Then & Now: 27th Street near River Avenue, Camden

Properties of WS Travis, 27th near River Ave., Camden, N J, postmark 1908


If you collect old postcards, then you know that a real photo postcard (RPPC) can be among the most costly to buy because it often is literally one-of-a-kind. This card was postmarked at Camden, N.J. on Nov. 16, 1908 and mailed to Meadville, PA. (Two successive clicks on the photo will enlarge to maximum)

As indicated by the “X”, this is the home and store of East Camden Grocer William S. Travis, wife Flora, and daughters Bertha and Helen.

Flora Travis, writing to her aunt, Mrs. Joel Smith, explains in the message that it is a “…picture of our house,” and that marks indicate Will and Helen. “I was in store and not on it.”

The newspapers of his day chronicled much of Grocer Travis’ colorful life and a search of fills in more blanks.

The well-known resident of East Camden owned the aforementioned grocery at 27th and River Road at a time when a team of horses and wagon delivered the provisions. He later worked in the road contracting business.

The Cramer Hill entrepreneur belonged to several fraternal and civic organizations, ran for Camden City Council, and owed a winning racehorse named Helen Hill.

Society columns kept regular tabs on his visits to shore resorts and other travels, a wagon accident caused by a runaway horse, family milestones, and his purchase of a new Overland automobile. The papers took note of birthdays, illnesses, a health scare on a ferryboat, and of course, his 1921 obit.

Street View, 27th Near River Ave. Camden, N J Sep 2019

What would Grocer Will think of his neighborhood today? Click on the Google Maps link at right and you can “drive” around the block.

We thank frequent contributor Harlan Radford for providing the scan that inspired this waaaaay too detailed article about one Camden postcard – even one written during a late-night pandemic isolation induced burst of energy.

Want to see more RPPCs? Scroll down to our search feature in the left column and search the term RPPC. Looking for vintage images of Camden? Search for Camden.

Still the best authority on all topics regarding Camden

Thanks also to teammate Roger Prichard for the lookup.

 – JMc

Published by

John McCormick

Teacher at Riverton School 1974-2019, author, amateur historian, Historical Society of Riverton Board Member 2007-2023, newsletter editor 2007-2023, website editor 2011-2023

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