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The Stark family were part of St. Elmo's elite, a high-class group that attended church regularly. Anna was said to have been a humorless woman who severely controlled the children, believing that they were better than the other townsfolk - miners, railroad men, prostitutes and hard women. The children were rarely allowed to leave home, forbidden to attend local dances or social activities and had only each other for company. In 1890 a fire destroyed the business section and the town was never entirely rebuilt.
The survival of the town was largely due to the Stark family and their descendents, who remained the sole year-round residents for many years. According to local legend, perhaps at least one of them, Annabelle Stark, still keeps a ghostly watch over the town. (source)