March 23, 2021

The Camden Public Library carries on its Maritime Month tradition this April, 2021, by hosting a series of dynamic online programs and featuring a month-long “virtual gallery” of vintage photographs from the library’s Walsh History Center Collection. The gallery show, “A Visual History of Camden Harbor,” will be complemented by a slide talk given by Ken Gross, director of the History Center at the library, on Tuesday, April 6, at 6:00 pm. The gallery will be available to view beginning on April 1 at librarycamden.org/event/a-virtual-history-of-camden-harbor. To request a Zoom link to attend the April 6 presentation, please email jpierce@librarycamden.org.

Photos courtesy of the Camden Public Library.The steamers Southport, Westport, and Minehola (Mineola) picking up passengers in Camden in 1913. Camden Harbor c. 1912. The shipyard on the far side has started working on the next ship; the Steamship Wharf is in the distance. (From the Barbara Dyer Postcard Collection.)

From fishing to shipbuilding, from lime burning to anchor building, the harbor was an essential resource to the economics of Camden, from colonial days to the present. The harbor was always an entry ramp to the freeway of the day — the high seas. With a boat it was easier to get to all of the islands in Penobscot Bay than it was to take a wagon to Hope; and a boat holds a lot more cargo, whether it was fish, firewood, salt, limestone, granite, lumber, or bushels of corn. Ken Gross’s entertaining and informative slide talk will employ the earliest charts available as well as photographs from the earliest days of photography. Images will show the sequence of changes to Camden Harbor as it accommodated the evolving series of industries in Camden.

Maritime Month is generously supported by Camden Riverhouse Hotel & Inn. For more information about all of the programs in the Maritime Month series, visit librarycamden.org.

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