Clara Barton's D.C. home and office may be converted into museum





Richard S. Lyons was a carpenter checking on the decrepit building that had fallen into the hands of the government. He was alone, and it was raining. He had gone to the vacant third floor of the structure in downtown Washington, when he heard a noise.

He looked around but found nothing. He heard it again - like something moving around - in another part of the warren of crumbling rooms. Again, he found nothing. Then, as he tells it, he thought he felt a tap on his shoulder.

He turned around. Glancing up, he spied an old envelope hanging from a hole in the ceiling. It was message from the past - an entree of sorts into a lost story of the famous Civil War nurse and Red Cross humanitarian Clara Barton.

Fourteen years later, the forgotten place that Lyons found that rainy day in 1996 might soon become a museum honoring the legendary war-time figure, in the building where she once lived and ran her Civil War "missing in action" office....


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