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February 19, 2020

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

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.

Two unidentified women seated near Beauchamp Point, October 1900.

Group of family and friends of Theresa Babb having a picnic on Ogier Point in July 1900. Theresa's sister Grace is in the middle with the white hatt, and their mother Mrs. Parker is at the far top right.

Miss Merriam at Sherman's Point, 1900.

Group with camera seated on Maiden's Cliff, October 1899. The two women are identified in other photos as Fannie and Lillie.

Children wading at Lake City on Megunticook Lake in August 1899.

Picnic at Sherman’s Point in Camden in 1900. Theresa is seated in front.

Camping crowd at Ogier Point, August 1900. Theresa’s sister Grace Parker is on the right with the tennis racket, and Father Brown is seated in back with white hair.

Father Brown taking tea with friends at Lake City in 1901.

Boating at Lake City on Megunticook Lake in August 1899.

Camping crowd at Ogier Point, 1900. Theresa Babb is on the far left.

Flashlights & chafing dish time, February 1900.

Mrs. Ste(?) and baby, August 17, 1898

Theresa Babb (left) and Alice Merriam on the Bangor boat, June 1899. Photo taken by Master John Talbot.

Summer house group: Lizzie, Myrtle French, Teresa?, Grace, & Margaret, June 24, 1898.

Porter & Buchanan crowd, August 1898.

A pleasant day at Oakland Park.

Nellie and baby Theodore in carriage with elderly lady.

Mrs. Hodgman’s picnic, August 1900.

Monhegan, August 1899.

Minnie Babb, Emma Babb & Margaret, July 8, 1898.

Marian Follansbee, May 1898.

Lizzie Curtis, Mrs. Hart and Fred; June 7, 1898.

Lillie and Grace in the hammock, September 1900.

Jennie Hill with dog, August 1898.

Group at Ballard Park on August 14, 1898: Mary Knight, Fannie Fuller, Marian Goodwin, Alice Merriam, & Grace Parker.

Grace Parker (sister of Theresa Babb) with a dog; photographed on a swing atop Mt. Battie 22 June 1898.

Grace G. and Grace Parker at Lake City, September 1900.

Grace G. and Grace Parker at Lake City, September 1900.

Grace Parker (Theresa Babb's sister) and Lizzie ? atop Mt. Battie circa 1898.

Fannie and Lillie in Sunday attire, October 1899.

Buckboard ride to Northport and Belfast, August 20, 1898.

Buckboard ride to Northport & Belfast, 1899.

Bess ? & Alice Merriam at Ballard Park, July 1899.

Alice Merriam and Grace Parker at Ballard Park, July 1899.

Friends and family of Theresa P. Babb at the shore in midcoast Maine.

(Photos via The Camden Public Library, via PenBay Pilot)


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