Closing in on 102 years of age, Frances Alexander Schipper has seen a century’s worth of change explode around her, from a world war to a Great Depression, to another world war, and then decades of economic prosperity. She has sailed the open seas on ocean liners, lived in Panama, and decorated cakes in New York City for national magazines.

Through it all, she danced and created great art. In a 2001 interview with Ellen Dyer, former archivist at the Camden Public Library, Schipper said she remained ready to dance.

“If anybody drives in the yard and wants me to do anything, I have my hat on ready to do!” she told Dyer, when she was 93 years old.

Schipper remains full of that gusto for life today, living in an apartment at Quarry Hill in Camden where she is surrounded by objects of art collected and created throughout her life. Her living room was cast recently in a warm, rosy glow as she settled into an arm chair conveniently close to her phone, which rings often with calls from family and friends.

On a cold winter night, Schipper was just as happy not to be outside. She doesn’t favor winter and would be happier aboard a cruise ship, but being a Maine girl through and through, she’ll put up with the weather, anticipating warmer air right around the corner.

Last week, Schipper received a certificate of recognition from the Camden Select Board, recognizing her for her dedication and devotion to the town, and honoring her as the oldest resident of Camden.

Born in 1908 on Willow Street, Schipper grew up in Camden, attended Elm Street School and then went off to Farmington Normal School to become a teacher. Those were the years before Camden High School had even been built. In some ways, Schipper’s childhood was not all that different from that of area children today — sliding was big then, as it is now, and the town had a big roller hauled by horses that flattened the snow.

In her childhood, the town would block off Chestnut Street to any traffic so the children could go sliding, and Schipper remembers starting on Limerock Street before getting a good head of steam going down around the corner to Bay View Street.

“Of course we weren’t allowed to do it,” she said in her interview with Dyer. “But we did it!”

There was skiing then, too. On Marshall Hill on John Street it was steep and there were always crowds of skiers there. And there was skating at the bog.

Schipper’s father, Frank Alexander, who was a ship’s blacksmith, organized Alexander’s Ragtime Orchestra, and Schipper, along with her sisters, had a grand time playing music and dancing. There was a bandstand at the intersection of Mechanic and Elm streets, and that’s where music would regale the citizens of Camden. There was a dance hall on Willow Street, and there were two more halls downtown. The Masons usually held a dance every month, and there were dances at the grange and at Oakland Park in Rockport. The region was dancing in the first decades of the 20th century.

“We danced everywhere,” said Schipper, in her 2001 interview. “We not only danced in Camden, but we went even as far as Monroe and everywhere. Whoever had a car would load it up with the dancers and away we would go!”

During the Depression, the Alexanders had big gardens and Schipper’s mother canned. Her father would go out to the country and buy half a cow or sheep. They made all of their own clothes, and Schipper remembers the first electricity, when the telephone was installed, and the first bathroom.

Schipper met her husband, Fred, and had her first date with him when they went up to Belfast and had a hamburger. She married Fred and spent the next 58 years at his side, living in Panama, in Groton and Sudbury, Mass., in Florida, and then in New Hampshire. After Fred died, she returned to Camden and has lived here since, coming full circle to a town that nurtured her, and now honors her.