Camden harbor today, crowded with pleasure boats, is a far cry from this tranquil 1920s scene showing a schooner yacht, yawl, and three luxury steam yachts moored off Sherman’s Point. Some of the country’s largest, most sumptuous yachts belonged to summer residents of Camden.
The large steam yacht in the middle is Cyrus H. K. Curtis’s 228-foot Lyndonia II, built in 1920 after its predecessor had been acquired by the U.S. Government and converted to Navy use. Curtis was a native Mainer who founded a publishing empire that made him one of the richest men in America. Lyndonia II’s captain was Albert Rich of Camden, and the vessel had a crew of 39. A New York Times reporter, who likened the boat to an ocean liner, interviewed Curtis on his yacht in 1922. “Yachting is not a hobby for me. It is a necessity. I spend half my time on this ship,” Curtis said. He oversaw much of his business from the boat, whether in Boston, Portland, or Philadelphia, holding meetings of 20 men in the dining room. “A yacht’s a good business investment. It’s good business from every point of view—work, health, pleasure, everything, ” Curtis declared.