Camden, South Carolina: Wikis


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Camden, South Carolina
—  City  —
Original Kershaw County courthouse in Camden
Nickname(s): Steeplechase Capital of the World
Coordinates: 34°15′33″N 80°36′33″W / 34.25917°N 80.60917°W / 34.25917; -80.60917
Country United States
State South Carolina
County Kershaw
Founded March 22, 1786
 - Mayor Jeffrey Graham
 - Total 9.8 sq mi (25.3 km2)
 - Land 9.7 sq mi (25.0 km2)
 - Water 0.1 sq mi (0.3 km2)  1.23%
Elevation 187 ft (57 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 6,682
 - Density 692.2/sq mi (267.4/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC-5)
 - Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 29020, 29021
Area code(s) 803
FIPS code 45-10855[1]
GNIS feature ID 1247113[2]
Website Area Code(s) = 803

Camden is a city in and the county seat of Kershaw County, South Carolina, United States.[3] The population was 6,682 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Columbia, South Carolina, Metropolitan Statistical Area.



Camden is located at 34°15′33″N 80°36′33″W / 34.25917°N 80.60917°W / 34.25917; -80.60917 (34.259146, -80.609161)[4].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.8 square miles (25.3 km²), of which, 9.6 square miles (25.0 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (1.23%) is water.


Camden is the oldest inland city in South Carolina. In 1730, Camden became part of a township plan ordered by King George II. Kershaw County’s official web site states, “Originally laid out in 1732 as the town of Fredricksburg in the Wateree River swamp (south of the present town) when King George III ordered eleven inland townships established along South Carolina's rivers, few of the area settlers chose to take lots surveyed in the town, choosing the higher ground to the north. The township soon disappeared.” In 1758, Joseph Kershaw, from Yorkshire, England came into the township, established a store and renamed the town Pine Tree Hill. Camden became the inland trade center in the colony. Kershaw suggested that the town be renamed Camden, in honor of Lord Camden, the champion of colonial rights.

May of 1780 brought the American Revolution to Charleston, South Carolina, and Charleston fell. Lord Charles Cornwallis and 2,500 of his troops marched to Camden and established the main British supply post for the Southern campaign. The Battle of Camden, the worst American defeat of the Revolution, was fought on August 16, 1780 in Camden and another battle between around 1,400 American troops led by General Nathanael Greene battled with 950 British soldiers led by Lord Francis Rawdon on April 25, 1781. The last battle was a costly win for the British, but it forced the Redcoats to leave Camden.

Camden was not involved directly with the Civil War, however did send a few generals. Camden moved on from the war, and in 1885, it became a place where rich Northern families would migrate to in the winter. The town became associated with many equestrian activities, and is now the home of the third oldest active polo field in America. In the winter, more than 1,500 thoroughbreds call the field home. According to Kershaw County’s web site, “Horse related activities became very popular. That interest in equine activities has continued and today the horse industry is a major part of the county economy. For that reason, the county is known as the ‘Steeplechase Capital of the World’.”


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 6,682 people residing in the city limits, in 2,874 households and 1,813 families. The population density was 692.2 people per square mile (267.4/km²). There were 3,283 housing units at an average density of 340.1/sq mi (131.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 60.72% White, 37.19% African American, 0.10% Native American, 0.45% Asian, 0.10% Pacific Islander, 0.63% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.32% of the population.

There were 2,874 households out of which 24.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 16.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.9% were non-families. 34.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.25 and the average family size was 2.88.

In the city the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 6.7% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 24.2% from 45 to 64, and 23.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 82.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.6 males.

The Kershaw House, Georgian mansion first built, 1775-1780, by Joseph Kershaw, merchant and leading citizen of Camden became the headquarters for the occupying British army, 1780-1781. It burned in 1865, and was the object of an archaeological dig in 1968. Then it was rebuilt from 1974-1977.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,209, and the median income for a family was $53,056. Males had a median income of $37,342 versus $26,693 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,037. About 13.1% of families and 16.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.3% of those under age 18 and 13.7% of those age 65 or over.

The Carolina Cup

The Carolina Cup is an annual event held on either the final Saturday in March or the first Saturday of April. The first race was held March 22, 1930 and has been held every year since, with the exception of 1943 and 1945, during World War II. The races have become a South Carolina tradition, and normally draws a crowd of over 70,000 spectators. The "Cup" has become a premier social sporting event. Springdale Race Course is also home to the Marion du Pont Scott Colonial Cup held on the third Sunday in November annually.

Among major steeplechase horse races, it is unique in that because of South Carolina state law, gambling on horse racing is prohibited.



Notable natives


External links


1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

CAMDEN, a town and the county-seat of Kershaw county, South Carolina, U.S.A., near the Wateree river, 33 m. N.E. of Columbia. Pop. (1890) 3533; (1900) 2441; this decrease was due to the separation from Camden during the decade of its suburb "Kirkwood," which was re-annexed in 1905. It is served by the Atlantic Coast Line, the Seaboard Air Line and the Southern railways. Camden is situated about 100 ft. above the river, which is navigable to this point. The town is a winter resort, chiefly for Northerners. Cotton, grain and rice are produced in the vicinity, and there are some manufactories, including cotton mills, a cotton-seed oil mill and planing mills. Camden, first known as Pine Tree Hill, is one of the oldest interior towns of the state, having been settled in 1758; in 1768 the present name was adopted in honour of Lord Chancellor Camden. The town was first incorporated in 1791; its present charter dates from 1890. For a year following the capture of Charleston by the British in May 1780, during the War of Independence, Camden was the centre of important military operations. It was occupied by the British under Cornwallis in June 1780, was well fortified and was garrisoned by a force under Lord Rawdon. On the 16th of August Gen. Horatio Gates, with an American force of about 3600, including some Virginia militia under Charles Porterfield (1750-1780) and Gen. Edward Stevens (1745-1820), and North Carolina militia under Gen. Richard Caswell (1729-1789), was defeated here by the British, about 2000 strong, under Lord Cornwallis, who had joined Rawdon in anticipation of an attack by Gates. Soon after the engagement began a large part of the Americans, mostly North Carolina and Virginia militia, fled precipitately, carrying Gates with them; but Baron De Kalb and the Maryland troops fought bravely until overwhelmed by numbers, De Kalb himself being mortally wounded. A monument was erected to his memory in 1825, Lafayette laying the corner-stone. The British loss in killed, wounded and missing was 324; the American loss was about Boo or 900 killed and 1000 prisoners, besides arms and baggage. On the 3rd of December Gates was superseded by Gen. Nathanael Greene, who after Cornwallis had left the Carolinas, advanced on Camden and arrived in the neighbourhood on the 19th of April 1781. Considering his force (about 1450) insufficient for an attack on the fortifications, he withdrew a short distance north of Camden to an advantageous position on Hobkirk's Hill, where on the 25th of April Rawdon, with a force of only 950, took him somewhat by surprise and drove him from the field. The casualties on each side were nearly equal: American 271; British 258. On the 8th of May Rawdon evacuated the town, after burning most of it. On the 24th of February 1865, during the Civil War, a part of Gen. W. T.Sherman's. army entered Camden and burned stores of tobacco and cotton, and several buildings. (See American War Of Independence.) See also T. J. Kirkland and R. M. Kennedy, Historic Camden (Columbia, S.C., 1905).

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