2013-01-03 / Front Page

Clarke family moves to Westfield, appreciates the friendly people

Couldn’t find housing in western North Dakota
By Terri Lang


The Clarke family purchased a home in Westfield because they were unable to find housing in the western part of the state. David and Tahnia have three children—Katelynn is 5 years old, Robert is 3 years old and Alexander is 10 months old. The Clarke family purchased a home in Westfield because they were unable to find housing in the western part of the state. David and Tahnia have three children—Katelynn is 5 years old, Robert is 3 years old and Alexander is 10 months old. David and Tahnia Clarke are happy they found a home in a small community, a good school for their children to receive their education and a caring neighborhood in which to raise their family.

The Clarkes purchased a home in Westfield this past summer. In 2010, they moved from Riverside, Calif., to New England, as David located a job with Northern Improvement with work in the Dickinson area.

David has ties to North Dakota as he lived in Taylor from 1991 to 1998. After graduating from Richardton- Taylor High School in 1998, he moved to Riverside, where he was born and lived for much of his youth. His mom lives in Richardton, and his dad lives in California. He has two brothers—one lives in California and the other in Georgia.


Tahnia Clarke sews baby booties made out of recycled diapers and offers them for sale through her business, Pickle Salad Creations. Tahnia Clarke sews baby booties made out of recycled diapers and offers them for sale through her business, Pickle Salad Creations. Tahnia was born and raised in Anaheim, Calif., and graduated from Jurupa High School in 1999. She worked as an account manager for Coca-Cola Company and as an accounts receivable manager for Daisy IT Supplies and Service. She also attended classes in computerized graphic arts and web design. Her dad and two sisters live in California, and her mom passed away several years ago.

The Clarkes had been renting a home in New England until this summer when the landlord decided to rent it to a relative.

“There really were not any homes available, at least none that were affordable,” David said.

When he heard of the home in Westfield for sale, he decided that even with the long commute, it would be worth having a nice, safe place to raise their family.


Five-year-old Katelynn Clarke loves attending Bakker School and thinks the bus ride is pretty fun, too. Five-year-old Katelynn Clarke loves attending Bakker School and thinks the bus ride is pretty fun, too. “We would have liked to have been a little closer to the Dickinson area but would not care to live in some of the areas in the western part of the state,” he said.

David has not been able to spend much time with his wife and children this past summer as he lives in Northern Improvement’s campground near Dickinson. Northern Improvement built a campground for their employees two years ago. Employees own their own campers, but the utilities are supplied by the employer.

“I wasn’t able to make it home much this summer as we worked 100 hours per week at times and had very few days off,” he said.

David is a grading foreman, and his crew has been working on a 17-mile road expansion project from South Heart to Fryburg. He now has some time off until March and is enjoying time with his family and working on home projects.

Tahnia is glad her husband is home, and he will have the opportunity, as she has had, to get to know some of the people in the area.

“Everyone here has been so awesome, very friendly and welcoming,” she said.

Tahnia especially appreciates the education her daughter is receiving at the Bakker School.

“They take care of her like she is family. They have even given her a ride home from school,” Tahnia said.

It is a very different place from their home in California.

“The traffic was horrible, the smog and the litter were terrible,” she said, “and, the economy and crimes were getting worse.”

She is grateful that their children are growing up in a safe place and surrounded by people who care about their surroundings.

Tahnia spends much of her time caring for their children and on crafts such as sewing and woodwork. She also does some photography, doing photo shoots of people and nature.

She has her own business called Pickle Salad Creations. Her five-year old daughter, Katelynn, gave her mom the nickname “Pickle Salad.” Pickle Salad Creations offers baby booties for sale made by Tahnia. The booties are made out of g-diapers (recycled diapers).

David takes some of the credit of the hand-sewn booties as he taught Tahnia to sew. He does a little bit of knitting himself and is presently finishing a baby blanket for their 10-month old son, Alexander. He has made a blanket for each one of their children. David also enjoys hunting and fishing.

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