Klamath, Calif., Spruces Up for Salmon Anglers




Laurel Gerkman

In April 1939, the Crescent City American newspaper noted that Klamath, Calif., was sprucing up to accommodate the welcome return of sports fishermen.

Several years earlier, a succession of poor salmon runs had led California to close commercial and Yurok tribal fisheries on the Klamath River. As salmon numbers increased, happy fishermen began to flock back to the community.

Businesses displayed an array of new signage including the drug store, the grocery front and Vi’s Beauty Nook. Modern décor and a state-of-the-art marquee sign with neon lighting freshened The Klamath Theater. The Wonderland Redwood Park redecorated and repainted its cabins and gas station store. Murphy and Menary’s Three Sevens tavern installed a 49-foot bar, touted as the longest north of San Francisco.

The Klamath Café re-opened after a complete remodel. Management doubled the eatery’s size, making space for additional tables, a music machine, and an efficient soda fountain service.

To inaugurate the upcoming fishing season, Ingvardsen’s ranch held a barn dance into the wee hours, ending with a traditional American Indian dance and prayer for long and healthy lives.



Sources: "News Flashes from Klamath." Reflections of Del Norte County, vol. 14, no. 2, p. 8; Lufkin, Alan, editor. “California's Salmon and Steelhead: The Struggle to Restore an Imperiled Resource.” Berkeley: University of California ess, c1991. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft209nb0qn/ ; "Brush Dance." Yurok Tribe, www.yuroktribe.org/culture/history/brushdance.htm..


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