Saturday, October 9, 2010

Jewel of Maine

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.

DSCN5206Camden’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 earl of camdenlawyer 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.

harbor collageHollywood has recognized Camden’s appeal; movies filmed there are:

  • 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.

library collageThe 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.

camden downtown collage1 The morning we visited, Camden was a bustling town.camden collage2A 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.


Lois Evensen said...

It's fun to continue the trip with you. You are doing a great job of producing travel information for the Chambers of Commerce in all these great places.

Montanagirl said...

Another informative post! It looks quaint and beautiful.

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful town! I love reading about these towns and their history! I would most probably never hear of them otherwise.

A view of the ocean and a beautiful harbor usually costs a lot, no difference in the rest of the world either :-) :-)

Have a great day now!

possum said...

Maybe it comes from having lived on an island with the Casco Bay only a few hundred feet from the house and a view of the harbor available 24/7, but I love nothing much more than to wake up and smell the breeze coming in off the harbor (or ocean) hearing the boats toot as they pull out from the dock or hearing the fog horn and bell buoys clang as I take that first sip of coffee. I don't care how much it costs, it would be worth it to me. If I want to wake up to traffic and farm equipment, well, here I am! AH, how I miss Maine!

HermitJim said...

I sure am glad you let me stow away for your trip to Maine! Never been there, but looks like a place I would enjoy seeing in person!

Thanks again!

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Greetings Lois, Mona, Christer, Possum and HermitJim - Grenville and I are glad you are travelling with us. It's great to have folks following along on our road trip, even if just in spirit. We're glad for the company!

But with all the side trips we are falling a little behind in posting and reading and commenting on some your blog posts. There's so many things to see and do that we find ourselves running short on time some days, but we will catch up soon.

Lois and Mona, my only "problem" is that sometimes I find out TOO many things and have to cut down.

Christer, you are so right about real estate near water being costly, no matter where or in what country you are looking.

Possum, hearing and seeing the water is great.

HJ, you are welcome as a stowaway anytime!

Elaine said...

Camden looks like a charming place to visit.

I found it really hard to keep up with everyone's blog while we were traveling. I felt happy if I managed to get a post done, although usually in the evening when we settled down there were a lot less distractions than at home. I do have lots of material for future posts though.

Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Elaine, Camden is charming and certainly very popular judging by the numbers of people that were walking about the sidewalks, which were a bit narrow in some places. Because of the beautiful harbor, we can imagine the summertime crowds. So we were glad to visit now.

Yes, keeping up with posting and reading blogs can get hectic when on the road. Thanks for understanding!

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