CCHS serves a metropolitan area of half a million, residing in 37 municipalities. Camden County’s residents vary from 24 wealthy families in Tavistock to 80,000 in Camden City where a significant portion of the population is on public assistance.
CCHS comprises a complex of four separate but connected buildings in a quiet, residential area of Camden known as Parkside. The four buildings include Pomona Hall, a caretaker’s house, a museum building and Boyer Hall (research library, offices and auditorium).
The showpiece of the complex is Pomona Hall, a Georgian-style mansion constructed of brick in Flemish bond with a gabled roof. Construction of Pomona Hall began in 1726 by the prominent Cooper family, who were among the original Quaker settlers of the area. The home was enlarged in 1788 and occupied by several generations of the Cooper family until 1901, when it was sold to the Parkside Land Development Company and then to the City of Camden.
In 1924 the City of Camden leased Pomona Hall to CCHS to use as its headquarters. As CCHS’s library and museum collections grew and its programs expanded, increased space was needed. Thus, in 1967, two new buildings were erected flanking Pomona Hall; a two-story museum and Boyer Hall with a research library, auditorium, storage areas and offices.
In 1958, the collection of Charles Boyer, deceased past president of CCHS, was, upon the death of his wife, given to CCHS with funds for housing and maintaining the collection. Mr. Boyer, originally active with the Camden City Historical Society, became involved with CCHS in 1920 when the two groups merged and became president of CCHS in 1921 and served for nearly 16 years. Mr. Boyer distinguished himself as an authority on local history. Many of the furnishings in Pomona hall and the artifacts in the museum were originally part of his private collection.
In 1973, CCHS undertook the restoration of Pomona Hall to its 1788 appearance. Working with a team of consultants including a preservation architect, archaeologists and contractors, CCHS completed the $400,000 project in 1981. Today, CCHS is the chief historical agency for Camden County.
In October 2004 CCHS was honored by the Caucus of the Mid-Atlantic Regional Archives Conference as its 2004 recipient for professionalizing archival practices and making historical resources more accessible to the public.