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David S. Smith

Profile Updated: October 20, 2010
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Class Year:
1973
Residing In:
Danbury, CT USA
Spouse/Partner:
Emma
Occupation:
Director of The Broken Branch Historical Library
Children:
Cortress, Shaun, Monique and Marcus
Yes! Attending Reunion
How did you meet your Spouse/Partner?

I guess you could say that I'm one of the lucky ones, I met the love of my life in 1974, convinced her that I was the man of her dreams, we married in 76, this past June we celebrated our 34rd Wedding Anniversary!
Our children are all grown and have careers of their own and it's finally "Our Time".

Comments:

We live in such an amazing time, and I'm thrilled to be able to use this forum to reach out to those who walked the halls of BHS so long ago.

For those who are no longer with us, your life and friendship lives on in our memories.
For those of us still here, take care.

Historian, Writer, who would have thought that I'd end up in this career path, and yet it's been the most rewarding field I could ever have dreamed of working in. What began as a personal quest to uncover my own family history more than two decades ago grew into the most unique job researching the past for others, including the creation of the Broken Branch Historical Library, which I established to honor those who came before me on my family tree.

Those who knew me personally in the past, know that I came from a broken home, and though it took some years to understand fully, I eventually "picked up the trail" of my family's history and traced and documented my lineage back through America's history to the mid 1600s.

It has been an amazing journey back through the pages of time. Each generation was studied in detail, learned from, and recorded, and what began as a small note book with the names of my birth grandparents, has now filled a book case of volumes on my family's history.

Along the way I met some amazing folks of the past that I could claim as my ancestors. Two gr. gr. grandfathers who fought in the Civil War for the Union, Irish immigrants fleeing the famine of Ireland for a better life here in America, a Country Doctor, a Printer, a Carriage Maker, Farmers and Homemakers, Railroad men and Hatters, even back to men who fought in the American Revolution and before that. I even found the Native American blood that I always though flowed through my veins and which I take great pride in, and most of all I learned from them all.

Over time The Broken Branch Historial Library was created, it's shelves filled with over a thousand books that I've collected over the years, and more than [200] 3 ringed binders of research that I've complied on the histories of the towns and people I've studied, and today the BBHL serves as a conduit for those across the country who find that their ancestral trail leads back to Connecticut & New England.

Of course this all didn't happen over night, and for about 18 years I ran a custom woodworking business, selling my product line across CT.They used to call me the "Noah's Ark Man" because I designed and sold a custom Noah's Ark Toy Chest that turned heads and proved to be a hot seller for years.Eventually my hands gave out and I needed to changed directions completely, which lead to my role today as a local historian.

In 2009 I was asked to serve on the Board of Directors for the DCA [Danbury Cemetery Assoc.], a request which I accepted and I was voted in offically by the Lot Owners earlier that spring for a 3 year term.

With a history dating back to 1851, the DCA cares for both Wooster Cemetery and the Great Plain Cemetery both in Danbury. Wooster is an amazing place both historically and in it's rare beauty with over 112 acres of land, and 40,000 graves covering the land. Sadly the place has been neglected and abused over the years and my role has been that of a restorer. I have studied in detail the founding fathers and their vision to create not only the most majastic cemetery in CT. but also what has grown to be an amazing inner city park for all to enjoy. I have also walked and hiked this land for years, photographing the changing seasons and the abundance of wildlife including Great Blue Herons, the Red Tail Foxes and their litter, and over 45 other species of wildbirds which call this place home. With woodlands, two ponds and 13 plus acres of wetlands, this place is a haven for God's creatures, just as the founding fathers must have imagined so long ago.

In 2009 I cleared the land of all the debris and dumping that has gone on unabated for years down there, and since have begun laying the foundation to what I believe is the future of Wooster Cemetery. 

Wooster Cemetery also has a very close connection to me personally. The first time I stood on it's hollowed ground was 50 years ago when I was 4 years old and we laid my grandfather Alexander Smith to rest there.
I don't remember the day, but I know I was there. A railroad man for more than 40 years, Alex and my grandmother Lucy took my dad in as a newborn in 1929 and then adopted my father as their [only] son in 1936, hence my last name Smith. Genealogy research into my family's past uncovered my bio- grandfather Herbert Robert Sayers, hence the addition of S. in David S. Smith to honor him as well. In 1973 my grandmother joined Alex, and in 1985 I lost my father and his ashes were place in the family plot there. In the last ten years my wife's grandmother and then her mother were laid to rest on a hill overlooking the ponds, and then in January of 09 I lost my sister Dianne and buried her with my dad, which was her last wish in life. So my role as a director goes to the very heart of who I am as a local historian, a man, and most importantly "the family historian".  

Take a walk through there some day and you will fall in love with the beauty and history of this land just as I did so long ago.

On another thought, my wife Emma & I took up hiking in 2008 and it changed my life.
Best day 8 + miles, best month 65 miles, so now it's a part of my daily routine.The wildlife and nature in our own back woods are simply amazing and if you were ever looking for a place to find peace of mind & to collect your thoughts, this is it. 

For those who'd like to drop me a note or two,my email is brokenbranchhl@att.net
Take Care,
David S. Smith

Interests/Hobbies:

History, Research, Writing, Hiking, Bird watching and Wildlife Photography, Gardening, Woodworking [but not as much any more], avid reader.

What are some of the more "unique" places you have visited?

With 4 kids to raise, a business to run, and an one hundred and seventy-five plus year old house to restore, there wasn't always the time or money to travel as I would have liked.

However as time went on, our kids grew older, the business ran smoothly and the old house finally stood proud once more.

There was finally the time to spread our wings.

We didn't get far though, Martha's Vineyard beckoned us one year long ago, and we fell in love with the place. Sailing, the cliffs, South beach, it's a world of it's own just hours away, and we spend a couple of weeks a year there when we can getting recharged.

Love MA and the Berkshires, and have many ancestors who came from there, and we try to take a long weekend drive up there when the leaves change over each fall just to take it all in.

My brother Bob and his wife and daughter live out in Iowa, and back in the late 70s we took a chance and moved there, that lasted two weeks, knew it wasn't for us so we headed back to CT with a new vision for our future.

Visited Alabama a few years back as well, the birthplace of my wife Emma, we visited family she had not seen since a child, visited departed loved ones at their final resting place to pay our respects, and made a few life long friends along the way.

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It's David S. Smith's birthday today.
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Oct 14, 2017 at 4:33 AM
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It's David S. Smith's birthday today.
Oct 14, 2016 at 4:33 AM