Eva Clark – Circus Aerialist

Eva Clark circus
The only confirmed photo of Eva Clark. Cincinnati Post, Oct 4, 1906. Photo of periodical taken by Norris.

Eva Clark was a headlining aerialist with Cole Bros. World-Famed Triple Railroad United Shows at the time of her shooting in Staunton, Virginia on September 6, 1906. Her death remains one of the most mysterious and contested tales in the southern city’s history, a story that has been shaped, curated, and reconstructed by an incomplete collective memory. 

My research, in collaboration with Dawn Tucker, seeks to make sure that Clark is not only remembered for her tragic end, but as the vibrant, brave, and bewitching “queen of the air.” In researching Clark since 2003, I have been able to construct a nearly-complete timeline for Clark’s life, including her marriage to Lum Clark and the rise of her career before her untimely death in Staunton in 1906. 

Full research published in the 2020 article “Lore No More: Uncovering Eva Clark’s Rightful Legacy” published in Bandwagon: The Journal of the Circus Historical Society, Vol. 64, No. 3. (Print-only – click here to order a back issue)