Camden, originally called *Megunticook*, meaning great swells of the sea, by the Abenaki Indians, is at the center of Maines mid-coast region. It surrounds a sheltered harbor, and is hemmed in snugly by steep, but gently sloping mountains. Camden remained a wilderness until after the French and Indian War. It was first settled about 1771 by James Richards, followed by others, who made attempts to farm this mountainous terrain. Incorporated in 1791, Camden was named for Charles Pratt, 1st Earl Camden, a member of the British Parliament. When Castine was held by the British in 1779, Camden became an encampment for the Americans. During the war of 1812, a fort was built atop surrounding Mount Battie, which kept the British at bay. Following the end of the war, Camden grew rapidly. Sawmills, gristmills, many factories and shipyards appeared.
The natural beauty of Camden was soon discovered, and induced many prominent and wealthy families in the country to become summer residents. These prominent families have been a valuable resource for the town, establishing a Golf Club, famous inns, beautiful estates, an amphitheatre, the Camden Harbor Park, the Camden Yacht Club, etc., as well as renowned events such as the Salzedo Harp Festival, theatre productions, concerts at the Opera House, etc., which have enriched the lives of residents and visitors for generations. New Englands premier cold-weather event, the annual U.S. National Toboggan Champianships, are held in Camden each February. Camden offers many facets of entertainment year-round. During the sun-filled down-east daytime, vacationers can enjoy a multiplicity of cruises; from simple leisurely coasting about, to intricate tours of the bays landmarks, to seal spotting, to passing by the island retreat of John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, or the Onassis family. Camden will satisfy you, no matter what your reason for visiting this quaint, charming old town.