Asa Steven Camp with little Meda,
and Laura Ellen Oldfield Camp with baby Albert. 1871
Asa Camp was a pioneer,
And a relative of mine.
My great great grandpa headed west,
Back in ’49.
The trail west was rugged,
And the wild Sierra’s high.
The golden prey illusive,
But Asa was determined he would try.
The plains were fraught with peril,
And the road west took a toll.
But at last they reached the summit
Of a steep and piney knoll.
Down below was Hangtown;
The end of a weary road,
The mythical El Dorado,
Heart of the Mother Lode.
There Asa Camp would spend his youth.
There he’d wed a wife,
There he’d father children
Through a long, industrious life.
But first he made a second trip,
He knew the long, rut riddled route.
He’d made the trek before.
This time he brought the Oldfield’s west,
In this saga that I’m tellin’.
And when their daughter came of age,
He married Laura Ellen.
They raised three daughters and a son,
In Hangtown through the years.
They buried Ella on the hill,
And persevered through tears.
His hands were hard and callused,
His smile warm as toast.
He didn’t treasure company,
But he was a gracious host.
He mined the rugged south fork,
And lived on Reservoir Hill,
Panning gold, hauling freight,
And ruling home and hearth with an iron will.
There his children married.
Each lived their life with zest.
And great great grandpa loved them all,
But Asa loved the wild Sierras best.
He cherished every blessing,
Neath the California skies.
His life was spent in gratitude,
And he died with the wild Sierra’s in his eyes.
Shannon Thomas Casebeer