The year was 1663, and the social climate in Kingsport had become increasingly hostile; accusations of witchcraft were being tossed about like day old bread. Nathaniel Clark and Dante Briggs spoke out against the increasing frequency of these accusations, declaring it to be nothing more than paranoia and a lack of knowledge. Herbal remedies, which were prepared by a number of the townsfolk, were declared to be potions, and were therefore evidence of their practice of the foul art. As a direct result of their speaking out against the rampant accusations, the wives of Clark and Briggs were accused, and rumors subsequently spread of their collusion.
Fed up with the actions of those that believe the accusations, and in fear for the lives of their wives, Briggs and Clark decided to leave Kingsport. A significant number of the townsfolk felt the same, and followed them to form a new town across the bay, out of the reach of those they left behind. Christened New Kingsport, Nathaniel Clark was selected to be their new mayor, with Dante Briggs, who had always deferred to his friend’s lead, as his ever present adviser.
The little rebel town grew over the years, but when the winds of revolution stirred, on July 2, 1775, Benjamin Clark, the great-grandson of town father Nathaniel Clark, rose to colony-wide prominence with a speech now remembered in the history books.
Today, we face a decision. We are forced to choose sides. Do we remain loyal to a distant government that will tax us over and over again without allowing us to have any voice when the relevant decisions are being made? Will we stay loyal to a government that tells us how to worship? Will we turn a blind eye to whatever law they create next to give themselves more power and money? Or will we follow in the footsteps of our ancestors and speak up? Will we speak out against unfair laws? Will we speak out against Taxation Without Representation? We owe it to our forefathers to take a stand.
We must make our stand here.
We must make our stand now.
This is MY town.
This is YOUR town.
This is Nathaniel Clark's town!
Clark's town will not sit by and watch just people be harassed by unfair laws!
Clark's town will fight back!
In the aftermath of the war, New Kingsport was officially renamed as Clarkstown, in honor of the town’s founder; a reminder of the determination and spirit of their predecessors.
The advent of the railroad opened many avenues for Clarkstown. In 1849, “Clarkstown and Northridge Rail Services” was created by a group of businessmen that bought up and merged a number of small rail lines. The Church of St. John created an orphanage during the Civil War that remains one of the most famed on the east coast. And in 1905, Sinclair Ship Works moved a large part of their construction services to Clarkstown, setting up in the area abutting the cliff face of Turell’s Hill in Highpoint.
Then came the Great Fire. Late in 1908, fire swept across much of the land on both sides of Steward Bay. The fire ate its way across the region, destroying virtually everything in its path. A collapsing roof in the church’s complex caused resulted in the loss of a number of nurses, patients, and children from the orphanage. The shipyard was severely damaged. C&N's railyard, one of the largest in Massachusetts, was all but destroyed. And the lowest blow to the people of Clarkstown, the home of Nathaniel Clark, which had been preserved as a museum, was reduced to ashes.
Devastated and demoralized, Clarkstown joined the call to unify with its neighbors and form Titan City.
Clarkstown rebuilt, now in a more industrialized manner. What had been a rail hub and shipyard became a series of factories, feeding the insatiable demand for mass produced goods. But overconstruction of factories and highly speculative ventures meant that when the Great Depression hit, Clarkstown was hit disproportionately. One of these gigantic factories after another closed down, their number dwindling until none were left. Clarkstown was once again devastated, now not by fire, but by record unemployment.
This time, the mistakes of the past was a blessing in disguise. One empty warehouse was procured, retrofitted, and placed into service by the Church of St. John to serve not only as a homeless shelter, but also as a soup kitchen able to handle the masses needing help. The former factories became homes to new light industry. For the shipping industry, centered around the Sinclair Ship Works, it was a period of growth as they expanded to occupy the former factories, now available at fire-sale prices.
But some factories never did regain operation. The most notable of these was the H.M. Garvison textile mill, a gigantic, doughnut-shaped structure that dominated the southern part of the city. This factory was so prominent that the area around it area had gained the nickname of "The Maul," after the logo of the H.M. Garvison company, that of a post maul hammer. Even today, the logo can be found displayed prominently throughout the area. Over a number of years, Defiant Energy Corporation slowly bought the factories surrounding the Garvison mill, eventually even securing the old textile mill itself, and in 1998, announced the construction of the Garvison Square Mall and Defiant Energy Corporation Convention Center. Modeled on the success of the Mall of America and Sawgrass Mills Mall, the Garvison Square Mall was engineered to itself be a tourist attraction.
The recovery, first from the fire and then from the economic collapse was long and difficult. Today, there is very little obvious evidence left that the area had been all but wiped out by a particularly insatiable fire.