Dr. George Frederick Clarke

Dr. George Frederick Clark House

Dr. George Frederick Clarke

Dr. George Frederick Clarke
Dr. George Frederick Clarke

Dr. George Frederick Clarke was born in Woodstock in 1883. Despite his family’s limited education, he aspired to be a writer from the age of eight. By twelve, he was crafting cliffhangers for a boys’ story club. By 1914, he had published over 20 stories and written a novel. When an American agent offered to publish the novel if he set it in the United States rather than New Brunswick, George declined. He wrote “The Magic Road,” which was accepted and published the same year. Another publisher requested a boys’ book, and George wrote “Chris In Canada.” In the following two years, he published two more novels: “The Best One Thing” and “Thetis Saxon.”

As a child, George was friends with Tappan Adney, who grew up to become an artist, writer, and photographer.

Although George wanted to attend college, his father’s store failed, forcing him to leave school and help support his family. He worked as a grocery clerk and then as a dental assistant to Dr. Kirkpatrick. Dr. Kirkpatrick discovered George’s talent for dentistry, allowing him to create false teeth and fill patients’ cavities. When Dr. Kirkpatrick was ill or on vacation, George found himself in charge of the practice.

George was passionate about history, prehistoric Maliseet artifacts, modern Maliseet customs and rights, nature, and books. He founded a club for young men in Woodstock.

In 1909, Dr. Kirkpatrick sold George his dental practice. By the fall of 1910, George had saved enough money to attend dental college in the United States, where he met and married Mary Schubert.

After graduating in 1913, Dr. Clarke returned to Woodstock with Mary and purchased a house built in 1903-1904 for surveyor and engineer Charles Gardner, who surveyed the right of way through Crow’s Nest Pass in the Rockies. The house, nicknamed “Crow’s Nest,” features a nearly symmetrical facade, except for a small oval window on the left side of the main entrance. This Edwardian architecture is rare in Woodstock and New Brunswick. 

Dr. George Frederick Clark House

However, Gardner and his wife, Alice Connell, daughter of the Honourable Charles Connell, never resided in the house.

Dr. Clarke became a renowned New Brunswick historian, author, anthropologist, and hypnotist. His published works encompass Acadian and Aboriginal histories of New Brunswick. A passionate sport fisherman and conservationist, some of his published works and personal campaigns focused on the challenges facing New Brunswick’s river systems.

Dr. Clarke & Guide 1920's-30's
Dr. Clarke & Guide 1920’s-30’s

Dr. Clarke amassed a collection of approximately 2,700 archaeological artifacts, predominantly from west-central New Brunswick. In 1968, he received an honorary doctorate from UNB for his contributions to the province’s archaeology and history. In 2007, the Clarke family donated his archaeological collection to UNB.

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