Pyne
Point
Park

You can't really talk about North Camden without talking about Pyne Point. After all, when William Cooper first settled in South Jersey, he named the place Pyne Point. The name Camden came much much later.

As Camden expanded, so did North Camden. The wave of construction that swept the city in the 1890s and early 1900s was especially strong in North Camden, where, prior to then had seen little development north of State Street and east of North 3rd. By the time America entered World War I, North Camden had been almost completely built out, and the need for a better park was evident. 

Although the Cooper Mansion was being used as a public library early in the 20th Century, the park itself was not anywhere its later size or status. Private groups such as the Camden Motor Boat Club and the Camden Tennis Club built facilities there. In the early 1900s the City of Camden began leasing the property on a yearly basis, and eventually acquired title. 

The great expansion of Pyne Point Park would come in the mid-1920s. Giving the citizens of North Camden a decent park was one of the priorities in 1923 for the newly- formed Board of Commissioners, which had just replaced the existing Camden City Council. Over the next few years under the direction of Commissioner H. Raymond Staley and Superintendent of Parks Benjamin R. Denny, many improvements were made, and Pyne Point Park was truly a place of beauty to rival any in the city, or the state, for that matter. The old Cooper Mansion was kept as best possible, rest rooms were installed, and ball fields were laid out.  

In later years North Camden finally got its own Junior High School, as Pyne Point Junior High was built adjacent to the park in 1957. Municipally owned radio Station WCAM built its transmitter building and antenna tower at the northwest corner of the park. 

Sadly, as North Camden declined, the park did as well. The burning of the Cooper Mansion is symbolic of what became of North Camden, a burned out shell, abandoned, and forgotten by an uncaring public and city government on the other side of Admiral Wilson Boulevard. 

Still, hope lives on in Camden, and perhaps the winds of change that are sweeping the city in 2004 will breathe new life into Pyne Point Park. North Camden has a core of civic organizations such as Leveanhouse, the North Camden Land Trust, Camden Churches Organized for People, and Concerned Citizens of North Camden which may be able to effect the restoration of the park. In 1980 Rodney Sadler founded Pyne Poynt Marine Services at the foot of 7th Street, and hopefully the boating community will return to North Camden as well.

Pyne Poynt Park in 1915

Camden First - July 1925

The Benjamin Cooper House at Pyne Point, 
North 7th & York Streets.

Houses on Erie and Bailey Streets
would come later!

Postcard printed prior to 1906

The Benjamin Cooper House at Pyne Point, 
North 7th & York Streets
The Cooper House was made into a library, known as the Pyne Point Library Pyne Point Park 
Postcard mailed 1907
Pyne Point Park The Camden Motorboat Club
Pyne Point - 1910

Pyne Point Park

This photo of the library was taken in the early 1900s. Note the telephone pole that does not appear in the postcards above.

Pyne Point Photos
from the
The Real Estate Advertising Brochure
An Historic Spot in Camden Interesting to You

By the
Wood Manufacturing Co., Head of Seventh Street, Camden NJ
who were building and selling 50 houses at Seventh and York Streets
(My best guess is that this dates about 1910 - Phil Cohen, June 2004)
"Pyne Poynt Tennis Courts"
"Pyne Poynt Tennis Courts"
Camden Motor Boat Club House
Pyne Poynt Library from Sixth Street Houses

Fourth of July, 1923

Scenes from July 4, 1923

TOP: In the foreground, Mrs. Martha Weber, wife of Rev. Paul C. Weber of Epiphany Evangelical Lutheran Church, holds bay Carl W. Weber, with daughter Katherine by her side.

MIDDLE: Carl W. Weber in his bay carriage, in front of the hot dog stand: "DOGS 5 CENTS"

BOTTOM: Carl W. Weber in front of a sign advertising the bottled soft drinks of North Camden businessman Oscar B. Weidenhammer, located at Point and York Streets.

Pyne Poynt Athletic Association July 4, 1926

Camden Courier-Post - June 6, 1932

Camden Courier-Post - June 9, 1932

Henry W. Aitken - Pyne Poynt Athletic Association - Frank J. Hartmann Jr. 
George B. Plummer - Harry Walton - Otto E. Braun
Benjamin Covington - Charles F. Bonner - John T. Landold
George E. Ash - Alonzo Hires - Walter Reyno - Clifford Flennard
Charles McCurdy - William L. Lloyd - Henry Haines - Samuel Dickinson
Howard Baird - William Robinson - Robert Nelson - Jacob Strecker
Foster Willis - Alfred Ross - William Sullender - Samuel J. Edwards
Jack Schiltz - Walter S. Agin 

Camden Courier-Post * June 10, 1932

Question Mark Bobbies - Tom McCurdy

Camden Courier-Post
June 11, 1932

Question Mark Bobbies - Tom McCurdy

Camden Courier-Post - June 1, 1933

PYNE POYNT STARS PLAN 4TH OF JULY PROGRAM

Plans for the financing of the thirty-third anniversary of the Pyne Poynt Athletic Association to be observed with an all-day program of sports and entertainment at Pyne Poynt Park July 4, will be made at a meeting of the ways and means committee of the association tonight at the clubhouse, 939 North Fifth Street.

More than 30,000 persons attended last year's celebration and more than 150 prizes were awarded.

Features tentatively planned include a children s parade at 9.30 a. m., under the supervision of Isaac Kyler; memorial services at 11 o'clock, under the direction of William B. Sullender, and sporting events for men, women and children under the direction of Alfred J. Ross, Jr., to start at 1.30 p. m.

Motion pictures will be shown out of doors again this year for children starting at 9 p. m., under the direction of Robert J. Nelson, while Samuel G. Dickinson, Jr., will again have charge of the dance to start at the same time, with awarding of prizes at 10.30 p. m. 


Camden Courier-Post - June 25, 1933
ROUTE ANNOUNCED FOR FOURTH PARADE
Hundreds of Children Will Join Organizations in Pyne Poynt Program

Route of the annual Fourth of July parade of the Pyne Poynt Athletic Association was announced last night. The event, one of the out standing Independence Day programs in South Jersey, promises to surpass any previous undertaking of the association.

Hundreds of school children and organizations are planning to march. The line will form on Erie Street, west of Seventh, turn south on Seventh street to York, east on Eighth, south to State, east to Ninth, south to Vine, west to Eighth, south to Elm, west to Sixth, north to State, west to Fifth, north to Grant, west to Fourth, north to York, east to Fifth, north to Bailey, east to Sixth, north to Byron street and then enter Pyne Poynt Park.

Named as parade marshal is Isaac Kyler, while John R. Schultz again will have charge of school children. William Hughes and George Zeitz will serve as assistant marshals. The Pyne Poynt Garden Club is planning to march and compete for a share of the 250 prizes to be awarded. Among the awards will be a token for the best decorated home in the Tenth Ward. A meeting of the committee in charge is to be held at 7.30 p. m. tonight at 939 North Fifth Street,to discuss plans for raising funds in the First Ward.

Camden
Courier-Post

August 5, 1935


1936

 


Camden Courier-Post - February 25, 1938
PYNE POYNT CLUB FETE SET TOMORROW
27th Annual Get-Together Will Hear Gordon Mackay Tell of Oldtime Sports

When members, of the Pyne Poynt Social Club gather in the club's headquarters, southwest corner of Fifth and Erie streets, tomorrow night it will be to mark the twenty-seventh, annual get-together which will be observed with a banquet. 

Harry F. Walton, first president of the organization, which was formed in the latter part of January, 1911, will be toastmaster. He served as head of the club in 1911 and 1912. 

Gordon Mackay, member of the news staff of the Courier-Post newspapers' and an authority on sports, will be the speaker. Mackay will give highlights on sporting activities with which he has become so familiar in his 40 years of newspaper, work. Frank H. Ryan, managing editor of the Courier-Post, will be a guest. 

"Many of the members of the club have gone far afield from Camden, said Walton, "but on the occasion of the annual dinner they all try to get back home' and rekindle the friendships' made when they were kids up here in North Camden." 

Served As Freeholder:, 

Walton, elected to the Board of Chosen Freeholders of Camden county as an independent Republican from the Tenth ward, served on the board in 1923 and, 1924. Born in Philadelphia, his parents brought him to Camden at an early age and he has lived in North Camden ever since. He has taken an active interest in civic affairs of the community. 

"We believe that this year will be the best banquet that we have ever had," he said. 

Present officers of the club are: Ed H. Winters, president; A. S. Kahnweiler, vice president; Hamilton J. Batten, recording secretary; Frank Kelley, financial secretary; Walton, treasurer; Alfred J. Rose, Jr., house chairman, and George Ash, trustee-at-large.

Kelley heads the banquet committee with the following members: Ash, Batten, Walton, Richard Barry, Kahnweiler, E. Caskey, Jacob Dreher and Nick Adezio. Rose is chairman of the entertainment committee, with Robert Johnson, William X. Huber, Jr. and Ellery Caskey as other members. 

Club's Wide Membership 

Other members of the club are Herman Brandt, Victor J. Paxson, Herbert Schaeffer, William N. Cann, Harry G. McKinney, Louis Schwaiger, David E. Barry, Thomas Kerr, Ren Plum, Ronald K. Lawrinson, William Brandt, William Walton, George A. E. Rheinbold, 

Charles Seybold, Fred Schwaiger, J. Allen Brown, George Greene; J. Russell Taylor, Harry Edginton, Samuel Payne, Trester W. Vissell, George H. Schwaiger; George W. Muschlet; Arthur Messler; R. Thornton Greene, William C. Pommerer, Charles Glendenning, William E. Smith, Walter T. Adams, John T. Beal, Otto E. Braun, John Deardon, James Selby, William T. Steele, William Begg and Alfred Huber.

Also Samuel Burrows, William J. Denham, Thomas R. Peacock, Frank H. Haines, Clarence Rudolph, Albert R. Heap, Herbert C. Battle, William Oberst, Fred Stahl; John Begg, Charles Stahl, Charles E. Packer, Paul E. Mount, City Commissioner Frank J. Hartmann Jr., Raymond Rickley, Ralph T. Githens, Howard Hurlock, Martin Steer, Harry Kerr, William Reimer, Curtis O. Sangtinette and Einar Odergaard. John LaRue, Jr., is president of the junior club of the Pyne Poynt Social. 


Camden Courier-Post - February 28, 1938

 

Harry F. Walton - Gordon Mackay - Dave Barry - Charles Glendenning
Nick Altrock - Frank Chance - John Kling - Eddie Collins - Jack Barry
Jimmy Sheckard - Frank Schulte - Frank H. Ryan - George "Nig" Rheinhold
Harry Edington - Frank Kelley - Hamilton J. Batten - A.S. Kahnweiler
Elery Caskey - Jacob Dreher - Nick Adezie - Alfred J. Rose Jr.
Robert Johnson - William X. Huber Jr.
Pyne Poynt Social Club

Camden Courier-Post
July 26, 1941

Walter Bobson

 

Pyne Poynt Park, Easter 1943

Elaine, Irene, & Dorothy "Dot" Cowley
of
1020
Segal Street

 

THREE LANDMARKS stand out in my memory of North Camden: The railroad marshalling yards, the mansion or cow-lot [this was the Augustus Reeve mansion - PMC], and Pyne Point Park.

PYNE POINT PARK was a lovely community park with hundreds of deciduous trees, a water fountain, concrete walkways, a gazebo, a bandstand (Um-pah! Um-pah!), a wading pool, a swimming pool, and baseball diamonds. We gathered there for most sports and events- mostly to meet girls as we became teenagers. Fourth of July was the major event at the park:

Parades, games, contests, band music, plenty of free ice cream and cotton candy. And, later at night when it was plenty dark, fireworks (Ah! Oh! Beautiful! Clap-clap!).

Later (during the war) the Army came to Pyne Point Park and they brought their anti-aircraft guns. They took over the pool, camped on the diamonds, and wired off the open spaces where they placed their guns, listening devices, search lights, and ammo bunkers. That was the end of the park as I knew it and I never returned there after the war.

John B. Moullette
June 2007

Cleanup at Beautiful Pyne Poynt
Summer of 2003

Americorps and New Jersey Community Water Watch led a cleanup at Pyne Poynt Park in North Camden. A large group of volunteers from The Waters Community Worship Center of Hurffville also made a major contribution to the effort.

Here are the best of the photos we shot while recording, not intended as full photojournalistic coverage. Courtesy of Life-Net Radio Online.

At water's edge, on a bank of the New Jersey Channel, across from Petty's Island
(distance, left),
looking across the mouth of the
Cooper River 
toward East Camden 
(distance, right).  

Former transmitter of radio station WCAM. A stone's throw from the water.

Display table, featuring Americorps, 
NJ Community Water Watch, and NJ Public 
Interest Research Group.

Leader Bethany Shaw, here working amidst tall bamboo, gets dirty right 
along with everybody else.

Volunteers at work, including The Waters CWC youth pastor William Jackson (right).

Sumac, commonly hacked down as a weed, 
is here allowed to show its beauty.

After only an hour, volunteers had already 
gathered this pickup-truckload of debris.

At the end of a trail leading off the west side of the park, just a few yards ahead lies a reader's paradise.

Thanks to John Ciafrani, who provided the Camden First article, for his help in creating this page 

The Camden Motor Boat Today
PYNE POYNT
MARINE SERVICES
 North 7th Street & Delaware River

In 1980, Rodney S. Sadler founded Pyne Poynt Marine Services in North Camden. He purchased the land in 1990.

Camden's Other Historic Ship

LV 79 WAL 506

Lightship
BARNEGAT

an active lightship
from 1904 until 1967

 

 

Ship data

Length o.a.: 129 feet (39.30 m)

Beam: 28.6 feet (8.70 m)
Draft: 12.6 feet (3.84 m)
Displacement: 668 t
 

Builder: New York Shipbuilding Co., Camden, NJ

Year of construction: 1904

Contact price: 89,030 $

Material: steel hull, 2 steel masts with wood spencers, stack amidships
Sister vessels: LV 78, LV 80, LV 81, LV 83
 

Illumination: Cluster of 3 oil lens laterns raised on each mast

Radio and visual call sign: NMGC (1940-1967)

History

1904-1910 Station Five Fathom Bank (NJ)
1910 equipped with submarine bell signal
1910-1918 Station Five Fathom Bank (NJ)
1918 equipped with radio
1918-1921 Station Five Fathom Bank (NJ)
1921 375mm acetylene lens laterns mounted at mastheads, latern houses removed
1921-1924 Station Five Fathom Bank (NJ)
1924-1926 Station Relief (3rd District)
1927-1928 Station Barnegat (NJ)
1928 Illuminating apparatus converted to electric operation
1928-1930 Station Barnegat (NJ)
1930 equipped with radio beacon
1930-1931 Station Barnegat (NJ)
July 1931 repowered with Diesel, Cooper-Bessemer 310 HP main engine, 5' dia 4 bladed propeller, max speed 7 knots
1931-1933 Station Barnegat (NJ)
1933 Fog signal changed to air diaphragm horn, 17" Leslie typhon
1933-1942 Station Barnegat (NJ)
1942-1945 during WWII withdrawn from station and based at Edgemoor (DE)
1945-1952 Station Barnegat (NJ)
1952 USCG lists the vessel with one 375mm 15,000cp lens latern in foremast only, fog signal and power as above
1952-1967 Station Barnegat (NJ)

March 3, 1967 decommissioned
October 13, 1967 donated to Chesapeake Maritime Museum, St. Michaels (MD), remaining there until early 1970s sold to Heritage Ship Guild for floating display at Penns Landing, Philadelphia (PA). The group disbanded and transferred ownership to the present owner Mr. Rod Sadler and a new group called Camden Museum and Learning Center. Mr. Sadler, owner of the Pyne Poynt Marine Services wants to refurbish the ship and move it to the Camden waterfront but unfortunately it is sitting in the mud at his private location in Camden (NJ) today. Pumps run during high tides to keep water out and its hull is fragile. The lightship is intact and has all its equipment. Its future is uncertain.

North Camden

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