Capt. Albert W. Rich

By Barbara Dyer | Oct 13, 2016
Capt. Albert W. Rich

As I wrote information and stories about the people at Mountain View Cemetery, who made Camden, and actually had two books of "Who's Who at Mountain View" volumes I and II, one of the well-known people I failed to write about.

He was Capt. Albert W. Rich, who was captain of both yachts, Lyndonia, owned by Cyrus Hermann Kotzschmar Curtis. Mr. Curtis, rose from paper boy to an internationally-known tycoon, and was known for publishing The Ladies Home Journal and The Saturday Evening Post. With Capt. Rich at the helm, the Lyndonia sailed everywhere including Camden Harbor from 1907 to 1926. The Lyndonia were a sight to behold in Camden. They were larger than life and hired many Camden men for a crew.

Capt. Rich was born June 12, 1857, the son of Capt. Moses Rich of Bucksport and Sarah Doir of Deer Isle. He retired only three years before he died on Jan. 17, 1929.

He bought the property at 110 Elm St. in Camden, where Quarry Hill is now located. Soon after, Albert Bennett, the chief engineer on the Lyndonia bought the home across the street at 115 Elm. They had known each other for many years and were good friends. In fact, Capt. Rich married Bennett's sister, Hellene Annette in 1880, at her parents home in North Bucksport. They had no children and after Hellene in died in 1904. Capt. Rich went to Boston to live and worked on two other yachts.

Capt. Rich later married Alice Mae (Greenlaw) Parris, the daughter of Capt. Eben Ezer Greenlaw of Oceanville and Mary Amarjorie McCoy of Nova Scotia. Alice Mae had first married Capt. John Parris and had a son Russell Parris and a daughter Helen Marjorie Parris, both of whom were crippled. Capt. Rich and Alice Mae had a daughter Alice, who married Frank Connell. The had a son, Dyer Connell and a daughter, Penny Connell. Those grandchildren of Capt. Rich both married, Dyer to Sandra Lee Goodwin and second to Carol Riley. Penny Connell married David Brodie.

The lovely old brick home at 110 Elm St. has been there many years. I was in it when the Robert Laite family lived there and Mrs. Laite sold it in the early 1980s, after her husband had died and her four children were grown up and married. Attached to the house and barn was an old building for an apartment. When Quarry Hill was moving in, they were going to remove the attachment. We looked at it and felt it may have been a home of one of the first settlers, so we talked with Quarry Hill not to move it until it was separated and we could see, because if it were an old first settlers home, we wished to have it preserved. Well, it turned out to be only a part of an old house because there was no ovens, chimney or indication of anything for cooking and heat. They were very cooperative to wait. I believe the man who owned a cape nearby was given or was sold the partial house. The large barn had been remodeled by the Laites to use for an office in their funeral business.

The Laites also had a pond in back of their home and plenty of land. The Health Care Facility had been in a three-story building there and also before that in the 1960s Camden Community Hospital was built. Soon after Penobscot Bay Medical Center was built in Rockport and Camden doctors began to go there to a larger, better equipped place. So the Camden Hospital, that everyone worked so hard to have, became offices for doctors in the lower level and Camden Health Care Facility was above for several stories.

A woman became the CEO of the Health Care Facility and decided the place was not cost efficient. I went there many times after I retired in 1986 from Wayfarer Maine Co., Inc. I thought it was a great place for the many people I knew and got to know. But it was sold to Quarry Hill and torn down. They built small duplex houses, as well as the main building for assisted living and skilled care units ,and some apartment on the third floor of the main building.

Capt. Rich's home and land has seen many changes since he once lived there.

Credit for much of the information on Capt. Rich goes to Professor Albert Bennett III, and his years of research while making the wonderful book, "Lyndonia Collection."

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