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In the Picker Room Gallery: N.C. Fletcher’s Camden of 1884

Monday, October 3 Sunday, October 30

Black and white photograph of 3 men standing in the Elm Street entrance of Carleton, Pascal & Co. grocers in the 1880’s.

Every October, the Camden Public Library celebrates “Discover History Month.” The library is home to the Walsh History Center, where material of historical significance to the residents of Camden and Rockport is preserved. This year, Ken Gross, the History Center’s Director, has curated a collection of vintage photos and maps to exhibit in the library’s Picker Room, organized around a history of Camden published in 1883 and 1884. This little-known history is the work of preacher Nathan C. Fletcher and was published serially in the Rockland Opinion as “The Annals of Camden.” The display in the Picker Room will complement the “Annals of Camden” and help tell the story of what life was like in Camden in the 1880s. The display will be on view from October 3 through 30.

N.C. Fletcher was a Universalist minister who preached all over the midcoast for three decades in the early 1800s. He became a businessman in 1854, starting in the lime industry and settling into being a pharmacist for the remainder of his career. He also served in the state legislature and on the Governor’s Council. He knew everyone worth knowing — and wrote an eyewitness history of Camden in 1883 and 1884.

To illustrate the history, Gross will present a slideshow on Tuesday, October 4, at 6:30 pm. The talk, “Nathan C. Fletcher’s Camden of 1884,” will specifically focus on Fletcher’s eyewitness account of Camden. The program will be available to a live audience at the library and simultaneously broadcast on Zoom.

If you would like to join in-person, please email jpierce@librarycamden.org to reserve your seat. If you wish to join remotely, please click the link below to register to attend via Zoom.

Gross says, “We have a transcription of N.C. Fletcher’s ‘Annals of Camden’, a history published in the newspaper from 1883 to 1884. N.C. Fletcher knew everyone in town, took himself on a tour of all of the industries, invited himself in, and described them from the inside. We will match photos from the 1880s with his descriptions, and give a tour of Camden, guided by pastor Nathan C. Fletcher.”

This program is also part of the Camden Public Library’s celebration of “Discover History Month,” sponsored by The Smiling Cow.

During Discover History Month, the Camden Public Library is spotlighting the important work of our Walsh History Center. If you are enthusiastic about local history, consider supporting the library’s efforts at librarycamden.org/donate.

55 Main Street
Camden, ME 04843 United States