The year was 1927 and the future had hardly ever looked brighter for the City of Camden. Times were prosperous, business and industry were booming, and the city was full of recently constructed public buildings, civic improvements, schools, the new Delaware River bridge and its new highway to the suburbs. The stock market crash of 1929 and the Depression that followed were in the unimagined future.
It was in these times that Camden prepare for its 100th anniversary, and in this spirit of optimism that the city fathers under the direction of Mayor Winfield S. Price commissioned the booklet whose text you will find below.
Centennial Mirror of the City of Camden, NJ
Published in the interest of a growing city, nineteen twenty-eight.
THE City Commissioners of Camden extend their Greetings to all citizens of the City, State and Nation who may visualize the Camden of Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, through this volume which is dedicated to the Cause of Civic Progress.
A Citizen of Camden, N.J., was in conversation recently at Washington, D.C. with a man who is a national figure in business and politics.
Of course the conversation turned on Camden.
“You have one of the finest cities in the country from the standpoint of opportunity,” said the national figure.
“I know it,” responded the Camden citizen, and then he continued, “You are a man who meets with the leaders of the nation. You are prominent throughout the country. Do you ever tell anybody who is not from Camden, that Camden is a city of real opportunity?”
“Well, of course you understand,” replied Mr. National Figure, “It would hardly do for me to preach Camden’s virtues to the people of my home city. What I say to you is in the nature of a confidence from a resident of one city to a resident of another, but you know· how I feel toward Camden when I speak of the opportunities for growth among growing cities.”
That’s the story.
If Camden doesn’t tell the rest of the country about Camden, the other fellow isn’t going to.
Camden this year completed its first hundred years as an incorporated city. A fitting and conservative celebration was conducted by the city. Thousands of Camdenites learned more about their city.
But celebrations soon cake their place on the shelf with the records of things past. Something permanent should remain. Thus this Centennial Mirror devoted chiefly to telling the things about Camden that the other fellow wouldn’t tell for us.
ALBERT A. HAUGH
Read More from the Centennial Mirror
The Camden Kiwanis Club is a Civic organization with activities centering about certain objectives, some of which are the underprivileged children, the promotion of an intelligent citizenship, the practice of the Golden Rule in business, the fostering of better relations between the employer and the employee, and between the farmer and the city resident.
Automobiles brought about the modern highways of today and no section of the country has responded to the demand for good roads more completely than has South Jersey.
It was in 1631 that the Dutch Commander, De Vries, while sailing up the “De La Warr” River, discovered a verdant island at the spot where Camden now stands. This he named Jacques Eylandt, and the river afterward was named after Lord De La Warr, its discoverer, the Delaware.
Camden this year marked the centennial anniversary of its incorporation as a city. One hundred years ago our population was 1143.
It is the duty of the Revenue Department to appraise the financial needs of the municipality and then to raise necessary funds through taxation, but this must be done with strict adherence to the policy of keeping to a minimum the burden placed on the taxpayer.
Camden is boastful of the fact that loss to citizens through acts of criminals is virtually nil, while the. Fire Department through a period of several years has held down the fire loss rate to a point which ranks as one of the lowest for any city its size in the nation,