History of Happy Jack Area
During the early history of Arizona, this area was well known as Long Valley, it was the only way to get over the Mogollon Rim from Winslow to Strawberry, Pine, Payson and the Phoenix area. In the early 1900’s the forest service established the Long Valley Ranger Station. There were not many people working at the ranger station and during the winter no one was there as the residents left the area with the exception of the Fuller family. Sometime later the Hoke family opened a small gas station and grocery store which was the main water supply for the people using the area and for those traveling through.
During the 1920’s, 30’s and 40’s, Arizona’s largest logging industry was centered around Williams, the Grand Canyon, and Flagstaff. When the demand for more lumber became evident, the logging operation moved to Barney Pasture, Mormon Lake, and Sheep Springs. The road conditions made it difficult for the men working as loggers to travel home each night, so camps were built along with portable housing. This enabled families to stay during the working months. An unused railroad was revitalized so that the logs could be moved from the camps to Flagstaff.
In the early 1940’s the area known as Long Valley was a weekend gathering place for rodeos and dances which were sponsored by the Fuller family at their ranch. This was a regular happening for about 30 years.
In 1947 Southwest Forest Industries was established as a permanent logging camp. Water was available from a natural spring enabling a deep well to be drilled. This new camp was called Happy Jack. It was never determined whether the name Happy Jack came from the “lumber jacks” or from a happy-go-lucky fellow named Jack who was one of the employees.
In the late of the 1940’s and early 50’s, the logging camp of Happy Jack was established and in as much as the forest service personnel dealt with the logging industry, a decision was made to move Long Valley to Happy Jack. Therefore the forest service station and logging camp were at the same site, but with a Happy Jack mailing address. It did not take long until the Long Valley Ranger Station became known as Happy Jack Ranger Station.
In 1994, the property was purchased and transformed into Happy Jack Lodge & RV. The beautiful RV park in the cool pines of northern Arizona has cabin rooms for rent, a restaurant/steakhouse, a small general store and many other amenities for your use and enjoyment.