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

  • Mount Vernon Street
    Mount Vernon Street, named after the home of George Washington, was previously known as Jordan Street and Chew Street.
  • Betty Jean Turner
    Betty Jean Turner was born on August 12, 1944, in Metter, Georgia, to Willie Pearl and H.S. Turner. The Turner family eventually migrated north and settled in Penns Grove, New Jersey, where Betty received her formal education. Later, she moved to Camden, New Jersey, where she… Read more: Betty Jean Turner
  • Bowman Matlack
    Bowman Matlack was a well-known figure in South Camden. According to the 1880 Census, he lived with his wife Priscilla and their three daughters at 635 South 5th Street. The Matlacks had six children in total, but by 1910, only three were still living. In 1880,… Read more: Bowman Matlack
  • Salute to Broadway Eddie
    The honorable Mayor of Camden, Gwendolyn A. Faison announces a “Salute to Broadway Eddie,” Thursday June 26th between 11:00am until 3:00pm on Martin L. King Blvd and Broadway. The Mayor will honor Edward Warhoftig, known to most throughout the region as “Broadway Eddie,” for over 38… Read more: Salute to Broadway Eddie
  • Edward Warhoftig
    Born in Philadelphia, Edward Warhoftig, better known as “Broadway Eddie,” opened a record store at Broadway and Mickle Street in 1966. Remaining in the city when many other merchants left, Broadway Eddie and his stores, which included a men’s wear and dollar store, became a Camden… Read more: Edward Warhoftig
  • Bishop George V. Murry
    Bishop George Vance Murry, S.J., was born in Camden, New Jersey, in 1948. After graduating from Camden Catholic High School, he attended St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1972, he entered the Society of Jesus, commonly… Read more: Bishop George V. Murry
  • Thomas J. Francis
    Thomas J. Francis was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on May 6, 1831. He moved to Camden in 1850, where he lived for most of his life. Around 1853, he married his wife Catherine, and they had three children: a son, Edward, followed by daughters Frances and… Read more: Thomas J. Francis
  • Bruce A. Whittick
    Bruce A. Whittick, also known as Bruce A. Whittick-Leary, was born in Camden, New Jersey, on December 12, 1947. He briefly served in the United States Air Force from July 1, 1967, to September 1, 1967, before receiving an honorable medical discharge. On January 24, 1975,… Read more: Bruce A. Whittick
  • Erie Street
    Erie Street in North Camden extends from Beach Street to 9th Street. The streets that intersect — or once intersected — Erie Street include Delaware Avenue, Point Street, Front Street, Segal Street, and the numbered streets from 2nd through 9th.
  • Dallas Road
    Dallas Road is a one-block street that begins at 3022 Tuckahoe Road and runs west to 3001 Fenwick Road. It has only one house with a Dallas Road address: 915 Dallas Road. This street first appeared in Camden’s City Directories in 1927, with the first occupied… Read more: Dallas Road
  • Davis Street
    Davis Street runs southeast from a point north of Sheridan Street, intersecting with Copewood Street, and continuing until it ends at Ferry Avenue. Although Davis Street was not residential, it hosted several significant businesses and institutions in Camden. In the 1960s, following the opening of the… Read more: Davis Street
  • Orris W. Smith
    Orris W. Smith was born in Camden on September 8, 1920, to Edward and Catherine Smith. The 1924 City Directory lists the family at 1113 Carpenter Street. By 1929, they had moved to 2827 Concord Avenue in Cramer Hill, and by April of the following year,… Read more: Orris W. Smith