloria,) Claudia (and Dick,) who with their brother, Tom, were the youngsters pictured with Stella on the original Dear Mad’m cover! Then we had the happy new book by Pete and Elizabeth Lismer who wrote the book, Dear Mad’m Who Was She? This book helped us explore the life of Stella Patterson before and after the writing of her tale. Then more relatives, of her husband, James Patterson, and Stella herself, became acquainted and the circle widens as does the circle of friendship!
Life on the Klamath goes on, much the way it was in those days, plus a little new technology. We are all so grateful for Barbara Brown of Naturegraph Publishers who has kept her story available to all her new fans and also published, Dear Mad’m Who Was She?
Linda Martin, the leader of the Klamath Writers’ Group that gathered at the Frontier Cafe Sunday afternoons, had the idea to celebrate our most literary accomplished author. The Klamath Writer’s Group, all good Friends of Dear Mad’m, enlisted the help of the Happy Camp Chamber of Commerce to provide a picnic lunch in 2011 in the beautiful shady green lawn of the Klamath River Resort Inn & Rafting Lodge, two miles east of Happy Camp. We so enjoyed Rod Diiradon’s wonderful story of childhood summers at his grandparents place near Stella’s cabin. The next year the luncheon as moved indoors to the Karuk-Headway Building on 2nd Avenue for the weekend nearest her birthday in October.. We hope you will enjoy the story of Dear Mad’m and how friendships have grown around her delightful story.

Some of Ray Arneson's final paintings were of the Dear Mad'm books.

Some of Ray Arneson’s final paintings were of the Dear Mad’m books.

Hello to the Klamath River World!

When the book, Dear Mad’m by Stella W. Patterson, first came from the publisher in January 1956, it became a popular book and book club selection. Although Stella didn’t live to see that day, many didn’t know that and have come to see Stella and the little cabin that she moved to on the Klamath River.

We hope you will enjoy learning more about Stella, the other people in her story and the wonderful times we have gathering to celebrate one of the most famous literary characters from Happy Camp, at the top of California along the wild and scenic Klamath River!