First issue of The Camden Herald

By Barbara F. Dyer | Jul 15, 2017

One thing we cannot get along without is the local paper, The Camden Herald.

It was started long ago on Saturday, Jan. 30, 1869 because we wanted to know what was going on. What was in it has changed over the years but the paper is still wanted. It was published by William H. Berry once a week for $1.50 a year and adverting was inserted for $1 a square for three times and 20 cents a square for each additional insertion. Communication only needed to be addressed to William Berry, Camden, Maine. No street or zip codes were necessary. The town was so small that everyone knew every one, without bothering with street addresses.

The replica of the issue of the paper was made possible in 1941 by the merchants in Camden, who contributed to the cost of the souvenir copy of the first issue of our paper.

However I want to write about The Historical Sketches mentioned. They did not need to number the pages in the paper, as there were only four. Life was so simple. The first and last page told much about streets and places on them, that I found was very interesting, so you might be also, as it was 148 yeas ago in Camden. I have brought some up to date, but impossible to get all the businesses that have been there.

Elm and School Streets is where political campaigns of the 1840 rallies were held there on the corner.

On Bay View Street (next to the Camden Yacht Club of today) was the site of the Jacob's Lime Kilns and this section of town was then called “Hogansville." That is where A. L. Anderson had a marine store, and later Wayfarer Marine bought it for Harborside West for small boats, motors and marine-related business.

On 6 Wood St. is a lovely house, built by Oakes Perry in 1821, as he had started a business in town in 1816. When Capt. Jesse Hosmer lived there, the first library was started in his wife's kitchen. After it was occupied by many, including Ephraim Wood, Dr. Howard Appolonio, Nancy Akers, Mr.and Mrs . Cary Bok and several others.

At 29 Elm St., many small businesses occupied this spot. In the store was shone the first moving pictures in Camden and the title was “A Trip to the Moon.” I think was later a pool parlor, etc., by some people from Greece. In 1916, it was ice cream and candy owned by Salim Ayoube. He sold it to Tony Arico, when Sammy was going into the service in World War I. Tony also had a barbershop there. He sold it to Sterling (Buck) Hastings for a newsstand for many years. There have been many small lunch rooms in the small building near the Opera House, that have changed hands often. There have been various businesses since that time, and the Hastings building was removed when Rite Aid Store went in.

Free Street was named that because the Richards family (first settler) gave the town the land for the street. The entrance to Pearl Street was laid out with a gate, entrance to “Crooker's Lane” leading to the Richard's Cemetery on the lane. The bodies were removed to Mountain View Cemetery by Mr. Harry Richards, the mailman, when he built a house on the property. Today Pearl Street is known for Halloween, as all the children from town and out of town gather because there are many houses close together and it now has a reputation “for the place to go.”

At 11 Main St., a jewelry story occupied the ground floor, Hervey C. Allen, Agent for the for the Commercial Union Assurance was there. Actually W. W. Perry started the business in the Roberts Business Block in 1866. While in 1880 J. H. Montgomery's law office was on the second floor, before the Great Fire. Allen Agency was there for many years and apartments on the four top floors. Now there is a nice candy, coffee and flower shop on the ground floor of the “Traveler's Building. The business is called Lily, Lupine and Fern and a wonderful place to shop.

In the Masonic Temple Building, G. W. Achorn Department store was there since 1838, when George Pendleton opened a dry goods store on this spot. It remained as such as Follensbee, Achorn's, Wood, Elwell, Hall until taken over by the Kelley family as Achorn's for many, many years. Stuart Smith bought the building for Lord Camden Inn and Candy Harbor and Rockport Blueprint occupied the ground floor, for several years.

30 Pearl St. was the Baroness Beauty Parlor, Mrs. Jane A., Mathews, proprietor. This land was formerly owned by the Richards and Horton families. At one time there were three Horton families on this street; one on the corner of Pearl and Norwood and another in the house once owned by Leo Strong, a mailman on the corner of Pearl and Willow.

At 17 Elm St., on the lot in the rear of this plot was a plum orchard, owned by Dr. Jacob Patch, whose house was located on the site of The Camden Hardware Store on Mechanic Street He lived there from 1806 to 1846. One morning finding that Camden boys had stolen all his plums, he took an axe and cut down the trees. Baldwins Dry Cleaners was located on 17 Elm St. for many years and I remember it in the 1940s.

At 20 Bay View St., was Ayers Fish Market, started by Samuel Ayers and his grandson George Ayers since 1875. The Fish Market was later located on Main Street next to Harbor Park, run by Aubrey Young and son, Stuart Young. Aubrey's mother, Ruth, was married to Ayers and later to Young. When, after many years they went out of business, a cotton T-shirt business went in. At Aubrey's market he always had a bowl of chowder going and many men sat around a barrel to have lunch and discuss town politics. It was an icon and he fed many town people when they could not afford to eat. Some town characters, who couldn't hold a job, or old people, Aubrey made sure they ate, and Parker Laite made sure they had a little work for spending money. They were so good to Camden people.

There are so many places in town that it will probably take up a few more articles. All businesses may not be mentioned, but if you were left out, let me know. I will do the best I can since 1869, but some come and go in a short while, so I will miss some.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | Jul 15, 2017 15:43

You sure got a lot in, for this article and it was so familiar and yet news to me. Before my time! I loved reading about the generosity of Aubry Young I am sure it takes place now but quietly. But to read of the generosity of the times was heartwarming. Once again Barbara, Great article!

Mary "Mickey" (Brown) McKeever



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