Historic Camden: Yorkie's Diner
Yorkie's Diner — "Where you can get the best food on the Maine coast" — was located at 44 Chestnut St.
Erskine York was born in Rockland in 1892. He began a career as "Yorkie the Clown" in 1926 and worked with Charlie Sparks Circus, Cole Brothers Circus and Ringling Brothers-Barnham and Bailey Circus, among others. He went into the restaurant business in Camden in 1944 but continued to make appearances as a clown at parades and other local events. He was known as a delightful and colorful character and storyteller.
Yorkie ran a hot dog stand on Elm Street before opening a restaurant on Chestnut Street, which became quite a destination. The diner's walls were covered with autographed photos of famous entertainers and from "Peyton Place," which was filmed in Camden in 1957. He published a cookbook of recipes from the diner. In 1958, he sold the Camden restaurant and moved to Camden Road — Route 1 — in Rockport, where he continued to run a hot dog and hamburger stand. He died on Oct. 16, 1966, and according to his obituary, on Oct. 18, "in respect to Yorkie's memory all business in Camden's Main Street observed half hour cessation from 2 to 2:30."