Early 20th century development of Camden’s Forest Hill held great promise

Entrance to Forest Hill Park and Boulevard, Camden, NJ A friend with a childhood connection to Camden similar to my own is kind enough to share with us these scans of postcards he recently acquired.

As any postcard collector knows, RPPCs, or real photo post cards, can be among the most elusive ones to obtain.

Bird's eye view Cooper's River and bridge from Forest Hill, Camden, NJSeveral of the images posted here are of that type along with the more common mass-produced variety.

These images remind us of a time in Camden’s history when new neighborhoods and planned recreation areas seemed to point to a bright future for the developing urban and industrial center during the early 20th century.

Early in 1905, the City of Camden, New Jersey dedicated and opened a lush 80-acre park called Forest Hill Park.

Boulevard Forest Hill Park August 17, 1908 postmark

Located between Park and Baird Avenues and set along the Cooper River in what was the newly developing Parkside neighborhood-area, this park would become the predecessor to the Camden County park system.Forest Hill Park, Camden, NJ, May 20, 1908 postmark

 

 

Bridge in Forest Hill Park, Camden, NJ

The post card scenes shown here depict a scenic park setting with a lake, a bridge, roads and paths, a pavilion for gatherings, an athletic field and acres of greenery.

Penned inscription on the lower front of the card, above right reads, “Here’s a new park just finished this spring.” Notice the two men standing in front of the newly constructed outdoor pavilion.

Imagine all the people who frequented this park for pleasant outdoor picnics, athletics and recreation as well as relaxation.

Forest Hill Park, Camden, NJ postmarked August 31, 1913 (1280x831)Birds-eye view of Coopers River and Bridge from Forest Hill, Camden, NJ (1280x777)

Park Boulevard Entrance, Camden, NJ 1909 postmark (1280x828)Park Boulevard and the well-known Haddon Avenue converged at the intersection by the entrance to Forest Hill Park.

These postcards capture how the classic row homes appeared around 1909.

Boulevard east of Princess, North Camden, NJ 1909 postmark

 

This is Cooper Creek, Forest Hills Park c.1910, not mailed

The caption on the card at right reads, “This is Cooper Creek – a very pretty spot of water.”  Not mailed or postmarked.

 

 

Entrance to Forest Hill Park and Boulevard, Camden, NJ An avid postcard enthusiast will seldom pass up the chance to get yet another subtlety nuanced iteration of any image already in his possession. I mean –  if we already have a dozen views of the Yacht Club, would you pass up the chance to get one more?

Bird's eye view of Cooper's River, north from Forest Hill, Camden, NJ Such is the case with my rabid ephemera-collecting friend who can represent many milestones of his life with postcards. And lucky for me that we share some of the places where those events happened.

In 1921, Camden officials renamed Forest Hill Park as Farnham Park.

For more information and images on Forest Hill Park, later named Farnham Park, and a great deal more on Camden, check out the huge virtual archive at http://www.dvrbs.com/ Also, see more Camden images on this website on our IMAGES PAGE.

View of Lake and Bridge, Farnum Park, Camden, NJ

We welcome comments and try to answer questions, and we always like to collect more real or virtual images on South Jersey. – John McCormick, Gaslight News editor

3 thoughts on “Early 20th century development of Camden’s Forest Hill held great promise”

    1. Hi, Joyce – I sent you a separate email with some information from a booklet entitled: “PARKSIDE: The Story of a Neighborhood in Camden, New Jersey Before 1946” by Donald W. Stanton and Robert A. Stanton.

      If you want to know anything about Camden, this website is the best http://dvrbs.com/ Kind of overwhelming, really. I am from Camden and have browsed for hours on that site. There is a search box on the homepage to make locating specific information faster. I put in “Forest Hill Park” and got 27 hits. Hope this helps. Regards, John McCormick

  1. These are wonderful and beautiful pictures of a Camden long gone, and never to return. Sad, but that’s what happens to smaller cities.

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