Camden's summer cottages: Beauchamp Point

By Barbara Dyer | Aug 24, 2014
"Lyndonwood" owned by Cyrus H. K. Curtis, from the book "Glimpses of Camden" printed in 1916.

The last group in my history of “summer cottages” around Camden and Rockport is about the cottages on Beauchamp Point. It was the Council of Plymouth, England, who gave what we know as the Waldo Patent, to John Beauchamp and Thomas Leverett in 1629. It contained 30 square miles in this area. But they never did come here. I believe it was Leverett’s grandson who finally became owner. However, the name Beauchamp is known and Beauchamp Point was derived from that.

The Henry property with two and a half miles of shore frontage, and is about 200 acres. Everyone knows where the belted galloways of Scotland (or oreo cows) live, so turning left from Camden beyond the Aldermere Farm is Beauchamp Point. Early on it was called Beauchamp Neck, and in 1883 it was referred to as The McIntire Point.

Many lovely large summer cottages were built there. One was built by Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar Curtis of Wyncote, Pa. His home in Pennsylvania was named “Lyndon” and he called the one on Beauchamp Point “Lyndonwood.” He owned the largest yacht that came into Camden Harbor in the early 1900s. It was called Lyndonnia. Cyrus H. K. Curtis was a great benefactor to Camden and Rockport. He purchased the lime-kiln property on Bay View Street and built the Camden Yacht Club for his own, but soon made it a gift to “the inhabitants of Camden.” He was a self-made man and started publishing a newspaper at age 13. He owned the Curtis Publishing Company that published "Ladies Home Journal" and "The Saturday Evening Post," that many of you may still remember. The land had been purchased by 1904, but Mr. Curtis had not yet built the lovely summer home. Some of that land on Beauchamp Point had also been purchased by W. J. Latta and A.L. Wister, all of Philadelphia.

Mrs. Charles Henry owned “Orchard Farm” for her residence on the Point, and like Cyrus Curtis owned a very large yacht called Wissahickon. Other cottages on Beauchanmp Point at that time were “Overlook” and the “Balsams.” These belonged to the Henry Estate and were for rent in 1904.

By 1916 Mr. John Gribbel, also from Philadelphia, had his large summer cottage called,”Weatherend.” The outdoor furniture that was designed by Han Heistad, was so unique that a company “borrowed” the design and had a business of making furniture like it.

The “Spite House," owned by Donald Dodge, was moved by water from Phippsburg.

Another interesting note about Beauchamp Point, other than its beauty, is that is in 1916 the government made a testing course. The channel was eight miles wide and very deep, so they made it the official trial course, or speedway, where government war vessels were tested as to speed and sea-going qualities before acceptance. These waters were found to be the finest on the New England coast for this purpose, the great depth being more uniform, and the deep sea conditions more nearly approximated to than anywhere else.

Warrenton Park also should be noted. It is in Clam Cove (known today as Glen Gove, but once part of Camden. It consisted of 400 acres, adjoining the old Samoset Hotel property, and was in the Smith family for many years. It was kept as a national seashore park. It is your first left and left again as you leave Route 1 after going down the hill to Glen Cove. There were several homes located there by the Smith brothers., including Clifford Lodge. There was a well-known rumor around here. Smith said if Mr. Wolfe changed his name from Wolfe to Smith, he would leave the family the large home called “Clifford Lodge” and his money. That he did and we all knew Clifford Wolfe as Clifford Smith, with money to burn. In his later years, he changed his name back to Clifford Wolfe, so I believe the rumor was true. He lived in “Clifford Lodge" for quite a while. Later the Round Table Foundation used it for a place for their experiments and several couples lived there. One lady belonged to the Camden Women’s Club and our meeting was held there. The front hall was so large the whole club sat there for a concert.

I have covered the most of the cottages, other than a few on Elm Street, such as the Wilder Perry Homestead (now Margo Moore’s business), the “Boulder” located on Chestnut Hill and even “Thayercroft,” both owned by Miss M.S. Smart. “Thayercroft “ is now known as the “Peyton Place” house on Chestnut Street. I often wonder what Miss Smart would have thought of that, as she was a single lady and Principal at De Lancey School in Geneva, N.Y. Miss Smart had retired to her home on Chestnut Street when I was a teenager. On Halloween the boys always went for her fence. Boys did not act up in those days, except on Halloween.

I have covered most of them in the last few articles. So now you know the early “summer cottages” around Camden. (Thanks to my friend, John R. Prescott and his Glimpses of Camden.)

Barbara Dyer is Camden's official town historian. While she's officially retired from writing Who's Who, she often submits "just one more" column for publication.

"Weatherend," owned by Griffin Gribbel, from the book "Glimpses of Camden" printed in 1916.
"Thayercroft," owned by Miss Smart (now referred to as "The Peyton Place house"), from the book "Glimpses of Camden" printed in 1916.
Comments (1)
Posted by: Tobin Malone | Aug 25, 2014 09:49

Cyrus Curtis was also a huge contributor to the re-creation of General Henry Knox's "Montpelier" in Thomaston.



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