They called her the ‘Fearless Princess’

By Taylor McClure, Special to The Record

The story of Elizabeth Agnes Wihona Joy isn’t widely known, but it sure is one for the history books. In December 1841, Joy was born in St. Armand West, a small village in the Townships straddling the Vermont border. Unsatisfied with rural living, she was always looking for more out of life and seeking adventure while growing up. While her story starts here, life took her on many twists and turns and she ended up finding herself in a position that some only dream of; that of a princess and a heroine. Let’s start from the very beginning. Elizabeth Agnes Wihona Joy was born to parents William Joy and Julia Willard on Christmas Day in 1841. In 1857, while in her teens, she left the family home to join a travelling circus and worked as their star equestrian. It wasn’t until their tour stop in Washington, however. that Joy started walking the tightrope and her talents really became noticed. She changed her stage name to Agnes Le Clercq in 1861. See full story in the Wednesday, Feb. 26 edition of The Record.

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