In the Interim of Coronavirus Covid-19

Since our most recent Society program (Feb. 16, 2020, see views below), we have all been thrust into the present history-making period of unexpected changes, adaptations, and waiting.

Now in mid-May we pause broad societal reflections to mark within that time also three losses of significance in our Society’s history—the last two surviving charter members of our 66-year-old organization, and our immediate past president:

  1. Last surviving charter member Harvey Stuart Teal 1928-2020
  2. Charter member Henrietta McWillie 1923-2020
  3. Immediate past president Katherine Williams Hill 1949-2020

Acknowledging appreciation to the above for their contributions to the historical community and the Society, we will continue to meet current challenges.

Looking Ahead—Canceled Plans Still Hold Interest

Three scheduled 2020 activities of our Society during the past three months have required postponement to an indefinite time because of the Covid-19 pandemic.  These include:

  1. A field trip to view archaeological work at Kershaw County’s White Pond, with Dr. Christopher Moore
  2. Program with Tom Poland, speaker, on Carolina Bays
  3. Program on The World of Jak Smyrl by the Authors, on his Kershaw County roots. Preview here.

Click on the hot links above to understand our interests.  (Yes, it’s like online adult-home-schooling for the historical society! Feel young!)

Research, information gathering, preservation, and planning go on.

Thanks for your continued support!!

Below, our February 16 program.

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Upcoming—Historical Society Program February 16

Sunday, February 16, 2020, at 3 p.m.,
to meet at Post 17 American Legion Hall
(Corner West DeKalb & York St., Camden, SC)

A Camden Journalist in the Civil War
Capt. Thomas J. Warren

presented by Dr. Allen H. Stokes, Jr.


Featured speaker Dr. Allen H. Stokes, Jr., Director Emeritus of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, has been a long-time friend and member of the Kershaw County Historical Society.

His professional and personal encouragement and assistance have been invaluable for a number of the Society’s research topics.  In addition, Dr. Stokes has been a program presenter, most recently on the Cantey Papers in 2016. He also allowed the Society to publish his original manuscript Gold Rush Letters in its PRESERVE series.

The upcoming talk on Camden newspaper editor Thomas J. Warren will be based on Dr. Stokes’s extensive examination of first-hand sources related to the Confederate officer’s life and his journalistic career, including battlefield letters. Capt. Warren was killed in action in 1863 at Gettysburg.

In addition to Dr. Stokes’s talk, the Society will provide audience members information about ways locally or at home to access historical newspapers of various times, places, and points of view for personal reading or research use.

Book Signing:  A Carolina Psalter by Tony Scully

During the conversation and refreshments period at the close of the featured program, Tony Scully will sign his new book, A Carolina Psalter.

Carolina Psalter, Scully

The Society’s Feb. 16 program is open to members and other interested persons.  We hope to see you!

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Year 2020 kicks off fresh

“Continuing the legacy,” our Society work rolls forward!

Anticipate details to be posted shortly for our first meeting of the year, Sunday,  Feb. 16, at the same place we met for our last meeting, at Post 17 American Legion Hall in Camden.  Save the date!

Our annual membership enrollment is proceeding well.  We thank all previous and new members who have already responded with dues payments, and look forward to the other responses which continue to arrive.

Newly re-inventoried and lowered prices for many of our Society publications are putting remaining copies in hands of new readers and allowing faithful readers to replace old, worn copies of our books with fresher ones…or to purchase gift books for family or friends. Find our books and prices by clicking the Publications tab above.

Meanwhile enjoy views below of some of the touring and book-buying visitors at our December Book Fair at our Bonds Conway House headquarters.


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December 8 Holiday Special, Timeless Asset

Sunday, December 8, 1:00-5:00 p.m.
Open House Drop-In for Our Book Sales
At the Bonds Conway House
811 Fair Street, Camden, SC



Browse, read, tour, converse, share ideas, enjoy a cookie
Buy our books while available–stock running low on some

(Select our Publications tab on top line for most titles)

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Thank You, Kathee! Oct.20 Highlights


At the Kershaw County Historical Society members’ business meeting October 20,  2019, held at Camden’s Post 17 American Legion Hall, president Tony Scully on behalf of the Society appreciatively thanked Kathee Stahl for 35+ years of devoted service as executive secretary. Kathee holds the engraved gift clock she received with warm response from members, who also signed a book as another keepsake. Retired August 1, Kathee continues as volunteer hostess Thursday afternoons at the Bonds Conway House to greet and assist Society members and visitors.

The Society also paid tribute to a highly respected former president, the late Col. Frank Babbitt, who died September 27. In addition, the Society expressed supportive words for board member Charles Baxley, chairman of the South Carolina American Revolution Sestercentennial Commission, and for Ginny Zemp, new director of Historic Camden.

In other business, the Society elected officers; Tony discussed cooperative historical initiatives and the Bonds Conway House; and Joan Inabinet explained the KCHS mission “Continuing the Legacy (inspiring historical record-keeping to preserve our times).” Society members filled out, or took home to fill out, a questionnaire for information and ideas to participate in the mission and program planning.

The Society held its meeting at Camden’s American Legion Hall, the prime spot for its program, “100 Years of History at Post 17.” In introducing the program, Joan credited the local American Legion as one local organization already carrying out the mission the Historical Society promotes to the community in “continuing the legacy.”

Touring the Legion’s Memorial Room exhibits, Society members saw clear evidence of ways in which the post carries on historical record-keeping.

Glen Inabinet, a past Society president and a past Legion commander, presented the program summarizing his research of the history of Camden’s James Leroy Belk Post 17, begun in 1919, when the American Legion was chartered in every state by act of the U.S. Congress for benefit of veterans of “the Great War,” now World War I.

The meeting concluded with conversation and with refreshments, courtesy of Melissa Saavedra and Betsy Greenway.


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Volunteer One for Harvey!

Happy Birthday to Harvey S. Teal, 91 years old today!

If you want to please Harvey with a “gift” today, volunteer your help to an individual or a group who can use a hand!

Earlier this year, Harvey wrote a reflection entitled “Volunteering” for the Kershaw County Historical Society’s column in the Camden Chronicle-Independent. He began:

“A little more than five years ago, when ‘Father Time’ revealed my 85th birthday had arrived, I wrote a reminiscence column about the changes I had witnessed over those years. One thing did not change, however. My time clock continued to click off each second, minute, hour, day, week, month and year of the ‘time’ deposited into my ‘time’ bank account.”

You can read Harvey’s full reflection on volunteering and read the whole collection of Harvey’s Kershaw County Historical Society columns on the Chronicle-Independent’s website.

Besides being our regular columnist, Harvey is a past president of our Society, a current Board member, and an author and contributor in many ways to our work. His long-time spirit of service and volunteerism continues to extend in many directions near and far and to touch many groups and individuals.

It is fitting to honor our generous friend today by donating a service of your own. Volunteer one for Harvey!

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Cousins Gather at Bonds Conway House

Saturday, June 29, 2019, was a busy and fun day for Society members who greeted about 100 visitors to our headquarters, the Bonds Conway House. Descendants of the Conway and allied families of this area, many of them had traveled far from all parts of the country for the 49th annual reunion of the group calling themselves “The Cousins.” Transported by two large tour buses and a number of autos, the group also visited a number of other local sites of their family history in the community. The presence of Mayor Alfred Mae Drakeford added to the welcome. An enjoyable day for all!

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Boyd Saunders’ Presentation

Visit the highlights of our May 19, 2019, KC Historical Society program when artist Boyd Saunders described slides of artwork in progress during his of painting “The Battle of Hanging Rock” and signed copies of the recently published art book A View from the South: The Narrative Art of Boyd Saunders, by Thomas Dewey II.

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History Made Art—Painting the Battle of Hanging Rock

Sunday, May 19 at 3 p.m.

Society Meeting in the County Council Room
At the Kershaw County Government Center
515 Walnut Street, Camden, SC

saunders boyd.JPG

Artist Boyd Saunders, above at work in his studio, will speak at the KCHS program in Camden on his process and research in creating his painting The Battle of Hanging Rock, which is on exhibit at the South Carolina State Museum, Columbia, SC.

At our May 19 program in Camden, open to the public, you will also learn about the Battle of Hanging Rock itself, an action near the present Kershaw-Lancaster boundary that is part of our Revolutionary history, fought 10 days before the Battle of Camden.

You will also learn more about the artist himself, a colorful raconteur and world-exhibited artist who is the subject of a new book, below,  A View from the South: The Narrative Art of Boyd Saunders, by Thomas Dewey II. More on this book.

dewey_saunders_cover design_Page_1

Below, at the South Carolina State Museum viewing Boyd Saunders’ painting The Battle of Hanging Rock, the Ken Brown family. The painting is on the fourth floor, Cultural History section on the Revolution. More on the museum.


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History of Haile Gold Mine, Program Saturday, Jan. 26, 1 p.m.

Gold has attracted the enduring fascination of human beings since the beginning of time. The Kershaw County Historical Society and the Old Camden District Genealogical Society are together presenting a public program, “History of Haile Gold Mine,” on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. at the Camden Archives and Museum, that will tap into that fascination with a local focus.

The Bookcover for "The History and Rebirth of the Remarkable Haile Gold Mine" by Jack H. Morris

Speaking on almost two centuries of gold mining at the Lancaster County site above the Kershaw County boundary line will be Jack H. Morris, former bureau chief of The Wall Street Journal.

The Haile Gold Mine operated a generation before the California Gold Rush and contains the largest gold deposit in the Eastern United States. For most of its years of operation to present it has been the largest gold producer in the South.

Morris is the author of a new book, The History and Rebirth of the Remarkable Haile Gold Mine. Book signing will be available. (Click for more)

Historical and genealogical researchers in Lancaster and Kershaw counties understand Morris’s observation that, “Nearly everyone has a story about the mine, as many residents are descendants of early miners or have had relatives who sold property, timber, or other goods to the mine.”

The meeting is open to all interested persons, and the Societies welcome your attendance.

Posted in Program