Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Pioneer Baby's Grave

1855 sketch by John J. Young

Shasta County August 29, 1993

Not even a mile west of Shasta is this site and marker for the Pioneer Baby’s Grave and through a bit of thought while here, it became quite a spiritual experience. This has always been one of the first landmarks that came to mind when thinking about the next one to work up as a song, yet it always somehow ended up on a back shelf of the library of subjects to write about. Till now. When recorded, the lyric will be spoken prose against a riff worked out on a nylon stringed guitar, in a fashion similar to the song about the Spanish missions in Imperial County.

Pioneer Baby’s Grave             © Radio Flier Music

To lay their infant down they walk
Forty miles to sacred ground
Shasta bound with faith and thought
Howling wind the only sound

December’s bitter cold and snow
Shows the footprints made
To eternal rest for their Hebrew son
The pioneer baby’s grave

The couple lay their baby down
An infant’s soul is given
From the frozen face of Shasta’s ground
To the welcome arms of heaven

Plaque inscription: NO. 377 PIONEER BABY'S GRAVE - Charles, infant son of George and Helena Cohn Brownstein of Red Bluff, died December 14, 1864. He was buried near land established by the Shasta Hebrew Congregation as a Jewish cemetery in 1857, one of the earliest such cemeteries in the region. Since there was no Jewish burial ground in Red Bluff, Charles' parents made the arduous journey to Shasta to lay their baby to rest. Concern for the fate of the grave led to the rerouting of Highway 299 in 1923.
Location: 0.75 mi W of Shasta on
State Hwy
USGS Quadrangle Sheet Name: REDDING
Google maps: 40.603739,-122.499082

1 comment:

  1. This is interesting. Just a few days ago I was biking 299 and I ran across the Pioneer Baby Grave site. I scratched down a few of the words from the grave marker and did an internet search and found this page, only posted in April- good timing!
    Next will be the new Igo Vet cemetery?