Camden is a town in Knox County, Maine, in the Rockland metro area. It has been called one of the most beautiful coastal towns in of New England and annually attracts thousands of visitors worldwide throughout the seasons.
Camden’s early prosperity came from shipbuilding and ship provisioning. In the mid 1800s, the Megunticook River provided water power sites for sawmills and gristmills in and around Camden. By 1858, the town had carriage factories, sash and blind factories and blacksmith shops and six shipyards, launching 10 to 12 vessels annually. By 1886, the town also made foundry products, railroad cars, woolens and paper mill feltings, anchors, wedges, boots and shoes, leather, flour and meal, corn brooms and barrels. Camden was second only to nearby Rockland in the lime manufacture.
The city was named for Charles Pratt, Earl of Camden, an English lawyer and judge and the first to hold the title of Earl of Camden. He who sympathized with the colonists during the Revolution. Camden's 19th century prosperity endowed it with fine architecture and combined with its mountain backdrop and schooner cruises, makes the seaport a favorite site for . boaters and vacationers.
- Carousel (1956)
- Peyton Place (1957)
- Casper (1995)
- Thinner (1996)
- In the Bedroom (2001)
Camden was the childhood home of Edna St. Vincent Millay, American poet and playwright and second woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for poetry. She wrote her first major work, Renascence there in 1912.
At the highest point on Main Streets sits the Camden Public Library, a long rectangular Colonial Revival structure built in 1928.
The downtown area along Main Street (Route 1) includes many shops and restaurants. In the 1950s, artists and writers began moving to Camden. Local artists organized Maine Coast Artists in Rockport. Wayne Doolittle began publishing the popular New England magazine, Down East, from a Bay View Street house in 1954.
In the early 1980s, Camden was named one of the 10 places to retire, attracting doctors, diplomats, corporate executives, and authors.
The morning we visited, Camden was a bustling town.A word of caution if you are thinking of visiting Camden; lodgings can be costly if you plan to stay in one of the numerous lodgings near the city. Many are quite costly as Camden’s biggest draw is its harbor; many of these places advertise water views – at a price. Instead, select accommodations outside the city and drive in for the day. You can spend $$$ saved on dining at a restaurant with a water view.