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Pages of History: July 1969: Klamath relocates

From the pages of the Del Norte Triplicate, July 1969.

Dedication of the townsite of Klamath, which has a jail, court, residential lots and 34 commercial lots awaiting businesses and homes, opened the annual Klamath Salmon Festival on Sunday, June 29, 1969.

Klamath is unique. It is the first town in the history of the United States to be completely relocated as a flood protection measure.

The town was destroyed in the December 1964 floods of the Klamath River and as Supervisor Harold Del Ponte, master of ceremonies for the dedication summarized events leading to the dedication, he said it is now located above flood level at a site selected by the people of Klamath on January 18, 1965.

By March 2, 1965, Klamath was selected as a pilot project at a governor’s conference on rehabilitation of northwestern California communities, and the project moved forward.

An estimated 5,000 people attended the annual Klamath Salmon Festival at which more than a ton of fresh barbecued salmon was served. Booths, Indian dances, cycle races, Indian games and an old-fashioned steam train ride plus lumberjack contests and sunny skies were enjoyed by all from morning until night.

Anchovies bring salmon

Salmon fishing in Crescent City Harbor reached a torrid pace for the weekend ending July 20, with sport fishermen reporting the best they have seen in years with many limits being taken inside the harbor breakwater after large schools of anchovies moved into the shallow waters and the Chinook salmon “chased them right up onto the beaches.”

Hair-raising incident

Deputy John Bach had his own hair-raising incident recently in which he was forced to “take evasive tactics” when he happened upon a cat.

The deputy said he was patrolling along Pebble Beach Drive about 3 a.m. when he noticed a pick-up truck parked in one of the turn-outs. Stop­ping to investigate, the deputy approached it to check the driver’s compartment. Just as he got to the door, he heard a funny sound, and turning his flashlight towards the rear of the truck saw the form of a cat’s head appear. The deputy blinked twice, gulped and started to retreat when he realized that the cat was a full-grown cougar.

Deputy Bach said, “I never realized the big cats were that long, and I never thought the end of him would come out into the open!” The cat took a couple of steps forward and the deputy took a couple of steps backwards. When the animal stealthily approached, the deputy decided it was time for the cat to go which is when he realized that there was a collar around the cougar’s neck which was attached to a chain which in turn was attached to the bumper of the truck.

Breathing a sigh of relief, the deputy realized that cougar or not, it was somebody’s pet and holstered his gun. When the owner showed up, he confirmed that yes the cougar had been his pet since it was a kitten. The deputy was heard to quip, “one more incident like this and I’m going to request a lion dog for a partner!”

 


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