STEVENSVILLE — Celebrating her 100th birthday, Kent Island native Clara Bryan Davidson received a special proclamation from Commissioner Phil Dumenil dedicating Nov. 12, 2020, as Clara Davidson Day in Queen Anne’s County. Members of her family, friends and neighbors gathered in her front yard to sing “Happy Birthday” to her as she sat in chair on her front porch.
Clara Rebecca Bryan was born to Norman and Cora Bryan in 1920. Her father was a schooner captain on the Chesapeake Bay, transporting freight up and down the bay and in local bay tributaries.
Clara was the second of four siblings, and today, is the only surviving child of the four.
The family lived in Shipping Creek, until her parents moved to the town of Stevensville, so the girls could walk to and attend school. Clara attended elementary school in the old school house located in Stevensville (which is still standing near Duty’s Service Center). She graduated Valedictorian in 1937 from Stevensville High School. Today’s Stevensville Middle occupies the site of the high school.
In her childhood, she lived through the Great Depression and World War II, where the family mortgaged their farm to pay for Captain Bryan’s boat. They ultimately lost farm and boat during the Great Depression.
After high school, Clara attended Baltimore College of Commerce, which later became the University of Baltimore, where she learned to do what women did in those days, becoming a secretary. She went on to work at the orange soda factory located where Friel’s Lumber Company is today in Queenstown. She also worked at Stevensville High School as the principal’s secretary.
She met John Fountain Davidson, a local boy and they married in 1942. The lived on the family farm that was located near where Love Point Park is located today. The Davidson’s later moved to downtown Stevensville where Clara still resides with her grand-daughter and great grand-daughter today. Her husband, John passed in 2004 after sharing a very full life with Clara.
Clara raised six children, three boys and three girls, who still live in the area, and is a grandmother to nine grandchildren, four step-grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren, and eight step great-grandchildren.
Clara has never had a driver’s license, but she has been known to have driven a car a few times in her life, just around the community, but not in recent years! She also never learned to swim, even though she has boated most of her life.
Asked what she attributes to her longevity of life, she replied, “Just take life as it comes, take it easy, and don’t get too upset about things. Just keep going.”