Monday, February 13, 2012

OBIE’S QUEST, From The Journal of Obadiah Jeremiah Hezekiah Camp

Reservoir Hill, Placerville, California
This is the home of my great grandmother, Meda Eliza Camp Daniels. (Pictured next to her husband Asa Wilder Daniels) Meda was born on Reservoir Hill, just outside of Placerville, in 1869. She was the daughter of Asa Steven Camp, who, along with his father, Clark Camp, set out for the gold camps during the gold rush of 1849, arriving in Hangtown in time to be counted in the census of 1850, and her mother, Laura Ellen Oldfield Camp, who, along with her parents, John and Eliza Oldfield, made the trek from Wisconsin to Placerville, by covered wagon in 1854. Meda’s husband, Asa Wilder Daniels (the gentleman at her side in the photo) arrived in Placerville in 1888. He purchased the Slater fruit ranch on Reservoir Hill, from W. R. Selkirk, and he and Meda were wed in 1890. In addition to working the ranch, Great Granddad was the Justice of The Peace in Placerville. His passing in 1937 was front page news in The Mountain Democrat. Also pictured are daughters, Gladys, and Myrle Daniels Schroth, and son, Jared Waldo with his dog, Spuds. Jared Waldo was my beloved Granddad. My Camp, Daniels, and Casebeer ancestors arrived in the Colonies prior to the American Revolution, and members of each line served during the Revolutionary War, to secure and preserve the freedoms we Americans enjoy today, and to establish forever, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.  My great grandma Daniels lived to the ripe old age of 96.  She camped with us in the high Sierras each summer, until breaking a hip at age 93.  I spent many pleasant hours with my great grandma, many right here, in the home on Reservoir Hill.  Like my great grandma, my granddad, and my mother before me, I too was born and raised on Reservoir Hill.  My roots in Placerville are deep, my memories priceless, my pride immeasurable, and my heritage irrefutable and cherished. Obie’s Quest is my tribute and testament to all that remarkable heritage, and to Placerville, California, my hometown.

Placerville, aka Hangtown, 
Main Street at Bell Tower, circa 1900

My ancestor’s arrived in the colonies in the 1630s, and made the trek to California during the gold rush of 1849.  I’m very proud of this country and the part that my ancestor’s played in securing and preserving the liberties we American’s enjoy today.  This book chronicles the trials and travels of my fictional ancestor, Obadiah Camp, from his arrival on our shores in 1844, until his account concludes on the west coast of California, in the early years of the twentieth century.  I’ve taken great pains to produce a humorous yet historically accurate and compelling account of my beloved ancestor’s quest for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness during our remarkable country’s rambunctious youth.  I believe that, as our country soberly assesses our options for the future, we might benefit from a fresh perspective of who we are, where we’ve been, and what we hope to be.
Shannon Thomas Casebeer

A Heartfelt Apology
Poor Little Obie!
I’ve taken the hopes & dreams, and doubts & fears, and triumphs & failures that we all have in common with those hearty souls who’ve preceded us, and created an affable, unpretentious character that young and old alike are likely to relate to on some level.  And then I’ve inflicted him with much of my own childhood, debilitating vulnerability, incomprehensible faith, some of our country’s most colorful and gut wrenching history, and a plethora of the ubiquitous maladies that plague us all! And I’ve cast him, nearly naked, into the world. God, consider my motives and forgive me.
The Author


To my beloved ancestors, and the faith and fortitude that drove them to pursue their dreams, this innocuous, little parable is affectionately dedicated.
S. T. Casebeer


The following account has developed in much the same way as a family photo album.  I spent the best years of my life putting it together, and I intend to spend the rest of my life inflicting it on my friends!  Noting at an early age, that things poorly recorded are shortly forgotten, I’ve taken great pains to put to paper unmerciful attention to detail, determined that my journal might at some later date, bring flawlessly to memory the width, breadth, scope and attitude of my every perception, not to chastise mind you, but simply to inform.  This then, in note, narrative, reminiscence and occasionally painful detail is my account.

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