Dr. George Frederick Clarke was born in Woodstock in 1883. Though his family had little education, he decided to become a writer when he was only eight. By the age of twelve he was writing cliffhangers for a boys’ story club. By 1914 he had published over 20 stories and written a novel. An American agent offered to publish it if he would set it in the States instead of New Brunswick, but George refused. He wrote “The Magic Road” that was accepted and published the same year. Another publisher asked for a boys book. George wrote “Chris In Canada”. In the next two years two more novels appeared: “The Best One Thing” and Thetis Saxon”.
George was boyhood friends with Tappan Adney who became an artist, writer and photographer.
George wanted to go to college, but his father’s store failed, and he had to leave school and help support the family, first as a grocery clerk, then as a dental assistant to Dr. Kirkpatrick. Kirkpatrick found that George had a talent for dentistry and started letting him make false teeth and fill patients’ cavities. Fred soon found himself in sole charge of the practice when Dr. Kirkpatrick was sick or on holiday.
Most of Georges interests were in history, prehistoric Maliseet atrifects, the customs and rights of modern Maliseets. He loved nature and books and founded a club for young men in Woodstock.
In 1909 Dr. Kirkpatrick sold George his dental practice and by the fall of 1910 he had enough money to go to dental college in the states. there, he met and married Mary Schubert.
Dr. Clarke graduated in 1913 and returned to Woodstock with Mary and bought the house which was built in 1903-1904 for surveyor and engineer Charles Gardner. Gardner surveyed the right of way through Crow’s Nest Pass in the Rockies. He gave the house its nickname, “Crow’s Nest.”
The facade is perfectly symmetrical, save for a small oval window flanking the left hand side of the main entrance. This Edward architecture is rare in the Town of Woodstock and in the Province of New Brunswick.
However, Gardner and his wife Alice Connell, daughter of the Honourable Charles Connell did not take up residence in the house.
Dr. Clark became a noted New Brunswick historian, author, anthropologist and hypnotist. His published works include Acadian and aboriginal histories of New Brunswick. An avid sport fisherman and conservationist, some of his published works and personal crusades centered on the plight of New Brunswick’s river systems.
Dr. Clarke accumulated a collection of about 2700 archaeological artifacts, most from west-central N.B. In 1968, Dr. Clarke was awarded an honorary doctorate by UNB, in recognition of his contributions to the province’s archaeology and history. In 2007, the Clarke family donated his archaeological collection to UNB.
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