Alden House at Harbor Hill is one of seven stops on the Camden Garden Club’s annual House and Garden Tour on July 16th. Looking across Main Street past the Camden library to sailing masts and blue water, no place is more central to the spirit of the Camden House and Garden Club’s Centennial Tour, for this was the home of the Garden Club’s first president , Emma Alden. Built in 1886, the house stayed in the Alden family for nearly a hundred years.
Subsequent owners have updated, of course, bringing the essentials like kitchen and laundry into the twenty-first century, but always the original design and artistry have been respected. The tall, gleaming white cabinets in the kitchen and butler’s pantry, the soapstone sinks in the laundry, the marvelous built-in icebox near the back door where the iceman had quick access – it’s all still there, still immaculate. The current required technology is all but invisible, there only if you remember to look for it.
In the 130-year-old front parlor, visitors can’t fail to notice lavish details: the original hand-painted ceiling and wallpaper, the tiled fireplace, carved mahogany woodwork and stained glass window. Across the foyer, on the side facing the broad lawn and gardens, the rooms are flooded with light from wide mullioned windows. More brilliant white millwork, here with contrasting deep color on the walls.
The current owners have traced the branches of the Alden family tree on a large poster, with photos of as many as they could find. Other photo displays will show the house and families through the years.
The Tour proceeds make possible many gifts to Camden, including the hanging red geraniums on lampposts in summer and lighted wreaths in winter, the street trees program, maintenance of the Village Green…. A long list.
Rain or shine, the tour is from 9:30 to 4. Tickets are $35 in advance, $40 on the day – available in Belfast at Brambles and The Green Store; in Camden at Surroundings and Owl & Turtle; in Rockport at Hoboken Gardens and Plants Unlimited; in Rockland at Over the Rainbow and The Wine Seller; in Waldoboro at Moose Crossing Garden Center; and in West Rockport at Green Thumb. For more information or to buy tickets online, please see: http://www.camdengardenclub.com .