Yorkies Diner – Where You Can Get the Best Food on the Maine Coast – 44 Chestnut Street, Camden, Maine

Erskine York was born in Rockland, Maine, in 1892.  He began a career as “Yorkie the Clown” in 1926 and worked with Charlie Sparks Circus, Cole Brothers Circus, and Ringling Brothers-Barnum & Bailey Circus, among others.  He went into the restaurant business in Camden in 1944 but continued to make appearances as a clown at parades and other local events.   He was known as a delightful and colorful character and great storyteller.

Yorkie ran a hot dog stand on Elm Street before opening a restaurant on Chestnut Street, which became quite a destination.  The diner’s walls were covered with autographed photos of famous entertainers and from “Peyton Place,” which was filmed in Camden in 1957.  He published a cookbook of recipes from the diner.  In 1958 he sold the Camden restaurant and moved to the Camden Road (Route 1) in Rockport, where he continued to run a hot dog and hamburger stand.  He died on October 16, 1966, and, according to his obituary, on October 18 “in respect to Yorkie’s memory all businesses in Camden’s Main Street observed half hour cessation from 2 to 2:30.”

Information provided by Camden Public Library

Catalog Number LB2007.1.106459