Welcome to Camden History

400 Block of Federal Street Postcard, circa 1890

Photo above is from the 400 block of Federal Street in approximately 1890.

Welcome to Camden History, unsurprisingly about Camden, New Jersey, a city steeped in history and brimming with stories that have left an indelible mark on the tapestry of America’s past. Situated on the banks of the Delaware River, Camden has a rich and complex history that spans centuries. From its indigenous Lenape inhabitants to the bustling industrial hub of the 19th and 20th centuries, and from its pivotal role in the Underground Railroad to its contributions to the birth of the recording industry, Camden has played a significant part in shaping the nation’s narrative.

Camden’s origins can be traced back to the early 17th century when European settlers first arrived in the region. Over time, it evolved from a quaint village into a thriving industrial center, earning it the nickname “The City Invincible” in the late 19th century. The city’s industries, including shipbuilding, manufacturing, and commerce, contributed to its growth and prosperity.

But Camden’s history is not just one of industry and commerce; it’s also a story of resilience, community, and cultural diversity. Throughout its past, the city has been home to waves of immigrants, each adding their unique traditions and flavors to the city’s vibrant cultural mosaic.

Join us on a journey through time as we explore the people, places, and events that have shaped Camden’s captivating history. From the waterfront to the neighborhoods, from famous figures to everyday citizens, we invite you to discover the hidden gems and untold tales that make Camden a city worth exploring and celebrating.

Whatever your interest, we invite you to join us, have a virtual coffee, subscribe to our email updates, and contribute your own insights and knowledge by registering and joining our community.

Remnants of Camden’s history are all around you if you know where to look!

Latest Posts

  • History of the First Methodist Episcopal Church
    Rev. John L. Lenhart went down with the ill-fated USS Cumberland, while Reverand Samuel Y. Monroe met his death by falling from a train.
  • First Methodist Episcopal Church
    Despite the name changes, it was, in fact, the original Methodist Episcopal church in Camden.
  • Carl Kisselman
    …he passed the examinations for admission to the New Jersey bar and, while still a student, began reading law under the direction of Albert S. Woodruff.
  • Wilfred L. Dube
    Although he left school after the eighth grade, he was self-educated and well-read. In 1926, not yet 21 years old, he graduated from the New Jersey State Police Academy.
  • Byron P. Cobb
    Byron Cobb, already engaged in the canvas business, specialized in canvas awnings for homes and businesses.
  • Earl Stopfer
    During World War II, Stopfer and Jefferis gained citywide recognition for their efforts in selling $4,000,000 in war bonds and for their work with public and parochial school safety patrols.
  • Michael Tenerelli (aka Mickey Blair)
    Throughout the 1930s until his death in November 1941, Mickey Blair often made headlines for activities beyond the boxing ring.
  • Bowman Hendry McCalla
    Rear Admiral Bowman H. McCalla was born and raised in Camden, founding the Perseverance Fire Company in 1832 and marrying General MacArthur’s sister.
  • John A. Mather Jr.
    General John A. Mather Jr. had a distinguished military career, ascending from the rank of Private in the National Guard to Brigadier General.
  • Garrett Cowls
    In his time, Garrett Cowls was widely recognized as the father of baseball in Camden. He made an appearance as a player in a Philadelphia box score in 1865.
  • Dominick Oliveto
    Dominick Oliveto became involved in the numbers game, likely around 1927 while still working as a shipper and would become associated with Marco Reginelli.
  • Laets Lane
    Laet’s Lane is depicted as an unnamed alley in the 1891 Sanborn Map and, due to construction, was never completed and is essentially an alley.