Happy Camp Builds California's First Log High School

Aug 11, 2014

 The townspeople of Happy Camp, Calif., realized in the 1920s that they needed a high school in the remote and rugged location.

 With the closest school 65 miles away in Fort Jones, most students never advanced past eighth grade. Parents, led by Gorham Humphreys, sought help from the Siskiyou Union High School District.  For a time, students gathered with a single teacher in one room at the elementary school. By 1933, the community looked for a new location.

 Citizens of the area decided to build their own school on land donated by L.H. Newton, and from logs donated by the Forest Service and cut under the direction of Bob Titus. Two classrooms were ready by September.  With only $1,000 from the district board, the community had made the seemingly impossible happen.

The high school was the first one built of logs in California.  It served the community for 20 years, with an addition constructed in 1953.  The school moved to a new location in 1956 to accommodate a gymnasium and more classrooms. 
 The Log Memorial Building remains standing today at Fourth Avenue and East Street.

  Sources: Toleman, Vera. Siskiyou Pioneer and Yearbook. Vol. 3. Yreka: Siskiyou County Historical Society, 1966. 28-30. Vol. 9."Our Happy Camp Log High School Built 1933." Happy Camp. 21 Jan. 2011. Web. 10 July 2014.