Cornerstone of new post office laid

By Lynne Watts | Oct 04, 2014

A search through Camden Herald archives revealed the following:

5 years ago, 2009

The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention announced that a second horse in Waldo County has died of Eastern equine encephalitis.

EEE is a virus that is transmitted through the bite of a mosquito that has picked up the virus by feeding on an infected bird. The disease was first detected in Maine in 2005 among some horses, mosquitoes and birds in York County.

Another horse that had died earlier in Troy was identified as having EEE. The horse that died last week was from Thorndike about five miles away. It was also not vaccinated.

25 years ago, 1989

It doesn't take more than a quick glance to see that there are not enough spaces in Camden's downtown and harbor areas, the only zones in which commercial parking is permitted, to accommodate all these parking needs. Grandfathering, that quick fix which only serves to perpetuate the problem, takes some of the pressure off but it is by definition limited.

The use of existing parking facilities in other zones has not received serious consideration, but according to Camden Code Enforcement Officer Bill Hodson, judicious and selective utilization of some of these could provide up to 260 more parking spaces for the town, enough to fill present needs and some future ones.

100 years ago, 1914

George Athearn, of Hope, who is blind, made the loads and stowed away 20 tons of hay, while haying this year.

Camden people take a great interest and pride in the new post office now being built was by the immense crowd, fully 2,000 that attended the cornerstone exercises. Well may our people feel proud, for this splendid government building will far outshine in every way any post office building in New England, in any town any where near the size of Camden.

A grand parade was held at 6:30, J. A. Brewster acting as marshal. The procession formed on Mechanic street in the following order, a platoon of police, Camden Band, Camden  Commadery K. T. Mt Battie Lodge of Odd Fellows, Olympia Company U.R.K. of P., carriages carrying the guests of honor. These were ex-congressman Littlefield, ex-postmasters, E.C. Fletcher, and G.T. Hodgman and F.J.Wiley, Rev. S.E. Frohock, William B. Hayes, superintendent of Construction representing the department, E.F. Conners, a member of the contracting firm of Conner Brothers, and Joseph Walsh, master workman. Postmaster Hobbs marched with the Knight Templars. The line of march was up around the soldiers monument then back through Main and Elm streets around the grammar school building and back via Pleasant and Wood streets and thence to the post office building.

George T. Hodgman, President of the Board of Trade presided. Rev. S. E. Frohock offered prayer. Judge Reuel Robinson was then introduced and holding up a metal box which was to be put under the cornerstone, announced its contents. The box is about 7 by 9 by 4-inches, made of copper and contains the following articles: a copy of Robinson's History of Camden and Rockport, a copy of The Camden Herald dated July 31, 1914, a 1914 town report, roster of the post office employees, photographs of the business section and some of the public buildings from Potter's studio and three printed slips containing a history of the Camden Post Office, the acts relating to securing the appropriation for the building and a brief word picture of Camden in 1914. On the cover of the box was cut the inscription "Made July 29 1914 by A. H. Parsons, Plumbing and Heating".

This cornerstone is on the northern corner on Chestnut Street. It is with the inscription stone and bears the following inscription cut in the granite:

William G. McAdob

Secretary of the Treasury

Oscaf Wendersoch

Supervising Architect

1912

The first postmaster was Joseph Eaton, an early settler of the town, who kept the post office in his house on the eastern side of the inner harbor near where the granite wharf of the Camden Yacht Building & Railway Company now is. The post office changed postmasters many times over the years and was at several locations throughout town before being established on Chestnut Street.

For quite a long period prior to July 1899, the Camden Post Office was a Third Class office, with receipts less than $8,000 and paying the postmaster a salary of $1,500 thereabout. On that date its receipts reached $8,080 and it was made a Second Class office and paid a postmaster's salary of $2,000. On July 1, 1906, the receipts of the office reached $40,000 and it was made a First class office, which it has remained ever since, the postmaster's salary at the present time being $3,100 per year and the receipts of the office for the year ending July 1, 1914, were $16,468.04.

The development of the office in recent years has been due to the growth of the town as a business and manufacturing place, to its development as a summer resort and to the natural increase of the postal business generally, but principally to the large business done through the mail by the Dr. D. P. Ordway Plaster company, one of the industries of the town.

This building was provided for by Congress as follows: In 1909, $10,000 were appropriated for the purchase of a post office lot. This was accomplished largely through the efforts of Hon. Charles E. Littlefield, member of Congress from this District. In 1910, $73,000 were appropriated for the construction of a post office building. In the summer of 1909 the property was purchased by the United States. The lot, on a portion of which there had been for many years a large livery stable, was bought of Georgiana Alden of Camden. The price paid for the lot was $9,500. The general contract for the building was let in 1913 to The Conners Brothers Company of Lowell, Mass., for $72,492; the balance of the appropriation to be used for furnishings. The foundation was laid in the fall of 1913 and the building is to be completed in the year 1914. this corner stone was laid Aug. 1, 1914.

Lynne Watts is employed with Courier Publications.

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