175 Year Celebration

 A Town of Loyalty and Pride

The Town of Camden came together on July 21st and 22nd 2007 to Celebrate 175 years of loyalty and pride as a community. The day began at 9:00 in front of the Community Building with a continental breakfast of donuts, coffee and juice. Thanks to the generosity of business and organizations, people were able to enjoy a light breakfast at no charge. The wonderful weather facilitated conversation, relaxation and fellowship. Light, easy to enjoy entertainment was provided by “The Senior Class”.

The formal opening began at 10:00 on a red, white and blue decorated stage in front of the Town Office. Committee President Jeff Sieber began the day with a few remarks and then turned the crowd’s attention to the Camden-Jackson Township Public Library’s side yard and flag pole. The Camden American Legion Post #413 and Camden Cub Scouts Pack 3150 presented the Colors and joined in the raising of the American Flag followed by Kylene Miller who sang the National Anthem.

Mr. Sieber spoke on the activities planned for the weekend and the time leading up to this day. Citizens and guest were invited to relax and enjoy the celebration. “A lot of history has come and gone along this Main Street. I hope that these next couple of days will take you back in time and Camden’s history will be reborn. While you are traveling around the streets of town this weekend, take a moment to stop and talk to a friend on the street, or a stranger that may cross your path. So for at least today and tomorrow, let’s forget about how busy our lives are, slow down and enjoy the day, just like our ancestors did.”

Mr. Sieber thanked the many people and who contributed to a wonderful event and reminisced the first meeting seventeen months prior when Council President Ralph Rohrabaugh called a meeting of interest citizens. Many meetings were held and the public support was tremendous. A few moments were taken to introduce the dignitaries in attendance and recognize the people who assisted on the boards or who worked on special projects.

The microphone was then turned over to Senator Brandt Hershman. He spoke to the crowd and presented “Senate Concurrent Resolutions Seventy-Nine” congratulating the town on its 175th anniversary celebration.

Council President Peter Wagoner had the honor of presenting a plaque to the Veterans of the Vietnam era and the American Legion. Accepting were Dale Peters, Lonnie Frye, Henry Wilburn, William Vibbertt and Robin Maxwell. Funding for the plaque was through the Carroll County Community Foundation of Howard County and local match. Those in attendance representing the Foundation were Alan Jackson, Carolyn Pearson, Dottye Robeson and Terry Callender. Mr. Maxwell concluded the presentation with the playing of taps.

Mrs. Anna Myrle Zook was introduced and asked to come forward to light the flame that was to burn throughout the weekend. A miniature horse pulling a 175-6small wagon brought Mrs. Zook from the Baptist Church to the opening ceremony. Marshal Steve Mullin and Alisha Keys, Camden Miss, assisted Mrs. Zook from the wagon to the stage and helped her light the torch.

Mullin and Alisha Keys, Camden Miss, assisted Mrs. Zook from the wagon to the stage and helped her light the torch.

Mrs. Pat Casserly was invited to present the last part of the opening ceremony. Mrs. Casserly spoke briefly while volunteers brought 175 balloons out from the town office. Each of the black and gold balloons had a post card attached asking the finder to return the card. It will be interesting to see how far the balloons travel. The balloon release was very pretty against the bright blue sky.

Events planned for the day included a quilt show sponsored by the Camden Women’s Literary Club. Seventy-five quilts were brought in for display. Across the street from the quilt show were period demonstrations such a weaving and spinning. Volunteers were dressed appropriate for the period and kept the visitors entertained and educated about their particular craft. The Library sponsored a harpist, Kathy Trout, who entertained from the library’s front porch. Later in the afternoon, Mr. Mark Smith, also dressed for the period, did a James Whitcomb Riley poetry reading in the library garden. Museum pieces were brought down to the Reading Room of the library for public enjoyment. The Library Board provided volunteers for the exhibit. People also enjoyed seeing antique and modern emergency equipment that was on display in the Baptist Church parking lot. Mr. Ron Wertz was instrumental in planning that display. Bill Dittman arranged to have antique farm equipment at the Jackson Township Park. Trolley rides, sponsored by Aim Hi Home Ec Club, hay rides and horse and buggy rides were all available throughout the day.

Events for children included a cake walk on the east side of Dr. Tom Anderson’s office and Connor’s Prairie at the park, sponsored by Duke Energy. Connor Prairie staff made candles, played games, and made yarn dolls with the children at the Jackson Township Park. As an agricultural activity, they brought in a goat, lamb and baby chicks – all of which the children greatly enjoyed.

Local clubs and organizations sold watermelon, bottled water, old time root beer, lemonade and the famous Lion’s Club Ice Cream. The Methodist Church  Women sold sandwiches for those wanting a light lunch and the Main Street Pizza King opened early to serve lunch.

The Heritage Luncheon was held in the gym at the Camden Early Childhood Center. Mrs. Barbara McCain and the Camden Community Preservation Society prepared the tables. A grant was secured from Indiana Packers Corporation of Delphi to help offset some of the cost with the meal, including the programs, entertainment, table supplies and other cost.

The center pieces were antique Camden pictures and vases of fresh, summer flowers from the Garden Club members. Entertainment prior to serving lunch was provided by Jervis Eikenberry of West Lafayette. The key speaker was Mr. John T. Pugh, builder of the gym in 1951. The lunch, served by Camden Grocery Catering, consisted of summer sandwiches, fruit plate, vegetables, chips and desert. Two hundred seventy people were served. Mrs. McCain welcomed everyone to the luncheon. Mrs. Deb Foreman gave the serving directions and Rev. Ray French blessed the tables. After the meal, Mrs. McCain read a poem she wrote entitled “A Man in the Van” in memory of Ralph Rohrabaugh, who was an active member of the town council and the community until his death in December, 2006. Mrs. McCain read “Camden, My Hometown” which mentioned many past and present residents and families. Many in attendance were pleased to hear their family members mentioned in a light reading of Camden’s history and enjoyed a brief moment in times past. Mr. Pugh finished the program with recollections on the building of the Camden gymnasium.

Many took time to review the art work of the Camden fourth and fifth grade visual art students who had studied the architecture of Camden and made representative sketches of buildings. This project was also sponsored by the Carroll County Community Foundation of Howard County and the Camden Community Preservation Society. Votes were taken on the art work and the winner will be framed and hung in the museum at the town’s library. After the luncheon, the trolley was available for touring Camden and learning more about the architecture. Mr. Joe Kitchel provided a great deal of information on the various styles of homes and other buildings in the community. Areas viewed include the Camden Cemetery, the Camden Masonic Building and the Camden Opera House. The tour was such a success, a second round was required.

Musical entertainment was varied and enjoyable through out the weekend. On Saturday a band stage was set up across the street from the Camden Early Childhood Center. Bands performing include May Faith Band, New Moon Grove and Davey & the Chorus Caravan. In the evening, All-B-Q’s set up next to the stage for serving sandwiches.

Saturday concluded with a horse pull at the Jackson Twp. Park. The event was exciting and very interesting. The four teams of horses came from across Indiana to attend. The large turn out of spectators and large purse is expected to encourage a repeat event next year.

Sunday was another busy day of community events. The day began at 10:00 with a community church service in the gym. The Worship Leaser was Mr. Everett Snoeberger. Keene Red Elk, accompanied by Mrs. Anita Hartman, lead the Hymn Sing until Pastor Dale Larson, St. Peters Lutheran Church, gave the welcome and announcements. Pastor Guy Studebaker, Lower Deer Creek Church, spoke at the offering. The day’s collection was to be split between Carroll County Church Ministries Release Time and the new entrance planned for the Camden Cemetery. Camden United Methodist Pastor Dan Gottschalk gave the sermon. Service concluded with Pastor Paul Marcellino, Camden First Baptist Church, giving the benediction. Special music was provided by Mr. Red Elk and his daughter, Sharayah, in their duet “Lord, You’re Holy”.

Guest at the service included a group of students from Meiji Gakuim High School in Japan. The private school was established in 1877 by Presbyterian and Reformed church missionaries. Students enriched the service by performing three songs, two in Japanese and one in English.

The service was attended by 175 people

After the service, people were encouraged to enjoy a picnic lunch in the gym. More musical entertainment was offered for the afternoon. Stickin’With Jesus, Malachi Jaggers and Tippecanotes, Tonsil Klachers and Sound Sensation Barbershop all delighted the crowd.

A tree dedication was held in the Water Tower Lot in memory of Ralph Rohrabaugh. A Red Oak tree was selected to be planted in his memory. Mr. Brian Foreman of Vital Signs fabricated and donated a memorable marker inscribed with:

“At the timberline where the storm strikes with the
most furry, the sturdiest trees are found.”
Author Unknown

Dedicated in Memory of
Ralph J. Rohrabaugh
On July 22, 2007
Camden’s 175th Celebration

Mrs. Deb Foreman opened the dedication and offered time for family and friends to speak. Mrs. Barbara McCain and Mr. Pete Wagoner offered fond memories of Ralph and his dedication to the community. Ralph’s daughter Carol Bingham spoke proudly and with great love of her father. Other family members who were able to attend the dedication included Ruth Rohrabaugh, Cynthia Green and Emily Bingham. Pastor Paul Marcellino offered a prayer and the service was then closed by Mrs. Foreman.

The Closing Ceremony was held in front of the Community Building. Once again, the crowd greatly enjoyed the entertainment offered by “Senior Class”. Mr. Dan Casserly officiated the closing, thanking everyone for their participation. Mr. Sieber displayed the time capsule that will be kept in the library museum and opened prior to the town’s 200th celebration. Some of the items to be stored in the capsule are programs from the various 175th activities, certificate from the state, and souvenir items. Mrs. Zook assisted in the closing with the help of Karlee Sparks and Desiree Kendall, Camden Miss First Runner-Up, in extinguishing the flame.

From the opening ceremony to the flame being extinguished at the end, the 175th activities were well attended and enjoyed. Camden celebrated its anniversary in grand style fitting for the community.