Picnic With the Babbs: 40 Fascinating Photographs Capture Everyday Life in Camden, Maine at the Turn of 20th Century

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Theresa Butler Parker (Babb) was born in Camden on January 23, 1868, the daughter of Moses L. and Mary Cleveland Parker. In addition to taking many wonder photographs, she was active in Camden as a member of the St. Thomas Episcopal Church, helped establish the Camden Community Hospital (1926). She was on the Managers Board of the Home for Aged Women. She belonged to the Monday Club, Monday Evening Reading Club, Camden Garden Club and the Camden Outing Club.

Her husband, C. Wilkes Babb, was perhaps better known as he ran the Knox Woolen Company beginning in 1886 until 1956. The Babb family has been a prominent family in Camden for many years.

Perhaps she took up photography because her husband worked most of the time. On occasion, he would decided to take a little trip for a few days, as he owned one of the few automobiles in Camden. His wife knew their travel would be of short notice and always had a suitcase packed and ready to go.

Mrs. Babb died on July 11, 1948 at her home on 69 Elm Street. Her granddaughter, Mrs. Janaan Babb Vaughn, kindly donated her collection of photographs to the Walsh History Center at the Camden Public Library.

Picnic at Sherman’s Point, 1900. Theresa is 2nd from the left holding a bottle.

Working bee at Lake City” circa 1899. Lake City was located at Megunticook Lake in Camden.

Friends and family of Theresa Babb perched on a ladder by the Summit House swing on August 17, 1898. Her sister Grace Parker is at the top of the ladder. The Summit House hotel was built in 1897 by Columbus Buswell. The property was purchased in 1899 by the Mt. Battie Association and renovated the same year. Property torn down in 1920.

Camping crowd at Ogier Point.

Woman walking along Turnpike Drive (now Rt. 52) in October 1899. She is carrying a camera and has a dog and bicycle with her.

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