Another work in progress page, this one is a result of popular demand, one might say. This page will include articles and pictures about the past and present of Parkside. 

As with most everything else on this web-site, it's a work in progress, and I welcome your participation-
                       Phil Cohen
                       Camden NJ

PARKSIDE and WHITMAN PARK - Map published in 1914
Click on Image to Enlarge

Park Boulevard
as seen from
Haddon Avenue

from about 1914

Haddon Avenue - 1941

Bessie's Dress Shop 
1222 Haddon Avenue

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While today Parkside is remembered as Camden's Jewish neighborhood, this perception is quite flawed. Parkside was Camden County's first ethnically diverse neighborhood, and by 1915 it was home to every ethnic group, with the exception of African-Americans, who had remained in the nearby Kaighnton and Centerville neighborhoods.

The neighborhood known as Parkside was originally one of the Cooper family plantations, and Pomona Hall, home of the Camden County Historical Society, was its seat. In the late 1890s the Diocese of Camden purchased a large tract of land upon which it built the Convent of the Order of Perpetual Rosary, and later, Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. 

In 1901 a group of developers which included David Baird Sr., Cooper B. Hatch, John M. Kelley, and Patrick J. Farley incorporated the Parkside Land Company. Lots were being advertised for sale as early as March of 1902. Hiram E. Budd, who owned the City Line Brick & Lumber Company on the site of the High Speed Line station on Ferry Avenue, bought some of the first lots on the newly laid out Baird Avenue. Park Boulevard was formally dedicated on March 1, 1909. Camden builder and contractor James H. Reeve built many houses in Parkside, having moved his own family into a large three-story twin at 1446 Haddon Avenue in 1904.

David Baird's business partner, banker T. Yorke Smith, started the Forest Hill Realty Company which took part in the development of Parkside. He put together the deals that provided the city of Camden the land that became Forest Hill Park and Camden High School in 1904. Forest Hill Park was renamed Farnham Park in December of 1927, in memory of Levi Farnham, long-time city engineer.

Although early advertisements promised services such as city water, sewer, and trolley lines, they were slow in coming during Parkside's early years. This changed after the incorporation of the Parkside Trust Company, whose directors included Camden streets commissioner Alfred L. Sayers, lumber company president William C. Coles, patent medicine tycoon Leon Goff, and Theodore T. Kausel, who held a position with the Castle Kid Company, one of Camden's leather works.  Kausel partnered with Teresa Walsh and sold many houses to middle-class German-, Irish-, and Polish-American families in the neighborhood between Belleview and Haddon Avenues and along Princess Avenue. Charles Kauffman developed properties in the area, and was the first to build a mansion on Kaighn Avenue opposite Farnham Park.

In the early 1920s Congregation Beth El built their synagogue on Park Boulevard, opposite Farnham Park, on the site presently occupied by the Boys and Girls Club. A small building was soon followed by the larger main sanctuary, and after World War II, a school building. Congregation Sons of Israel also moved Parkside after World War II, to a building at  Park Boulevard and Kaighn Avenue. Many upwardly mobile Jewish families moved to Parkside to be near the houses of worship, which perhaps contributed to the perception regarding the ethnic makeup of the neighborhood.

After World War II, families began a slow migration to the suburbs. A poorly conceived and worse-executed urban renewal plan saw the destruction of homes in the Centerville neighborhood and the influx of poor families in subsidized rental apartments into Parkside. This accelerated the flight to the suburbs. A similar decline business-wise along Haddon Avenue.

The end was ugly. Agitators such as H. Rap Brown and Charles 'Poppy' Sharp advocated and incited violence against white residents and businesses. Many white students were assaulted during and after a May 30, 1968 sit-down demonstration. Camden High School, which at that time had a fairly well-integrated student body, saw almost half of its white students leave, and also reflected the change in population in Parkside. Congregation Beth El had moved to Cherry Hill by 1968, and many families who had remained in Camden followed after the riots of 1969 and 1971. The Beth El synagogue was used by the Parkside Catholic School in the early 1970s, and was renamed St. Bartholomew's Roman Catholic School within a few years.

Parkside today is still home to many fine houses, and there are many blocks with little or no outward signs of the blight that has engulfed much of the rest of Camden. Farnham Park was taken over by Camden County, and is well maintained. The Camden County Historical Society on Park Boulevard is a treasure, and while Congregation Beth El's once-lovely synagogue was razed, a new Boys and Girls Club was erected in its place, with money donated by Parkside native Lewis Katz. Parkside has been for many years the home of the BUFF Hall, which has played host to many weddings and social events of Camden's black community. Parkside is also the home of Corinne's Place, an award winning soul- food restaurant, and since the 1940s DONKEY'S PLACE, which is known far and wide for its steak sandwiches.    

In 2004 the winds of change that have blown across Camden are touching on Parkside, with plans announced for the preservation of the Pearlye Building, built by Benjamin Natal and named after his daughter Pearlye, and the nearby garden apartments between at Park Boulevard and Wildwood Avenue, to be renamed Faison Mews. Construction began in 2005, and was completed the following year.


April 2, 1902

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Camden Courier-Post - January 24, 1928

2 Boys Nearly Drown as Dog Rescue Fails
One Swims in Icy Creel to Take Rope From Shore

Death in the icy water of a Cooper River tributary was the fate that almost overtook a 9-year-old Camden schoolboy who late yesterday risked his life to save a shivering little stray puppy he discovered floating down the stream on a block of ice.

Few epics of the sea have the elements of adventure and heroism that are woven into this story.

Richard Richardson, 9 years old, 1028 Princess Avenue, was the outstanding hero. He spent 39 minutes clinging to pieces of ice and debris in the stream after his attempt to save the puppy had failed. Today he was in Cooper hospital suffering from extreme exposure.

But young Richard wasn’t the only hero of the day. There were four of his playmates with him when he tried to rescue the animal in distress. This little “supporting cast” came in for its share of glory. When Richard slipped into the water all of them showed “grown-up’ presence of mind and to them goes credit for saving their companion’s life.

Playing After School

Robert Perrit, 15 years old, 1062 Princess Avenue; Howard Hadleman, 10 years old, 1040 Princess Avenue; William Kline, 12 years old, 1041 Princess Avenue; and William Watkins, 13 years old, 1025 Princess Avenue, were playing with the Richardson boy at the foot of Pine Street after school.

Parallel with Pine Street, running from the end of the roadway to the Baird Avenue bridge, there is a stream 30 feet wide, which was dredged out when the course of Cooper River was changed several years ago. A swift current is formed by the overflow of the river. 

It was beginning to grow dark when the youngsters were  

“Aw gee it wasn’t nothing”. That was the way William Watkins, 13 years old, 1025 Princess Avenue, who is shown above, expressed today his rescue of Richard Richardson, 9 years old, 1028 Princess Avenue, pictured below. Richard was attempting to save a marooned puppy in a tributary of Cooper River when he fell into the icy water.

attracted to the stream by the yelps of a dog. They ran to the bank and found a forlorn looking puppy floating away on a piece of ice that had broken from the shore. Although he was the youngest of the group, his love of animals is the greatest and so it was young Mr. Richardson who decided that Fido as they called him, should be rescued.

The fearless little boy walked out into the center of the stream, stepping from one block of ice to another in the fashion of Simon Legree in that blood-curdling melodrama, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin.”

Just Misses Dog  

While the four on shore shouted a warning, Richard, within reach of the dog, slipped into the water.

Instead of being frightened into confusion, the little quartet was electrified into action. Hadleman and Watkins remained on shore futilely attempting to get to the boy who was splashing around in the water, while Kline and Perrit ran 100 yards to the plant of the Taylor White Extracting Company.

There they told the story of what had happened as calmly as they could to John Simpkins, of Mt. Ephraim Avenue and Spruce Street, and Morton Ashton, 100 Evergreen Avenue, Woodlynne.

The two men grabbed several planks and a coil of rope, and followed the youthful pair back to the water’s edge.

Richard was still paddling about in the stream, clinging to pieces of ice that slipped from his grasp almost as soon as he touched them. It was obvious that he was almost exhausted. 

Simpkins and Ashton tied a rope onto the Watkins boy’s waist, set him afloat on a large plank and gave him an end of another rope to tie to Richard. The plan was a good one, but it almost failed, for just as William had paddled him out to where Richard was struggling, almost 20 feet from the south bank, he fell from his improvised raft. Just as the boy he fought to rescue had fallen into the water within inches of the puppy. 

Bravely Gives Rope.

But William was determined to show the grit that had been displayed by Richard. Without a single shout for help or a cry of distress, he struggled on a few feet more and handed the almost exhausted boy the end of the rope. 

Simpkins and Ashton then pulled the pair to shore. 

At the offices of the Taylor White Company, the pair was undressed and rubbed dry. W. E. Shore, 1425 Ormond Avenue, took Richard to Cooper Hospital, while the other four, praise for their heroism unsung, disappeared.  

It is story to rival the rescue tales of many a seafaring gentleman, but it has two strange bits of anti-climax. 

Before Robert and Howard and William and young Watkins went home, they returned to the bank of the stream, the dog had vanished, apparently to the bottom. 

And half an hour later. William Watkins, his clothes soaked and his face covered with mud, received a spanking for getting home late for dinner.  

Camden Courier-Post - January 31, 1928


A play, “Tea Topper Tea Room” will be presented by the young people of Parkside in the Hatch Junior High School auditorium this evening at 8:00 o’clock. 

The play is sponsored by the Community Brotherhood of Parkside Inc., with L.O. Rittenhouse, chairman of the entertainment committee. The organization has as its purpose the furnishing of entertainment to 250 members each month.


When this photo was taken, Wildwood Avenue had not been completely built up, and very few homes had been built on Park Boulevard above Empire Avenue.
 Cooper B. Hatch Junior High School and Pomona Hall are visible in distance
...Click on Images to Enlarge...
...Click on Images to Enlarge...

Another shot that will enlarge when clicked, this aerial photo of Parkside shows a bit more of the area along Haddon Avenue. Large building with light roof in center of the photo was the Parkside Trust at Haddon and Kaighn Avenues. Parkside Elementary School can be made out. Those of you who are REALLY sharp will fond Donkey's Place, at Haddon & Mechanic Streets! 

Courier-Post - November 28, 1930

Parkside Lodge No. 217 F. & A.M. - Samuel E. Fulton - Bayard M. Sullivan - William Delameter
Ruth Sullivan - Betty Sullivan - Helen Harrigan - Lydia Hamilton - George Haggas & his Orchestra
Masonic Temple

Camden Courier-Post - October 21, 1931

Mrs. Margaret E. Campbell heads the Parkside Branch of the W.C.T.U. for the 1931-32 year, as a result of the annual election. Other members of the executive board are: vice president-at-large, Mrs. Esther Anderson; corresponding secretary, Mrs. Anna Griffiths; recording secretary, Mrs. R. T. Miller; treasurer, Mrs. Cornelius Willetts; vice president from the Methodist Church, Mrs. Mary Myers; from the Lutheran Church, Mrs. Ethel Rittenhouse, and from the Baptist Church, Mrs. C. Dannenhauer.

Parkside Theater
Haddon Avenue


Click on Images to Enlarge

Parkside Elementary School - 1931

Elementary School

May 2004


Photo courtesy of the Coskey sisters,
Pat & Jean



Above Photo Courtesy of Beatrice Caraballo


"Boat races on Cooper River, Camden, N. J."

View of Lake and Bridge
Farnham Park, Camden NJ

View of Lake and Bridge
Farnham Park, Camden NJ 

The Swimming Pool at Farnham Park

"Bridge Across Cooper River Parkway,
Camden, N. J."

Forest Hill Park - 1920s FARNHAM PARK
Click on Images to Enlarge

Courier-Post - June 2, 1932


Mrs. Harold Gilpin, president of the Camden County Council of Parent and Teachers, will address the Parkside Association this afternoon in the school building.

Preceding Mrs. Gilpin's talk, installation of officers will be held and further plans will be made for the participation of the Parkside School in the Washington Bicentennial celebration on June 14. Arrangements have been made to enter two floats and more than 200 pupils in the parade to be conducted that day. A float also is being planned by the pupils at the Camden Home for Friendless Children, which is included in the Parkside district.

Mrs. Rocco Palese is chairman of the women's committee for the program June 14, assisted by Mrs. Kirk B. Barb, Mrs. Clyde Bateman, Mrs. E. Cress, Mrs. A. Miller, Mrs. Harry Nurock, Mrs. Portiz, Mrs. R. Staples, Mrs. John Locke, Mrs. R. Norris, Mrs. William W. Kaminski, Mrs. E. May, Mrs. J. Furer, Mrs. E. Hill, Mrs. R. Bellitz, Mrs. L. Reiffe, Mrs. Phillips Brooks, Mrs. J. Rosen, Mrs. W. Johns, Mrs. Benjamin Natal, Mrs. M. Flynn, Mrs. A. Lewis, Mrs. Herbert Schoellkopf, Mrs. Philip Auerbach, Mrs. P. Simonds, Miss L. Hutton, Mrs. F. Kocher, Mrs. T. Bantivoglio, Mrs. M. Hanheimer, Mrs. E. Anderson. Mrs. H. Tyler, Mrs. H. Baas, Mrs. A. Goodman, Mrs. F. Hartmatz, Mrs. Theodore Hyland, Mrs. R. Reeve, Mrs. Herbert Richardson, Mrs. Sinclair Condie, Mrs. Walter Poor and Mrs. R. Fortrice.

The men's committee, headed by Fred Stanton, included Herbert Schoellkopf, W. Mackey, Clyde Bateman, G. Hilliard, J.W. Sharp, W. Hunsinger, Thomas Colsey, John Reynolds, S. Macintosh, H. Bellitz and Rocco Palese

Click on Image to Enlarge

Courier-Post - June 12, 1933

Splash! Part of 5000 of Them, and All at Farnham Park

Some of the 5000.persons who filled the Camden County Park pool at Farnham Park yesterday following return of the heat wave. An additional 6000 bathers used three other pools of the park system as the thermometer climbed to a high of 94. 

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Camden High School

Camden High School -1920s Camden High School -1960s
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Camden Courier-Post - February 19, 1936


Members of the Parkside Auxiliary to Cooper hospital will meet Friday in the board rooms of the hospital to make surgical dressings and to complete plans for a party to be held ,f on Friday evening, February 28, in the board rooms. The members will entertain their husbands at that time and a program of progressive games will be conducted

Camden Courier-Post * February 17, 1938


The monthly meeting of the Parkside Auxiliary to Cooper Hospital will be held tomorrow in the board rooms with Mrs. Herbert J. Schoelkopf, president, presiding. Plans will be made for a card party to be held in the near future at the home of Mrs. Hiram E. Budd, 1407 Baird avenue.

Camden Courier-Post - July 22, 1941

Camden Drive Brings $14,575 to Recreation Fund For Service Men

Contributions to the United Service Organizations continued to flow in yesterday. 

The money will be used for recreational programs for men in the armed forces of the nation through clubs, which are being established adjacent to army and navy cantonments.

Total receipts as announced by Ralph Vasso, chairman of the volunteer gift committee, were $14,575.58. The goal set up for Camden in the nationwide appeal for contributions is $21,000.

Funds are being sent by mail, and delivered in person to headquarters of the U.S.O. in the Camden County Chamber of Commerce offices, Sixth and Penn streets, Sidney P. McCord, city comptroller, is treasurer of the committee. 

Yesterday's contributors are: I.ouis Seitchik, $50; employees of Louis Seitchik, $125; Camden County Girl Scouts, $5; Alice B. Eaton, $3; Mrs. T. T. Eaton, $2; Dealers Liquor Company, additional $5; Minters Distributors, $10; John W. Whitecar, $10; Loyal Order of Moose, $10; General Chemical Company, $25; house-to-house collection, Parkside section, $7.35; collections by cans in motion picture theatres, $21.65; Sam Slutsky. $5. 
Bishop Bartholomew J. Eustace, $50; Father J. P. Fallon, $5; Camden Section National Council of Jewish Women, $10; Camden Realtors, $51; James Scarduzio, $1; John A. Neff, $5; additional from employees of MacAndrews and Forbes, $43.40; office employees of Warren Webster and Company, $24.54; factory employees of Warren Webster and Company, $55.06; Gustav Schwoeri, Jr., 52; Monsanto Chemical Company employees, $51.25; Budget Plan Corporation, $10.  

The Coskey Family of Parkside

Jean Johnson provided a few pictures from the late 1940s, when Joseph and Margaret Coskey lived at 1504 Park Boulevard.

Above: The Coskey Family Kitchen -1947
The Magnolia Apartment on Magnolia Avenue, as seen from Park Boulevard

1507 Baird Boulevard

That's a future Rabbi,
David Herman
son of 
Cantor Louis Herman
 Yetta Herman
Congregation Beth El

Beth El Academy Nursery School - May 1963
Click on Image to Enlarge

Front : Unknown, Unknown, Jeffrey Schwartz, Unknown, Michael Reiter, Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, David Herman, Unknown, Unknown. Rear: Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, Briana Singer, Mrs. Freida Gilden, Ms. Leslie Kurland, Joel Yaffa, Unknown, Unknown, Unknown, Shawn Beller. 

21 kids... the next year 18 kids. Any wonder why they moved to Cherry Hill?

David Herman, October 2007 

HOUSES FOR SALE - November 30, 1965
As advertised in local newspapers that day!

Park Boulevard
between Wildwood Avenue & Baird Boulevard

DONKEY'S PLACE - March 16, 2003

Schools in Parkside

Little Rock Baptist Church
Photo courtesy of the Coskey sisters, Pat & Jean

Here are some of my memories from Parkside: 

Haddon & Kaighn: The Rexall drugs where there was a mini post office and Belle's drug store where one could get a great breakfast or other meal at the luncheonette inside. Donkey's Steaks, London Men's Shop clothier store. Parkside Billiards where you could shoot pool or play table tennis ("Ping-Pong"). 

Parkside School: arts and crafts during the summer, playing "hide the belt" and "stick ball" or "half ball". 

Jesse, the ice cream vendor who bicycled his ice cream treats, and the hot waffle wagon pulled by a horse which you could hear from over a block away as they signaled their coming by banging on a frying pan in this rhythm: bang, bang...bang-bang! (2 regular beats, then 2 quick ones).

Marvin Plevinsky
June 22, 2008

Camden Courier-Post - September 13, 2009

Camden stymies rehab of houses

Click on Link for PDF File of this article