Camden, Arkansas Facts:
- County: Ouachita
- Coverage Area (Total): 16.6 sq. miles
- Elevation: 203 ft.
- Population: 12,183
- Cities/Towns covered in local Names and Numbers Phone Book: Arkansas – Bearden, Calion, Camden, El Dorado, Emerson, Hampton, Junction City, Louann, Macedonia, Magnolia, McNeil, Mt Holly, Norphlet, Smackover, Stephens, Strong, Urbana, Village; Louisiana – Junction City
The city of Camden was founded in 1824, but was not officially named or incorporated until 1844. In pre-Civil War days, Camden was a prosperous river port that carried passengers and freight to New Orleans and St. Louis via steamboat. The town remained an important depot for shipping cotton into the early 20th century, but the spread of boll weevils reduced this cargo as cotton crops were devastated all along the south. Camden also became a popular railroad town, served by the St. Louis Southwestern Railway, the Missouri Pacific, and the Rock Island railroads.
Along with the South Arkansas oil boom of the 1920s, the lumber industry also became a staple in the Camden area. In 1927, the International Paper Company built a processing plant in Camden, and the newspaper business grew successful with several publications headed up by Clyde E. Palmer. The 1944 construction of a Naval Ammunition Depot also brought several thousand jobs to the area.
Camden maintains a variety of attractions including:
- Camden BPW Barn Sale
- McCollum-Chidester House Museum
- Poison Spring State Park and Historic Battlefield Site