Blaine Street holds a unique place in the historical landscape of Camden, with a history dating back to the late 19th century. Originally, this street stretched from 424 South 7th Street all the way to Trenton Avenue, offering a thoroughfare that facilitated movement through the neighborhood. Remarkably, it continued onward, connecting to Haddon Avenue, culminating at 429 Haddon Avenue. Notably, along its northern side, Blaine Street was lined with houses that extended from South 7th Street to Trenton Avenue.
On the southern side of Blaine Street, a distinctive feature was the presence of homes that faced New Street. This street ran parallel to Blaine Street, spanning the distance between South 7th Street and Trenton Avenue. It was a neighborhood characterized by its residential ambiance.
However, over time, Blaine Street underwent transformations. In recent years, one significant change has been the closure of the exit onto Haddon Avenue. This adjustment in the street layout has affected the flow of traffic and access in the area. Additionally, an intriguing detail is that no houses stand on Blaine Street today, marking a significant departure from its residential past.
Blaine Street, in its original configuration, also harbors an interesting intersection. Between South 7th Street and Trenton Avenue, it is intersected by an alley known as Edmunds Street. This alley adds to the unique layout of the neighborhood and its historical development.
The street’s name, “Blaine Street,” was bestowed upon it in homage to James Gillespie Blaine, a prominent political figure of his time. Blaine served as the Secretary of State of the United States on two occasions and was notably the Republican candidate for the presidency in 1884, although he was defeated by Grover Cleveland. During this era, Camden was predominantly a Republican stronghold, primarily due to influential local figures like General William Joyce Sewell.
Interestingly, James G. Blaine’s name was not confined to street nomenclature alone. The James G. Blaine School, an educational institution situated at the southeast corner of North 23rd Street and Wayne Avenue in the Pavonia-Cramer Hill section of Camden, was also named in his honor. This school stood as a testament to the enduring legacy of James G. Blaine in the city’s history.
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* Green denotes former street location