The High Chaparral


The High Chaparral  website was launched in July of 1998 by Sheryl Clay who had started the High Chaparral Discussion Group (hcdg) earlier that summer.  Sheryl developed the initial site and was the webmaster until the end of 1999 when she was relocating and could no longer devote the time to it.   When Sheryl moved, Lisa McKenzie and Tina Sweet took over as co-moderators of the hcdg but the website had no one to take it on and it was abandoned.  After four months of abandonment Sandy Sturdivant re-acquired and secured the domain name in April of 2000.  She then rebuilt the site and put back much of the writing and work that Sheryl and others had done for the original site.  Sandy continued to improve and maintain the site until passing it on to Charlotte Lehan early in 2003.  As the current webmaster, Charlotte has likewise made some major changes and additions to the site.  The site has benefited throughout its history from the input of the hcdg and from the writing contributions of many of its members.

Charlotte at some campaign event.

Current Webmaster 
Charlotte Lehan

I stumbled across The High Chaparral website and the hcdg in the fall of 2002.  I took over the website in January of 2003 with a great deal of assistance and encouragement from Sandy Sturdivant.  I have done one other website before, but nothing as complex as this one has become.  It has been a continual learning experience and I have relied not only on Sandy, but on the assistance of the hcdg as a sounding board, a source of ideas, and as proofreaders who help maintain the site's accuracy. 

I have maintained most of the content and navigation structure that I inherited from Sandy although Fanfic has now moved to another site with a different webmaster.  I have more than doubled the number of pages with additional features, have added hundreds of pictures from photo captures of the series, and have updated the look here and there.  The last couple years I have done very little with the site because of campaign pressures, but now that I am re-inventing myself, I am back trying to get the site refreshed.

My goal is is still to have a professional looking, entertaining site that is a tribute to the enduring work of the cast and crew of The High Chaparral and an accurate, accessible archive for the many HC fans around the world.  

Our Stats:  The site is now over 115MB in size.  There are over 400 pages, more than 4,000 pictures and graphics, and more than 17,000 hyperlinks (those little pieces of code that take you from one page to another).  The site gets 1000+ visitors a day and is in first position on most search engines when you search for "High Chaparral".

From 1996 through 2008 I was the Mayor of a small town, Wilsonville, Oregon, population 18,000, just south of Portland on Interstate-5.  In 2008 I was elected to the Clackamas County Commission.  I was 16 when HC first aired in 1967 so you do the math.  I am a seventh generation Oregonian and a descendent of numerous pioneers of the Oregon Trail.  My other big website is Pleasant View Cemetery, a pioneer cemetery where I serve as President of the cemetery association.


Sandy's book jacket photo from a few years ago.  She tells me she has long hair now, but I don't know how to touch up the photo to add that so you will just have to imagine.

Immediate Past Webmaster
Sandy Sturdivant

When Sandy took over The High Chaparral website in April 2000 she was already the webmaster for Don Collier's official site.  The HC site had been abandoned for the previous four months after Sheryl Clay had been unable to find someone else to take it on.  When the domain name became available again Sandy acquired it so that would not be lost to some unrelated commercial enterprise.  When she was unable to find anyone else to take it on, she rebuilt the site herself using the Way Back Machine to import some of the original elements and writings authored by members of the hcdg.  The site was upgraded and a more sophisticated navigation structure and file system was put in place.

Sandy added more photos from her personal collection and expanded the site significantly from April 2000 until the end of 2002.  When her other commitments became too great she again started searching for someone else to take on the task of running the website.  After a month or two of arm-twisting she was able to talk Charlotte into taking over the site, but Sandy continued as an on-going resource on technical and other web related issues.  By the end of 2002 the hcdg had nearly 250 members world-wide.

Sandy has extensive experience in the computer industry and has been an excellent technical resource for the HC website.  She is a prolific professional writer of Western non-fiction, published in a number of books and magazines.  She established the Don Collier site, the Old West Legends site, and assisted in creation of the Women Writer's Block and Henry Darrow's site.  Sandy is from Oklahoma, but is contemplating taking up the RV lifestyle for a while to explore more of the West with her husband.


I don't have a photo of Sheryl so here is an artist's rendering done by an artist who never saw her or knew anything about her.  You can tell she is a little bit mysterious because she is wearing sunglasses.  She might be wearing a wig here as well.  If I find a better likeness, I would be happy to post it.

Original Webmaster
Sheryl Clay

Sheryl Clay launched The High Chaparral website in July of 1998 shortly after starting the High Chaparral Discussion Group (hcdg).  The website was initially a way for fans of HC to find each other and was also a popular place for hcdg members to share fanfiction.  Sheryl was a prolific writer of both fanfiction and website material about HC.  The fledgling hcdg had a number of other members who also contributed much to the initial material on the website and their credits are listed below.  Besides Sheryl, Lisa McKenzie, Brenda Meskunas, and Sandy Sturdivant were responsible for most of the original episode synopses and character descriptions.

The website consisted of just two segments accessible from the Home Page.  One was THC Resource Center and the other was THC Fanfic Creative Center.  By September of 1998 the hcdg had grown to 40 members and reruns on the Family Channel created an opportunity for hcdg members to add to the growing library of episode synopses.  Later a photos page was added. For most of 1999 the hcdg averaged about 50 members.  

When Sheryl's family and job obligations required her to relocate she tried to find someone to take over the website.  Barbara McKee, a college student in New Zealand, was going to take it on, but her circumstances and resources never quite meshed and the website was abandoned after Sheryl moved.  The hcdg, however, continued under the guidance of Lisa McKenzie and Tina Sweet.  Tina is still the moderator of the hcdg today.

Sheryl was from Connecticut, but we lost touch with her after she moved to New York. If I hear from her again I will add a little more biographical info about her. 


A Bunch of Creative Folks

Another artist's rendering since we could never get all these people together to shoot them.  Perhaps done by the same clipart artist who was nice enough to do Sheryl's.

With Appreciation
for the many contributions of the talented 
writers and fans of the hcdg.

Besides the writings of Sheryl, Sandy, and Charlotte, other contributing authors for the Episode Synopses and Character Descriptions include:  

Lisa McKenzie
 Brenda Meskunas
Pat Banazsak
Carol Anne Gordon
Kat Garcia
Rusty LaGrange
Mary Ann Draves
Ginny Shook


Proof Readers and Translator

Thank you to the proof readers who take the time to let us know when they discover errors, omissions, or an awkward turn of phrase.  Thank you especially to Denise Mejia in New Jersey and Gloria in Cincinnati for the many hours they have spent double checking everyone's work on this website.  And finally, thank you to Carol Anne Gordon in Texas who lent us her considerable language skills to translate Guest Book and Guest Map messages from Spanish and Portuguese into English.

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