Camden, an Inland Port on the Wateree River

To a large audience of more than 80 persons, the Kershaw County Historical Society and the Camden Archives and Museum co-hosted a program Nov. 7, 2021, featuring detailed new research on the Wateree River and its fascinating history. The main points were the river’s importance in the Revolution and Camden’s development as an inland port.

Open to the public at the newly developed Kershaw County Revolutionary War Visitor Center, the meeting was held in the spacious facility Liberty Hall, 2l2 Broad Street, Camden, S.C.

Based on years of persistent study, historian Lon D. Outen presented extensive research and revealing perspectives in his talk and slides on the topic:

The Wateree River, Inland Port at Camden

From canoes to steamboats, Outen’s program traced the evolution and demise of the Camden port, which evolved from pre-colonial days to Revolutionary times through nineteenth century succcesses and twentieth century attempts at revival.

A graduate of the University of South Carolina in education and history, Outen has been employed at the Camden Archives for about a dozen years. He has served on the Board of the KC Historical Society and was its past treasurer. He and his wife live in Kershaw.

Among his other publications, Outen is also the author of a book about Kershaw County’s other important river system. It is entitled A History of Lynches Forks and Extended Areas on Big and Little Lynches Rivers, S.C.

On Nov. 7 program attendees were able to arrive early to view the adjoining Visitor Center museum exhibits (Sunday hours 1-5 p.m.). The program also recommended visits sometime soon to public park sites along the old Wateree River port areas–the Riverfront Environmental Park (Camden side) and the Wateree River Veterans Park (Lugoff side).

Outen’s books may be purchased at the Camden Archives and Museum as well as other area book outlets.

Joan A. Inabinet and L. Glen Inabinet are co-authors of A HISTORY OF KERSHAW COUNTY, SOUTH CAROLINA (2011, University of South Carolina Press) and active in the Kershaw County Historical Society in Camden, S.C.

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