Karen & Kurt 
Edgewood in St. Denis

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Smart Woman

The future and the past; telling stories

Posted by karenandkurt on April 27, 2010 at 10:51 PM

I have the list that ate Toronto demanding that I attend to very important wedding details (I’ve also had anxiety attacked demanding the same thing, but we won’t go there). So instead I’ve been completely distracted by a separate project.


But before I tell you about my history adventure, I need to brag. This past weekend was the baptisms of my nephews, Caiden, Max and Kyle. Our parents were in town and all three boys were baptized at Church of the Resurrection in the same service. And, I am godmother to all three! These wonderful little boys were joyfully welcomed in the community with the support of their parents, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins. They’re a little too small to understand what was happening, though Grace was old enough to have some idea.


(Also being Grace’s godmother, I started to explain what baptism is, in terms a 3-year-old would understand. When I told her that the priest was going to offer a special prayer to show that her twin brothers belong to God, she got very worried! She was afraid the babies couldn’t stay with her anymore, so I quickly added that they would belong to God AND Mommy and Daddy. She was much relieved!  I think this is a topic to revisit a little later for her.)


We had a party afterward at my sister’s house, complete with pie and cake. Very nice party. Lots of fun. So, there’s a picture of me and my godbabies below. And a click will take you to the pictures from the baptism.


Now that I’ve introduced my godchildren, let me introduce two women who have taken up my thoughts in the past week: Livianna Ann Boyer Clark and Julia Ann Tucker Clark, the wives of Noah A. Clark. In my research on the Misty Lake (which we will share in June when I change over our website) we came across the mortgage made by Noah and Julia for their farm in 1884. In reading through, we came to the last record – the lost of their farm in 1894. Kurt and I were both taken in by the short legal story and all the questions it must include. Their farm was where our community now exists.


I have been so taken by this story, I started researching even further, using census forms, obits, cemetery records and county maps to start filling out the family. This is when I learned about Livinna. She is Noah’s first wife, the mother of their first child, Rosa, and the woman who established a home on this land. And she died before her children where grown. Julia is the second wife, younger than Livianna, who raised Livianna’s children and her own with Noah and who fought to keep their home. Noah had the farm from 1876 until 1894; he was the longest to own and farm this property and is listed in several county records as a farmer. I have a window of time when he died but no death date.


I know where Julia is buried – she is the only Clark in the Boyer family Cemetery, across the road from the current Boyer farm. I don’t know why she’s there – she’s not a Boyer and there are no other Clarks there. It is Livianna that is a Boyer – but I haven’t found her resting place. I hope I do, but I wonder if she was buried at her home; now that home is a suburban development. If she was, was her grave moved or lost? The thought that it could have been destroyed fills me with real sorrow.


Today I finally found a map I knew had to exist, but I had no idea where it would be to how it would be labeled. It’s a district map from 1878 and their house and property are marked on it. Kurt and I spent the evening measuring the maps and comparing land marks. We think, given we’re still trying to figure out accurate measurements given the difference in scales, lack of latitude and longitude on the 1878 map and the changes on the roads, we know the house once stood within about a block of our house.

Livianna and Julia’s house was either at the end of our street or above the site of Misty Lake. I am still measuring, but when I line the maps up, it seems to me that their house stood where our home now does.


When they fell asleep at night, the steam trains rumbled across the edge of their property on the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad. Tonight, I will hear the Amtrack and Metro trains run between Washington and Baltimore, on those same rails. Maybe this is why I started to ask about the lake next to our home. Livianna and Julia have one more story to tell as the trains rumble past our home.



Categories: Our Family, Clark Family

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