Claire, the Poet of Mineral Point

On the 3rd floor of this building, a reclusive and introverted poetress lived and may still reside. The locals don’t know for sure. Fascinated with her writer/ hero of the 1800s, Emily Dickinson, Claire read everything she could get her hands on about the shy, shutaway lady from Amherst, Massachusetts.

The picturesque main street of Mineral Point, WI, consists of a number of brick and stone original buildings from 100 and more years ago.

Claire’s apartment held books on every wall, several reading corners with lamps as well as window lighting. Her parents arranged for her to live here, wanting her out of their house.

She worked as a cleaner in several downtown businesses, venturing out at midnight and sneaking back into the comfort of her third floor home. Food? She arranged with the owner of the grocery store on the first floor that she “shop” at night, leaving a list of items she took, then paid the bill that Mr. Waterson placed in the mailbox by her door.

More on Claire later, showing poetry she’s written and letters she sends to area newspapers. In all the time she lived there, she only had a few close friends. One lady, Sheila from the gift shop up the street, sketched Claire at work on her poetry. The two would often get together in absolute silence, Sheila reading and Claire thinking, gazing out her window, and writing.

(This blog will provide a bit of a break from all the travel and history I’ve been reporting. It may even contain a touch of fiction, but let’s see what we can learn about this special little literary recluse.)

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