Many interesting things have happened in Camden over the years, and perhaps, just perhaps, you never heard about them. So I shall skip around some years to tell you that Camden wasn't always without incident.

In 1954 some New Yorkers were busted here. Some uninvited visitors decided to obtain new wardrobe – without paying for them. Three if them entered Haskell & Corthell's store shortly after noon. While one asked to look at a special hat, the other two wandered to the men's suit rack, and began selecting men's clothes. Then they crossed the street to Hodgman's. Archie Bailey was in the back of the store and approached them. They headed for the front door. Archie followed them to their car and noted the New York license plate. He called the state police and they set up road blocks. They found them near Augusta with eight suits in the car, two identified as from Haskell & Corthell's, and two from Hodgeman's. They had to appear before Judge Dwinal, who fined them $50 each and a six-month jail sentence.

In 1925, Rev. Holt challenged the KKK for burning a cross on Mt. Battie. He read the Klan creed that had three points: respect for law and order; attitude toward church and the fiery cross as a symbol. He said that wearing a hood was alright as all secret societies did that. The second, the right to worship God, as one sees fit, was in the world long before the Klan was ever thought of. For the third, bigotry, he quoted that the Hebrew race kept apart from the others, and said the leading Jewish author was the most noted of agitators. Rev. Holt said that he was not a Klansman, but could see nothing wrong in the organization. Wow!

In 1933 for the first time in eighty years, real beer would be legal merchandise in the state of Maine. It would flow in by ship and carload. The Eastern Steamship Lines reported that the first cargo would leave Boston on the “Boston Boat,” Belfast, June 30. It would be part of the freight on every trip, sending six or seven carloads, in addition to the regular freight, and would load the boats to capacity.

In 1984, there were many Camden businesses that had existed at least 25 or more years, from 1792 to 1958. They were awarded plaques that year, but today is quite a different story.

In August of 1919, there was a large “Welcome the Boys Home” parade from World War I. Tuesday was a half-holiday with stores and mills closed. Band concerts began about 2 o’clock, and at 4 o'clock was the grand parade. After the parade, soldier boys took position on the lot opposite the opera house, and the Honorable Reuel Robinson presided. A flag was presented to the newly-organized Arey-Heal Post of the American Legion. Afterward, the soldiers and sailors were served a buffet lunch in the opera house. In the evening, there was a street carnival in front of the Post Office. Music was furnished by the Camden and Vinalhaven bands. It was free to all.

In 1905, there was a paragraph, “Why Most Women Do Not Succeed in Business.” According to that, women have to think differently, have energy and get attention. “I think that a day is close at hand when women will have to be reckoned with in almost every kind of endeavor. The majority of girls are to prone to consider themselves inferior to men in the business pursuits. They are satisfied to be slaves to a daily grind that has no future.” Looking at today, I guess they had another thought coming.

If you were grocery shopping in 1959, you would have paid:

Roasting chicken, 33 cents a pound

Smoked shoulder, 37 cents a pound

Ground beef, two pounds for 89 cents

Saltines, two Number-One boxes for 57 cents

Canned milk, three for 43 cents

Large eggs, one dozen for 49 cents

Navel oranges, one dozen for 69 cents

Canned veggies, two for 35 cents

In 1881:

Wilder W. Perry was editor and publisher of the Camden Herald and it cost $2 per year.

The Knox & Lincoln Railroad was offering tickets from Boston to Rockland for $3.50.

Chestnut Street was the area's largest dealer in coffins, caskets and grave clothes.

T. R. Simonton had gone lecturing in York County on temperance.

As for the Postal Department, for 20 cents a letter was sent from Topeka, Kan. and arrived in Camden four days later.

A lime cask team tipped over, while turning the corner of Carleton Norwood & Co., sending the casks all around the square.

If anyone needed cures for certain ailments, one of the all-time greats was Malt Bitters. One dose would cure you of mental and physical exhaustion, nervousness, hysteria, night sweats, sleeplessness, cough, emaciation and decline.

Readers are probably not aware that there was a fine for not having bells on horses. Any person found guilty forfeited no less than $1 or more than $20.

In September, work began joining Main Street and Sea Street. It is now Atlantic Avenue.

A letter was received at the Camden Herald Office, that President Garfield had died, after a long battle to survive after being assassinated.

In Lincolnville, a traveling doctor who called himself Sherman, spent some time at the beach. He left town, it had been said, on account of being too intimate with a woman. He turned up in town again and a group of men and boys dragged him out of bed, blacked his face and threw rotten eggs at him. He drew a revolver on them but was taken away. By the sheriff’s order he was taken to the Belfast jail.

Yes, things have always happened around Camden, but it was much quieter than today.

Barbara F. Dyer has lived all her life, so far, in Camden and is the official town historian.