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Remembering Camden: Stories from an old Maine Harbor


"Remembering Camden: Stories from an Old Maine Harbor"

Boatbuilding and donuts

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Camden, Maine, is one of many quaint small towns dotting the New England coastline that stand as living monuments to the colonial days. In “Remembering Camden: Stories from an Old Maine Harbor” ($19.99, History Press, 2007), Barbara F. Dryer reveals the rich and oftentimes amusing history behind Camden’s cobbled streets and fine businesses.

Drawing from both her personal experiences and the historical record, Dryer offers stories from the town’s history since its founding in 1791. Broken into short, topical chapters and written in folksy prose, the book looks at Camden’s shipbuilding industries and Prohibition-era rumrunners, how the town launched the third five-masted schooner (and largest at the time) John B. Prescott on the cusp of the 20th century, and how it became part of the great who-invented-the-hole-in-the-donut debate. Dryer even chronicles how the infamous con man Ferdinand Demara — immortalized by Tony Curtis in the movie “The Great Imposter” — posed as a teacher in the town for a spell.

Barbara F. Dryer is a lifelong resident of Camden, and this is the most recent of 10 books she’s published about the town’s history.

This article originally appeared in the May 2009 issue.