Items For Sale

February 4, 2024

As we approach the end of a century, this new book looks back at over one hundred years of Camden’s and Rockport’s history, with photographs of the people, places, and events which have defined the proud and vibrant communities we know so well today. Author and local resident Barbara Dyer has collected over two hundred old photographs and postcards of Camden, Rockport, and the surrounding area which range from the late 1800s to the 1950s. These delightful images show buildings long gone and others which are still familiar features of the local landscape; they bring to life events both catastrophic and celebratory from the fascinating history of these beautiful coastal communities. Most of all, the photographs introduce us to the ordinary folk who lived, loved, worked, and had fun in these tight-knit towns: fishermen, sailors, store owners, teachers, schoolchildren, and hundreds of others whose lives are such an integral part of the story of Camden and Rockport.

The towns of Camden and Rockport have had a rich, intertwined history since the first settlements in the mid-1700s. Until 1891, they were one town, built on the abundant natural resources of coastal Maine. Many residents in the early 19th century were farmers that carved out a living from the soil, or fishermen that harvested the teeming waters of Penobscot Bay. As the towns grew, successful industries were established that sustained the communities through the mid-20th century. These included fishing, textile mills, lime manufacturing, an anchor factory, and shipbuilding. Majestic schooners were built in the shipyards, and businesses such as the Bay View House hotel, S.B. Haskell’s clothing store, numerous livery stables and harness shops, Joseph Brewster’s Shirt Manufactory, and Knowlton Brothers Foundry lined the main thoroughfares. In Rockport, the Shepherd Company supplied lime, and the Rockport Ice Company cut ice on Lily Pond to be shipped as far as the Caribbean. Read how these tight-knit villages, nestled “where the mountains meet the sea,” weathered fires and wars, celebrated the launches of massive sailing vessels, and welcomed summer “rusticators” who helped form a lasting legacy of arts, culture, and learning that continues to draw visitors today.