Kershaw County Historical Society

Camden, South Carolina


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1. Southern Campaigns
of the American Revolution
2. Battle of Camden
3.Battle of Hobkirk's Hill
4.Hobkirk's Hill Society  

 

 

 
 

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Join Us at our COMING PROGRAM
February 2, 2014--3 p.m.
A Sandhill Perspective --
History, Legend, Legacy of Blaney-Elgin

Guest Speaker
Madge Black Strickland
Author of a new book on her hometown

At Robert Mills Courthouse
South Broad Street, Camden

Public Welcomed
.
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Our most recent Society Publication

"A History of Kershaw County" coverA History of Kershaw County, South Carolina

by Joan A. Inabinet and L. Glen Inabinet
for the Kershaw County Historical Society

Hardbound, with dust jacket, over 700 pages
of text, illustrations, and extensive index

Published by the University of South Carolina Press

Click here to order your book from us.
Our price per regular edition book $50 , plus shipping if required

I
n Kershaw County the book is also sold at  the Camden Archives,
at Historic Camden, and at various vendors in local communities.
The book is also available from our publisher, USC Press, as well as
from other book and online sources.


Click here to read what USC Press says about A History of Kershaw County, South Carolina.
Click here to listen to an interview with the authors of the book on NPR's Walter Edgar's Journal

Click here for other Society publications.



NOW AVAILABLE  a numbered limited Special Edition (only 100 copies printed) of
A History of Kershaw County

Navy leather binding with gold lettering.  Numbered and autographed on special page insert.
King Hagler (Haiglar) image on cover. A distinctive companion to vintage Historic Camden volumes.  Available only through the Society.
Special Edition, $100

Click here to order your Special Edition book from us.


................. Scroll on for RECENT KCHS PROGRAMS...........................

Mendel L. Smith--Legislator & Judge

Society members October 20, 2013, learned details of the life of one District Five judge from another District Five judge, both of them Camden residents in different periods. Retired Judge Tommy Cooper informatively entertained with facts and anecdotes from his research on the life of the late Judge Mendel L. Smith, about whom he is writing a book. Slides and a display of items related to Judge Smith enhanced the presentation.  

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Holly Hedge Tour & The Immortal 600

A sizeable group of Society members, umbrellas in hand but unaffected by overhead clouds, enjoyed a delightful tour of one of Camden's lovely historic estate homes, Holly Hedge, on March 24, 2013. The members-only tour followed a public program the Society held nearby at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church on the "Immortal 600," Civil War prisoners who were documented for history in a manuscript by a Confederate officer whose home is now known by the Holly Hedge name. Program speakers who have researched and written about the Immortal 600 were KCHS's Harvey S. Teal, Karen Stokes, and Mauriel Phillips Joslyn

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A Veteran Recalls World War II
 

Frequent focus on Kershaw Countyís Revolutionary struggles against the British does not overshadow local interests in modern historical times--such as World War II, when America and Great Britain were allied in freedomís cause. On February 24, 2013, the Society's program's program was viewed with great interest, co-sponsored with the Larry Jeffers Post 195, American Legion, at their headquarters on Wildwood Lane. Speaker was a resident of neighboring Blythewood, John P. Cummer, World War II veteran, who discussed his experiences as a U.S. Navy gunner's mate aboard amphibious landing craft on D-Day.
 

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South Carolinians in Love and War

Nov. 4. 2012, at Camden High School Auditorium, Civil War historian Mac Wyckoff focused on members of Kershaw's Brigade, CSA, in his informative and entertaining presentation. Wyckoff's previous contacts with the Society and knowledgeable talks provided a well-anticipated program.

 .....................................

Focus on the Fork
(of Big and Little Lynches Rivers in Kershaw County )

Oct. 14, 2012, Author Lon Outen was guest speaker at a well-attended program held at Lyttleton Street United Methodist Church in Camden to show slides and discuss his just-published book, A History of Lynches Forks and Extended Areas On Big and Little Lynches Rivers, South Carolina. In the annual election of officers, those serving last year were re-elected. Book sales and autographing followed.

                                                                    .....................................

"A History of Kershaw County" coverLaunching Our New County History Book

A History of Kershaw County, South Carolina, written by Joan A. Inabinet and L. Glen Inabinet for the Kershaw County Historical Society and published by USC Press, has received very favorable response since the Society introduced it to the public with a much-enjoyed Launch Party Jan. 16, 2011. The authors have also given talks from its pages to numerous groups, and have appeared as radio guests on Walter Edgar's Journal. The South Carolina Book Festival May 14 and 15, 2011, featured the book with two panel presentations and book signings by the authors.
Click here to read what USC Press says about A History of Kershaw County, South Carolina.
Click here to listen to an interview with the authors of the book on NPR's Walter Edgar's Journal

                                                                    .....................................
Mary Chesnut's
Long-Lost Civil War Photographs

Feb. 26, 2012,  at Lyttleton Street United Methodist Church, Camden, Marty Daniels discussed her familyís search and recovery of Mary Chesnutís lost Civil War photograph albums. Daniels also described her work with archivist Barbara McCarthy at Mulberry Plantation to identify and research some200 images collected by Mary Chesnut. Their work was published in 2011 in a two-volume edition entitled Mary Chesnutís Illustrated Diary, Mulberry Edition, published by Pelican Publishing Company. A full-house attended the program.

                                                                   .....................................

Tiller's Ferry Historical Marker
The Society on Oct. 2, 2011, dedicated a Historical Marker at Tiller's Ferry community, crossroads site Bethune Road (SC 341) and
Old Stagecoach Road from Camden. History of the Tiller's Ferry community pre-dates the Revolution and includes Civil War invasions. The ferry was the major early crossing over the Lynches River into Kershaw County.  The program was well attended by a large crowd.

(At left, front of old store that was Tiller's Ferry post office)

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Richard Kirkland--Angel or Hoax?

Nov. 6, 2011, historian Mac Wyckoff spoke on the provocative topic to show that he felt a significant event had occurred during the Civil War Battle of Fredericksburg, Va.
 Richard Kirkland, a Confederate sergeant from Kershaw County, is remembered for risking  his life during the battle to take water to wounded and dying enemy soldiers. He also presented a dynamic new film documentary on Kirkland's deed. The program was enjoyed in the auditorium at Camden High School.

(At left, Sgt. Richard Rowland Kirkland, 2nd S.C.)

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Controversy, Colonial Governance, & Cherokee War, 1755-1760


South Carolina Governor
William Henry Lyttelton--

May 1, 2011, at the Lyttleton Street United Methodist Church in Camden,  Society members were treated to a lecture and slide show by guest speaker Daniel J. Tortora discussing crown-appointed South Carolina Governor William Henry Lyttelton.

The Society also unveiled its leather-bound Special Edition of A History of Kershaw County and placed the books for sale (See above).

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RAILROADS in Kershaw County and S.C.   

The Society program Sept. 26, 2010, included slides and an informative lecture on state and local railroads. About 75 persons attended the program in the Kershaw County Fine Arts Center auditorium to hear remarks by Rodger Strop, retired director of the S.C. Department of Archives and History.

Dr. Stroup is the current chairman of the SC Archives and History Foundation and a volunteer at the South Carolina State Museum.  He is also the curator of the South Carolina Railroad Museum and a certified conductor on the museumís Rockton, Rion & Western Railroad.


Local dignitaries in Camden in 1937 for opening day ceremonies
at the new Seaboard Air Line Railway station, West DeKalb Street
Photo courtesy of Camden Archives

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The Brits Invade Camden--Again!
World War II British Aviation Cadet Training, with American Pilots,
at the Southern Aviation School at Woodward Field in Camden

An audience of about 75 persons on May 16, 2010, enjoyed the comfortable seating of the beautiful chapel at Camden Military Academy in Camden during the informative and entertaining lecture by Dr. Gilbert S. Guinn on the Southern Aviation School that had operated at that site during World War II.  Specifically, Dr. Guinn focused on the training of British pilots there as part of the Arnold Scheme, topic of a book he authored on the subject. Afterwards, the audience enjoyed refreshments and walked on the airport field to inspect a restored vintage Stearman airplane such as had been used there for training during World War II.
 

Arnold Scheme: British Pilots, the American South and the Allies Daring Plan

Guest Speaker:  Gilbert S. Guinn, Author of
The Arnold Scheme

Gilbert S. Guinn of Greenwood, Emeritus Professor at Lander University and a contributor of the Guinn Collection to Cooper Library, USC, was born and grew up near Woodward Field in Camden. Here the Southern Aviation School operated from 1941-1943. Its traces are still observed at  Camden Military Academy where we will meet and at the Camden Airport. Dr.Guinn's 2007 The Arnold Scheme, includes details about SAS at Camden.

The Arnold Scheme is available from online vendors and may be previewed at Google Books.

More Resources on the Topic

Read here Aviation Special Issue, Fred Ogburn's extensive articles on the Southern Aviation School that appeared as "A Kershaw County Historical Society Special Issue" in the April 28, 2010, Kershaw County Current, with thanks for the PDF provided us by that publication.

Snapshots of World War II training in Camden may be viewed on the webpage journal of SAS British flying cadet Anthony Johnstone.  Although the text at this site includes his journal throughout the war, all photographs were taken at Camden.

More snapshots of training in Camden may be viewed on the webpage devoted to the webpage story of SAS British flying cadet Allan Gent. His son would appreciate any identifications or further information that can be provided. The page also links to a copy of a 1941 publication of Goggles  by the UK cadets, including personal signatures of the some of them.

Southern Aviation School Hanger, built in 1932
Built in 1932, Camden Airport hanger used by the Southern
Aviation School. SC Archives and History Center photo.

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Despite a cold rain, over 65 persons were at the  Robert Mills Courthouse in Camden  Jan. 24, 2010, to hear the moderated panel discussion "The Homefront Is the Battlefront," the first part of a two-part "BRITS INVADE CAMDEN" presentation. Moderated by Charles Baxley, the panel included Joanna Craig, Glen Inabinet, John Miller, Jim Piecuch, and David Reuwer.  Information about several of these panelists

The Homefront Is the Battlefront
Domestic life during the Revolution

 

Inside the Robert Mills Courthouse, above,
scenes by Claude Buckley depict local
battle actions during the Revolution.



Recent re-enactors
at Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site
(above) depict roles of civilians, as well as military participants.

Panelist John Miller, (below) points to a Revolutionary Camden map,
discussed by panelists (row 2) and the audience (rows 3 amd 4).




..............................................................................................

Oct. 18, 2009, Jill Koverman, Curator of Collections for McKissick Museum, USC, with Society board member and collector Jim Witkowski, and area potter Otis Norris, presented an illustrated lecture, display, and pottery sale at the Kershaw County Fine Arts Center.  All of the facets engaged the audience in the history of a fascinating art.

A Ceramic History of S.C.
A Kershaw County Focus

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Our program Sunday, May 3, 2009, attracted a large group to the new Auditorium at Camden High School. Guest speakers included Mather graduates Congressman Jim Clyburn and Dr. Ernestine Adams, with Dr. Harvey S. Teal.

MATHER ACADEMY
History of a Mission To Educate African-American Children




On a part of the old campus, a memorial to Mather is a familiar site
on Campbell Street, Camden, a location on the State Archivesí
list of African-American Historical Sites. The school took root
from missionary efforts to educate children of former slaves.

More Mather information is on the Boylan-Haven-Mather Academy Alumni Association webpage.

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Lovely Spring weather added to the pleasures of Society members who joined us in going
BACK TO
Boykin, SC March 22, 2009, to continue touring the historic rural community.

"BACK TO Historic Boykin" Spring Tour


Actress Chris Weatherhead enthralls tour-goers at the Terraces
in her noted role as Civil War diarist Mary Boykin Chesnut,
who spent part of her childhood in the lovely plantation home.


High, wide porches offered expansive views of the Terraces'  famous grounds.


A stroll on the grounds of Millway reawakens rural memories.


Sam Dennis fills old Swift Creek Baptist Church
with the full-toned notes of traditional spiritual singing.

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Society members filled the pews at historic Ebenezer Methodist Church in Lugoff  for our Feb. 15, 2009, program on an extensive nineteenth-century public works system that the State of South Carolina built on the west bank of the Wateree River.

The Wateree Canal



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A large group enjoyed a lovely day in Boykin, SC, on our Fall Tour Nov. 9, 2008.
Sites included
Deer Hope Lodge, home to Boykin Hunt Club
Boykin Grist Mill, with demonstration
Pear Tree
Old Stockton Schoolhouse
Swift Creek Church
Battle of Boykin, Civil War skirmish site

Historic Boykin Fall Tour


Tille and Baynard Boykin share information about the 1865 battle
 commemorated by the marker behind them
.


Inside Swift Creek Baptist Church, Alice Boykin describes its restoration.


Seen through the window of restored Stockton School, groups
outside are engaged in conversation with Boykin area residents.


Jamie Guy tells old hunting stories at Deer Hope Lodge,
grounds of the Boykin Hunt Club
.

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An audience of 200 filled the auditorium and gallery at the
Kershaw County Fine Arts Center, Camden, Oct. 26, 2008,
for our first program of this new term of office.


The PROGRAM and ART EXHIBIT Preview, was presented in
in cooperation with the Kershaw County Fine Arts Center


The Life and Art of
Kershaw County Native Jak Smyrl



Sketch above by Jak Smyrl is used by permission from
his book Random Rimes, copyright 2007.

Featured Speaker was Cartoonist Robert Ariail 

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A very interested audience of 50 to 60 at the Robert Mills Courthouse
 May 19,2008, heard Val Green discuss his extensive research.

John Lawson's Explorations
of the Catawba Path, 1700-1701



The Catawba Path is traveled in part today by anyone
who uses Broad Street in Camden, where appropriately
the weathervane effigy of Catawba chief "King Haiglar"
tops the historic town tower. (Image from mid-1900s)


Program & tour photos Details here

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 Despite rainy interruptions April 27, 2008, a cheerful crowd of about 50
followed our tour to the end, attentive to lively explanations by our guide

Archaeology & Walking Tour
of Battle of Hobkirk's Hill site




Program Details here
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Our March 2, 2008, program attracted 200 visitors!
Beginning at the Bethune Woman's Club with a short talk, display, and refreshments,
the program included a tour with local experts speaking at various sites
and a map-brochure created especially for this program!

Tour of Bethune, SC


Early nineteenth century swimmers at Big Spring mineral-springs resort in Bethune

Program and 1907 photo Details here

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The Society attracted attention at its booth at the SC Book Festival in Columbia Feb. 23-24.We enjoyed our first time to be part of this popular annual event,
beloved by readers and antique book-collectors. We are looking
forward to next year.  Plan to join us at the next annual Festival!



Ben Shreiner and Charles Baxley, manning the Historical Society's booth at the SC Book Festival, greet one of the customers to the event, Liz Campbell, also of Kershaw County.
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Our Jan.13, 2008, program at the Robert Mills Courthouse was
well-attended, enjoyed by audience and panelists, and
moderated by Don Terrell on the subject :

Pre-Revolutionary History
in Kershaw County



Some of the finer pre-Revolutionary area homes did not differ much from
the 1812 Drakeford House moved to the Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site.
(1970 view)

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The Elgin Centennial was observed in 2008!

We enjoyed our Oct. 2007 program Old Blaney to New Elgin
Thanks to the Elgin Centennial Committee, our hosts

Where Blaney began ó A telegraph operator sits in the Western Union window of the Seaboard train depot at Blaney (today Elgin) in the early 1900s.

Thanks so much to Barbie Russ  for this image of her great granduncle Elihu Meares, an early 1900s telegraph operator who traveled in the employ of the Seaboard Air Line Railway. The Blaney depot building, moved to Stephen Campbell Road, now serves as Goff Feed & Tack.

 

 

Go Back to Kershaw County Historical Society
Headquarters at the Bonds Conway House
811 Fair Street, Post Office Box 501
Camden, SC 29020     Phone: (803) 425-1123
Email:  kchistory@camden.net