Historic Camden’s story begins in 1966 with the discovery of the foundations of the Kershaw House and powder magazine. A group of local citizens recognized how important it was to preserve these landmarks and set out to do so. With the support of those dedicated citizens, the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce and seed money from Richard and Margaret Lloyd the Historic Camden Foundation was established.
Celebrating the 250th
The 250th Celebration of the American Revolution has begun. Let’s not forget that 250 years ago in December of 1773 the Sons of Liberty through tea into the Boston harbor. So we need to get ready because the British are coming.
In 1966, a group of local citizens, partnered with the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce, set out to establish the Camden District Foundation (now known as Historic Camden) using seed money provided by Richard and Margaret Lloyd.
Historic Camden opened in November of 1970 and was originally comprised of the Cunningham, Drakeford and Bradley Houses, with the Craven coming just a year later.
The Kershaw House
In 1976, with the assistance of a federal grant, work began to reconstruct the Kershaw House on its original foundation. It took about one year to complete and is an exact reproduction of the original.
The majority of site archaeology took place between 1966 and 1982. Found during these digs are key features like the Kershaw House foundation, the original town of Camden site, two redoubts, and countless artifacts.
We have been fortunate to have so many incredible items donated to our collection. A one-of-a-kind Andrew Jackson portrait, Wedgewood plates, Broadwood & Sons pianoforte and the Dolly Madison bed barely scratch the surface of what we have to offer.
The early structures were restored upon moving to the site and have typically served as display spaces. Recent restorations, like McCaa’s Tavern, now serve as home to Jollification and rental space.
Major Capitol Projects
We are finishing up the Wateree Road project which includes an amphitheater and ghost structures. In 2023 we are building a roadside stand, and an educational center. We are also building a new blacksmith & gunsmith shop, centered around the making of patriot arms.
Living history demonstrations such as pottery, brick making and blacksmithing and more can be found at Historic Camden. On the campus next door the Revolutionary War Visitor Center houses a state-of-the-art museum that tells the story of the Southern Campaign.