To Darcé Easton, it's all a matter of history

July 03, 2007|By JANET HEIM

Editor's note - There are a lot of people you see around town that you recognize, but don't know anything about. People like...

Darcé Easton

Age - 77

Hometown - Boonsboro

Where would you see Easton? - You may see Darc (Palmer) Easton at the information desk of Washington County Hospital, where she's volunteered for about 19 years and 4,000 hours or at the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum, where she's chairman of the board.

Easton is also docent at the Miller House, on the board of the Museums and Historical Sites of Washington County committee and belongs to Friends of South Mountain Battlefield and has been a board member for the Community Action Council for the past 15 years.

"My family firmly believed if much is given to you, much is given back. I grew up with the atmosphere where you take care of other people," Easton said.


Other than her work at the hospital, Easton's volunteer work has a common thread - history. She attributes her love of history to growing up in Washington Monument State Park, where her father was the first superintendent.

Born in Clear Spring, Easton was 6 years old when her family moved to a state house provided in the park. She said her older brother, who was 9 at the time, had a harder time leaving friends and didn't like the isolation.

Easton, on the other hand, thrived surrounded by the history.

"History has been my interest for years. I don't read a book unless it's related to history," said Easton, who graduated from Boonsboro High School in 1948.

Easton's father was a World War I veteran and she met her husband, Ernest Easton, at the American Legion in Boonsboro. The couple were married for 37 years before his death 20 years ago.

Darc Easton said her husband had major health problems, which they attributed to his service in World War II. He was in the U.S. Army Medical Corps and helped clean up the concentration camps and was in the aftermath of the atomic bomb in Japan.

The Eastons had two children and as Ernest's health began to fail, the doctor told Darc that she needed to start thinking about how she was going to support her family. Darc, who had given up a scholarship at Towson University to get married, went to what was then Hagerstown Junior College so she could become a teacher.

She then began going to summer school at the University of Maryland in College Park. Her parents lived close to the Goddard Space Center, so would watch the children for her while she had classes.

It took nine years, but she finally earned a degree in early childhood education and began teaching third grade for Washington County Public Schools. Easton retired 15 years ago, after 26 years as a teacher.

Easton, who has lived at South Pointe for nine years, got involved with the Rural Heritage Museum because they needed someone to help them with children's programs.

She is also a licensed lay speaker at her church, Mt. Lena United Methodist Church in Boonsboro.

Hobbies - "I love to quilt. I've solved more of the world's problems with a needle and thread," Easton said with a laugh. "It's a passion as much as a hobby." Her favorite quilt is the white-on-white quilt on her bed. She's quick to make quilts for wedding presents and for her two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, as well as pieces she donates to community groups.

"I'm always doing something. I've never been able to give myself permission not to be busy," Easton said.

What does Easton like best about Washington County? - "I love the diversity - the mountains, the hills. Washington County is Maryland in miniature. I love the change of seasons and the geographics," Easton said.

If you know anyone in the community who might make an interesting Our Town feature, contact Janet Heim at 301-733-5131, ext. 2024 or e-mail

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