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1886 - Siskiyou County, California
Happy Camp

In the Humboldt County Collection of the library of Humboldt State College, Arcata, California, is a small booklet titled The Hermit of Siskiyou. Written by L. W. Musick, it was published from the office of the Crescent City News in 1896. In it, on pages 79-80, the following story of interest was found:

A Del Norte Record correspondent, writing from Happy Camp, Siskiyou County, California on January 2, 1886 published this story:

"I do not remember to have seen any reference to the Wild Man which haunts this part of the country, so I shall allude to him briefly. Not a great while since, Mr. Jack Dover, one of our most trustworthy citizens, while hunting saw an object standing one hundred and fifty yard from him picking berries or tender shoots from the bushes.

The thing was of gigantic size — about seven feet high — with a bulldog head, short ears and long hair; it was also furnished with a beard, and was free from hair on such parts of its body as is common among men. Its voice was shrill, or soprano, and very human, like that of a woman in great fear.

Mr. Dover could not see its footprints as it walked on hard soil. He aimed his gun at the animal, or whatever it is, several times, but because it was so human would not shoot.

The range of the curiosity is between Marble Mountain and the vicinity of Happy Camp. A number of people have seen it and all agree in their descriptions except some make it taller than others. It is apparently herbivorous and makes winter quarters in some of the caves of Marble Mountain."

The book, The Hermit of Siskiyou records this encounter with the bigfoot-like creatures described in 'human' terms. Only two years later than the oldest Canadian newspaper account - that of the capture of "Jacko" on July 4, 1884. The only discrepancy between this account and the usual Bigfoot reports seems to be where it says the creature "was free from hair on such parts of its body as is common among men."

Everything else agrees even the reluctance of the hunter to shoot it because the Sasquatch looked far too human to shoot and kill. Even though there are many reports equating this creature with human attributes, the ape theory evolved heavily in print in the 1990's.

Story with grateful appreciation to Jim McClarin. Also published by the late George Haas in the old "Bigfoot Bulletin" and later by John Green in his book, "Year of the Sasquatch."