You might need to find your OS 9 disks, and get that system installed. What I did for my powerbook was installed OS 9 first, and then installed OS X on top of it. I did that so the computer would have all of the OS 9 materials figured out, so that my classic would work as best as it could.
To be honest, my laptop has 2 OS9 System folders, one on each partition. One of them is a fully-loaded ready to go OS 9 environment that I made above. The second one is trimmed-down for classic... classic has no use for a TCP/iP control panel, or a screen saver, or the Palm stuff, so I save on nsystem resources by trimming that out with the Extensions manager.
I think you are going to need to find the OS 9 disks you had, and install that OS onto your computer. OS 9 and OS X can exist on the same hard drive partition, and the Startup Disk control panel will manage which one works on Booting.
Thanks very much for the helpful reply. Sorry it took so long but I was in a real mess there for a few weeks. I had to install 9 from the original disks that came with the G4 (10.2). They don't put 9 on the later versions of Panther.