A Never Never Land in Camden, NJ

“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust.”
-J.M. Barrie

This isn’t Neverland ladies and gentlemen, but it is a statue of Peter Pan. This statute can be found in Camden and is one of Sir George Frampton’s notable works.

Among Frampton’s famous public sculptures; are the figures of Peter Pan playing a set of pipes, the lions at the British Museum and the Edith Cavell monument that stands outside the National Portrait Gallery, London.

The original statue of Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, London, was commissioned by J.M. Barrie, author of Peter Pan, in 1912. Seven more casts were made of the statue, situated all over the world. However, the statute residing in Camden is the only one in the United States.

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Picture of the Peter Pan Statue taken in the late 1930′s in Camden.

This pulsating Peter Pan statue dedicated on September 24, 1926 to the children of Camden. It resides in Johnson Park. He enjoys sprinkling his fairy dust and key to the fountain of youth on his arriving visitors.

There are other noted works of bronze art in the Park. Some are by Philadelphia sculptor Albert Laessle. Some of Laessle’s works were commissioned especially for Johnson Park, while others, including “Billy,” a playful goat, were cast from the original mold. “Billy”, “Dancing Goat”, “Pan”, and “Turtle and Duck” are among the whimsical additions to the park by Laessle.

Another famous sculptor by J. Otto Schweitzer, installed in 1930, is called,”Lily Pond Railing.” It is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece depicting a marshland habit of reeds, graceful herons and arching fish.

This is incredibly spectacular to see in such a place like Camden. Treasured works-of-art preserved as part of our past. I really hope just one day Camden could be returned to its former glory. It was a beautiful city in its day.

Until our next adventure, my friends!

-The Yummygal

“Never say goodbye because goodbye means going away and going away means forgetting.”

-J.M. Barrie (Author of Peter Pan)

11 thoughts on “A Never Never Land in Camden, NJ

  1. That is so interesting!!! One question? Where is Johnson Park? I initially thought the sculpture was in front of the Whitman Building but I’m obviously wrong again.

    • Hi Barb, thank you! It is at the intersection of Cooper Street and North Front. A few blocks away from the Camden Riversharks stadium.

      You’re absolutely right. It is located at the Whitman Cultural Arts Center. The park and land that it resides on is called Johnson Park. Address for those interested: 101 Cooper Street.

      • Ahhhh…thought it looked familiar! Thirty years at RU and I never knew that was Johnson Park…it was always the Whitman Center or building to us, especially after we began holding classes there. I learn something new from you nearly every day! Thanks!!!

  2. Hi, Yummygal… I am so glad that I found your site. I have shown it and told people about it. Quite a bit of work I’m sure. I have a question….do you know or do you yourself go to sites that are historical and can figure from the architecture as to the approximate age and such. Why you ask….? My brother has a barn in So. Jersey (of course) Woodstown, and he is contemplating tearing it down. The farm is family owned and my brother is the sole owner. We don’t want him to tear it down. The pillars inside are hand hewned, and are numbered in Roman Numerals. Overall the structure is quite good considering the approximate age – may be nearly 200 years…plus or minus. I’d like very much to hear from you about this. Thanks ahead of time….keep up your wonderful work.

    Bernice Jazwiecki

    • Bernice, funny you mention Woodstown. We are currently looking at homes in the historic district and one has particularly caught our eye for our growing family. From my travels and research, I now can look at things, understand the style and estimate the timeframe of the construction of the structure. If you asked me a few years ago, it would not be so extensive.

      I’ll definitely reach out! We’ve just been a bit busy getting our house ready for listing, shiny and decluttering just a bit to attract possible buyers for our home.

      I think you should keep the barn, lol. However, if it is in really bad shape to total disrepair… Probably best to tear it down. Haha. Would love to learn more!

      I’ll give you a ring on Thursday. I’m going to edit your number off of here so you don’t get silly phone calls.

  3. Walt Whitman’s burial site is located in the cemetery right next to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital. Also, Almonesson Lake in Deptford NJ was a popular spot for swimming and picinics and on Sat nites, a live band played there for dances and was very popular. The band was a live broadcast on the radio also. Quite a history there. Hope you can find time to look into it. Very interesting Good Luck in your search.

  4. Thanks for the post about the Peter Pan statue. My mom grew up in Camden and I remember her telling me that as a young school girl she took part in the dedication ceremony. It was a big event for the city and surrounding towns.

    • Thank you! I believe (don’t quote me on this) that Merchantville and Pennsauken came out in the thousands to celebrate the dedication. Camden was an extremely beautiful city in its day. My generation sees crime and abandoned buildings. They honestly have no clue how exquisite Camden once was. Thank you for sharing!

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