Down to the sea

The Babbs: A family integral to Camden history

Mon, 09/19/2016 - 9:45am

The Babb family has been a prominent family in Camden for many years.  Del Babb and Janaan Babb Vaughn live in town today.  It is their grandmother, whom I write about, because she saved much history of Camden by the wonderful photographs she took at the beginning of the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Click here to see the collection of her photos.

He husband, C. Wilkes Babb, was perhaps better known as he ran the Knox Woolen Company  beginning in 1886 until 1956. He continued to work seven days a week for 70 years.  I know of no other person with a record like that.

Mr. Babb married Theresa Parker, the granddaughter of Moses Parker, who owned a tannery and lived in the “Red Chimneys”, a home owned by David Dickey, when he bought the property to build the Camden River House Hotel. David has worked many, many hours to restore the brick home, that resembled an old English mansion with ivy clad walls. Moses married Mary Barnes part of the family for which our Barnestown Road was named, and built the two and a half story Georgian style home in 1825.

Tannery Lane in Camden was named that because of Moses Parker's Tannery there. Theresa's father was Moses L Parker, who had a hardware business in Camden.  

Theresa Butler Parker (Babb) was born in Camden 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 (now 63 Washington Street). She belonged to the Monday Club, Monday Evening Reading Club, Camden Garden Club and the Camden Outing Club.

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. C. Wilkes Babb died July 11, 1948 at her home on 69 Elm Street. She was survived by her husband, a son Charles W. Babb, a daughter, Betty Foxwell, and four grandchildren.

Her granddaughter, Mrs.Vaughn,  kindly donated her collection of photographs to the Walsh History Center at the Camden Public Library.  Credit for the photographs shown in this article is given to the Walsh History Center.

Barbara F. Dyer has lived in Camden all of her life, so far.


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