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.

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

Latest Posts

  • Kolo Street
    Kolo Street is a one-block street that runs south from opposite 1131 Sheridan Street, ending at Van Hook Street. There are three brick twin homes on Kolo Street, resulting in six addresses.
  • Jane Street
    Jane Street, occasionally known as Jayne Street, was a small, street in Camden, NJ, running south for one block from 1062 Line Street to Pine Street. Located just east of Haddon Avenue, it was a notable part of the city’s layout in the late 19th and… Read more: Jane Street
  • Edwin A. Stevens School
    430 South 4th Street The two Stevens brothers, Robert L. and Edwin A. Stevens, owned a large tract of land south of the railroad, now Mickle Boulevard, which they divided into building lots around 1840. Stevens Street, located on their land, bears their name. Edwin A.… Read more: Edwin A. Stevens School
  • Alfred Cramer Elementary School
    2800 Mickle Street, Camden, NJ In 1913, the Eastside Elementary School was built in the 2800 block of Mickle Street during the administration of Mayor Charles H. Ellis. At this time, Camden’s longtime Superintendent of Schools, Dr. James E. Bryan, oversaw the construction of many new… Read more: Alfred Cramer Elementary School
  • William J. Sewell School
    700 North Seventh Street Northeast Corner of North 7th & Vine Streets The William Joyce Sewell School was built as an outcome of a July 1902 decision of the Camden Board of Education that a new school, designed by architect Arnold H. Moses, be built on… Read more: William J. Sewell School
  • Central School
    Central School’s roots trace back to Camden’s earliest days of public education, named for its location in the Middle Ward, one of Camden’s original three wards before the 1871 Charter. In 1877, Camden’s Board of Education decided to replace the old school at South 4th Street… Read more: Central School
  • Girard Place
    Girard Place was a small, dead-end street that extended east from 916 St. John Street in Camden. First appearing in the Camden City Directories in 1890, Girard Place initially featured eleven homes. The street was later extended to connect with Newton Avenue after the demolition of… Read more: Girard Place
  • Gold Street
    Gold Street was a small, somewhat secluded street situated between South 8th Street and Silver Street, just south of Line Street in Camden. Accessible only via Silver Street by wagon or automobile, Gold Street and its neighboring Silver Street first appear in the historical record with… Read more: Gold Street
  • Milton Street
    Byron Street, Burns Street, and Milton Street in North Camden have an intertwined history that traces back to the late 19th century. According to the 1890-1891 directory, only a few homes existed on Milton Street, indicating that development started at the ends of Byron Street and… Read more: Milton Street
  • Riley Street
    Riley Street ran south from 419 Washington Street for one block to Berkley Street. It featured ten two-story brick rowhouses, five on each side, numbered 431 to 440. The lot of the E. A. Stevens School backed against the houses on the east side of Riley… Read more: Riley Street
  • Simmons Court
    Simmons Court is one of Camden’s “lost streets.” Prior to 1863, Henry Simmons, described in the Camden City Directories of that year as “colored” and working as a seaman, acquired a parcel of land comprising the three lots that would become 240, 242, and 244 Division… Read more: Simmons Court
  • Grant Street
    Grant Street was named after Ulysses S. Grant, the Civil War hero and 18th President of the United States.