University of New England - Innovation for a Healthier Planet

A. Carman Clark papers, 1917-2005

Full finding aid (pdf)

Collection Scope and Content

The A. Carman Clark Papers contain diverse material types: diaries and journals covering 30 years; manuscript, draft and printed columns; articles and books; research files composed of clippings, notes, and correspondence; extensive correspondence; information on memberships, awards, teaching and conferences; and memorabilia including photographs, school papers and her typewriter.

Biographical/Historical Note

Arlueen Janet Carman, (or Arley, as friends and family called her) was born on April 17, 1917 in Old Forge, New York, a small village in the Adirondack Mountains. She attended University of State of New York at Buffalo and then for seven years was the Assistant Head of Medical Research at Hoffman/LaRoche Laboratories of New Jersey. In 1949, after her marriage to Robert Clark, the two moved to Union, Maine, to a farm overlooking Sennebec Pond called Sennebec Hill.

Her writing career began in 1959, when her articles began to appear in such magazines as Woman’s Day, Country Journal, and Farm Journal, as well as several local newspapers under her professional name, A. Carman Clark. From 1964 to 1965, she served as a local correspondent and features writer for The Portland Press Herald. In 1965 she organized the Matthews Museum of Maine Heritage, the first Maine farm museum, and served as its curator until 1966. At the age of 49, Clark returned to college to earn a teaching degree, and was a reading and language teacher to seventh grade students for eighteen years. Throughout this time she never stopped writing, whether it was letters to her family and friends, entries in her journals, or freelance pieces for myriad publications.

Her writings cover all of her passions, including gardening, country living, food, and education. In 1983, she became the Home & Garden editor for The Camden Herald and held that position for over twenty years. Her column, “From the Orange Mailbox” garnered her national praise, and selections from the column were compiled into a book of the same name that was published in 1985 by Harpswell Press. The book received awards from the National Federation of Press Women and the Garden Writers Association of America. She continued to publish pieces in several magazines, and an article she wrote for Self magazine in January 1998 won an award for the best magazine article in the nation.

Besides her professional duties, Clark was also an avid volunteer, and was a member of Maine Media Women. Following in her daughter, Kate Clark Flora’s footsteps, Clark wrote her first mystery novel, The Maine Mulch Murder, which was published in 2001. She died at 88 on November 28, 2005.