Claire Marie Christy Dale adored historic buildings. Well, one historic building in particular: the old brick railroad station in New London, Connecticut.
Our growing-up memories include ever-changing stacks of reports, letters, and newspapers spread out on the dining room table — all of which had to be moved before any meal could hope to be eaten. The railroad drama was a saga of local politics, and a roller-coaster between gloom-and-doom (“they’re tearing it down!”) and the occasional glimmer hope (“they might reconsider!”). Five or six years into this long-running melodrama, even a whisper of those dreaded words “railroad station” was guaranteed to elicit a collective groan from the rest of the family.
Hope, hard work and history prevailed in the end. New London’s magnificent brick railroad station was eventually saved from the wrecker’s ball by — well, by lots of folks. But Claire’s single-minded tenacity was definitely at the core.
Claire passed away in 2002, long before Clairitage Press was even a glimmer. But it would have made her happy, I think, just to know that so many folks treasure history, and get so excited about uncovering and preserving these wonderful stories.
Claire’s bright smile burst into the world exactly 90 years ago today. Just thought you might like to know about the real “Claire” behind Clairitage!
(Happy birthday, Mom!)
Hear Claire Dale (and others) speak about the saving of New London’s Union Railroad Station, in this marvelous YouTube video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKZVgpaGbSc