251 East James St.
Trustee Phone Number
On March 5, 1948, a seven-acre tract farm land was deeded by Joe and Betty Sullivan to Camden Community Park, Inc. The new park was located at the north edge of Camden on James Street and was sold for the sum of $2,100, or $300 per acre. Today this land is the Camden Park.
In 1948 the new development plans called for a lighted ball diamond, outdoor grills for picnics and outings, and swings and slides for children. The community provided equipment for the work project. Other services such as planting trees, shrubs, gravel and lighting were provided. Two buildings were donated, one being used as a pavilion. A baseball diamond was erected. Free movies were shown on weekends at the new park. Bleachers were set for use by the high school boys for track and baseball meets.
A four-day festival began on September 20-23, 1950, for dedication of the park. During these days, a carnival furnished rides and concessions for the festival. WASL Radio Station, with Tiny Joe Jordon, was present to emcee the park transfer and dedication program following the four-day event. The Camden Band closed the festival.
In 1953 Vance Fincher organized a boys’ youth league to play at the park. In 1959, under the direction of Mrs. Cecil Wallace and Mrs. Max Gish, a girls’ youth league was organized. In 1968 the community churches organized a softball league. Teams included The Camden Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, Rockfield Christian and Presbyterian churches.
In 1968 a boys’ youth league (Little League) was organized by Cecil Wallace. In 1973 the Camden Park was the site of a Town and County District Little League Tourney. The Tri-County Girls played their final season games during the annual tractor pull. Tri-County Girls’ League playing at the park consisted of nine girls’ teams, including Camden.
A tractor pull track was built to raise funds for the park. The dirt track was updated by the Camden Lions Club. The Lions Club, along with others from the community, helped raise funds for restrooms, a new pavilion and dugouts.
Visiting the park today, you will find new improved restrooms (handicapped accessible), three ball fields (two with improved lighting and lime fields), new bleachers at all diamonds, two announcers’ booths, storage buildings, batting cages, above ground dugouts for the two fields, and a new concession stand with updated appliances and attached picnic area. Three pavilions are available for a lunch break or picnic. Parking is available at each diamond and at the entrance of the park. Two horse shoe pits are also available. Playground equipment includes three slides (one circular slide), children’s swings, infant swings, two adult swings, teeter totters, animal spring rides, two jungle jims, monkey bars and a small children’s area. The park also provides a lighted basketball court.
In addition to the boys’ and girls’ youth ball programs during the spring and summer, boys’ Pony League teams and men’s softball leagues frequently use the fields.
The Camden Lions Club provides a tractor and horse pull each August bringing in hundreds of spectators. Many Camden families (and out-of-town guests) use the park for family reunions.
A new two-story concession stand was added to the park facilities in the summer of 2014. The lower level is a concession stand and kitchen and the upper level has the score box in the front and meeting room for the Park Board and ball team officials in the rear.