Albert B. Bennett, Jr., Professor Emeritus at the University of
New Hampshire, has compiled a history of Cyrus H. K. Curtis
and his world-famous yachts in the book, Lyndonia Collection.
Highlights of this book will be presented in the Winter History
Series of the Camden Public Library in the Picker Room on
April 15, 2018.
Cyrus H. K. Curtis was born June 18, 1850, on the corner of
Brown and Cumberland Streets in Portland, Maine. At the
age of 11, he was selling newspapers on the streets of
Portland, and at age 13 he started publishing his own
newspaper, the Young American. It was a weekly
publication, and the first issue was sold on April 5, 1865 for
two cents a copy.
Cyrus Curtis brought his first Lyndonia to Camden
summers from 1907 to 1917, and his second Lyndonia
from 1921 to 1934. Deeds and descriptions of deeds in
this book chronicalize his purchase of land and buildings
for his 178- acre estate in Wyncote, PA, the purchase of
land and construction of the Camden Yacht Club, and the
purchase of land and buildings for his summer home at
Beauchamp Point in Rockport. The Lyndonia was the center of attraction for many Camden summer
activities. In June 1925, the state governors from around the country visited Camden for their annual summer
meeting. One of the special features of this visit was a trip from Bar Harbor to Camden on the Lyndonia.
At the age of 83, Cyrus Curtis finished his last trip on the Lyndonia, and passed away four months later at his
home in Wyncote, PA. At his funeral in Wyncote, the 40-voice Portland Men’s Singing Club sang Cyrus’ favorite
hymn, “Song in the Night”. During his lifetime, he was presented with many honors, and was formally received by
the Court of St. James.
Mr. Curtis died June 7, 1933, at his home in Wyncote, PA. He was a self-made man, who achieved success by
his own efforts, with neither wealth nor influence to aid him, and he became the owner of Curtis Publishing
Company, the largest publishing organization in the world.
Over the years, Cyrus and his daughter Mary Louise Curtis contributed in many ways to the benefit of Maine.
Some of Mr. Curtis’ many gifts include donations to: Maine General Hospital; Camden YMCA and Portland’s
Y.M.C.A. and Y.W.C.A; Portland Public Library; Camden Public Library; Camden Village Green; Camden
Community Hospital; and Camden Yacht Club. Mary Louise contributed land for the Camden Amphitheater; land
for a park on the corner of Main Street and Atlantic Avenue; and made donations to Camden Hospital and the
Camden Y.M.C.A. A list of contributions to Camden by Cyrus Curtis and his daughter Mrs. Mary Bok will be
passed out at this Winter History Series presentation. Also, six copies of the book, Lyndonia Collection – Cyrus H.
K. Curtis – His Ships and Summers in Camden, will be given out to those attending the presentation, as determined
by a lottery during the presentation.
The Lyndonia Collection book can be seen in the Walsh History Center of the Camden Public Library and the
Camden-Rockport Historical Society. The back cover of this book has a CD that can be used to view enlarged
pages and to listen to “Song in the Night”.
Compiled by Albert Bennett for the 2018 Camden Public Library’s Winter History Series
Contributions to Camden and Region by Cyrus Curtis, Mrs. Mary Bok, & Edward Bok – From Jack Williams
Two-Volume History of Camden
p. 82: Cyrus purchased land on Bay View St for yacht club – 1911
p. 97: Cyrus Built Yacht Club Building 1911-1912
p. 182: Cyrus Helped save Megunticook Nat'l Bank to save funds of depositors – 1916
p. 328: Cyrus Curtis and Mary Bok each gave $4000 to Camden Library – 1923
p. 371: Cyrus Curtis gave land at Megunticook Lake to Episcopal Church – 1925
p. 392: Cyrus Curtis & Edward Bok helped to buy land for the Village Green – 1926
p. 394: Cyrus Curtis donated $50,000 to General Knox Memorial Fund – 1926
p. 436: Mary Bok gave $100,000 to Knox Hospital – 1926
p. 449: Cyrus Curtis gave $4000 to Camden Hospital to payoff $3,500 mortgage – 1929
p. 455: Cyrus Curtis gave $76,000 for Knox Memorial Building in Thomaston – 1929
p. 455: Edward Bok gave $100,000 for Nurses Home in Rockland – 1929
p. 458: Edward Bok and Cyrus Curtis gave $5000 each to CPL Fund – 1929
p. 458: Cyrus Curtis gave $5000 to Camden Hospital – 1929
p. 476: Mary Bok gives $17,500 for Seawall and Public Landing constructions – 1930
p. 476: Mary Bok gives 25 shares of Central ME Power, upkeep of Village Green – 1930
p. 484-485: Mary Bok donates money to remodel Camden Opera House – 1930
p. 485: Cyrus Curtis donates organs to Episcopal and Congregational Churches – 1930
p. 488: Mary Bok finances 25-30 men for Hosmer Pond Road improvements – 1931
p. 488: Mary Bok pays for renovation of Selectman's Office – 1951
p. 496: Mary Bok Volunteers to pay for new bridge on Main St. over Megunticook – 1931
p. 951: Mary Bok paid approximately $500,000 for remodeling the YMCA,
and had the architect of the Curtis Publishing Company fly to
Camden to design the new building and its pool.
p. 498: Mary Bok donated bronze statue fountain for CPL grounds – 1931
p. 522: Mary Bok financed four back-drop curtains for Camden Opera House – 1932
p. 523: Mary Bok provided wood for families in need of fuel – 1932
p. 539: Mary Bok presented $1000 in awards to Camden Garden Club winners – 1933
p. 570: Mary Bok donated money to hospital for free-bed patients – 1935
p. 593: Mary Bok donated for 11 years to Camden Garden Club Awards – 1936
p. 600: Mary Bok funded pay for 15-20 men for cleanup of waterfront fire – 1936
p. 834: Mary Zimbalist paid for the large wooded sign at Camden- Rockport line – 1948
p. 847: Mary Zimbalist funded WWII monument on Village Green – 1949