See You at March 11 Program! Local “Home Ties” in Worcester, Mass. Photos

In Camden for a research trip of several days, Dr. Janette Greenwood will be the main speaker for the Historical Society’s program, “Migration and Home Ties,” Sunday, March 11, at 3 p.m. at the Historic Robert Mills Courthouse, Camden, open to the public.

A history professor for 17 years at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, she hopes to learn and share information about historical and genealogical connections between that community and Camden. She has already located some Camden kin of families who migrated to Worcester and looks forward to meeting more. She is interested “in hearing what people know.”

At the Society program, Dr. Greenwood will share and discuss images from a recent exhibition she helped curate at the Worcester Art Museum—“Rediscovering an American Community of Color: The Photographs of William Bullard, 1897-1917.”

Joining Dr. Greenwood at the podium during part of the program will be her collaborator on the study of the photographs. Owner of the images, he is Frank Morrill, a retired teacher and history buff, who used other Bullard shots of town buildings and scenes to publish a photographic history of Worcester.

One more resource Dr. Greenwood says she will make available in Camden is “a collection of newspaper clippings from the local (Worcester) newspaper, from the 1930s through the 1970s, given to me recently by a member of an old Worcester family.” She says, “They are mostly obituaries of African Americans—and it is amazing how many people were born in Camden.”

Surnames familiar in the local area that Dr. Greenwood mentioned in the Worcester photographs or obituaries include Perkins, Benson, Carlos, Shropshire, Truesdale/Truesdell, English, Bell, Boykin, Rainey, Carlos, Brevard, Kennedy, Rhodes, Adamson, Brisbane, Fisher, Taylor, Jones, Spring, Hayes, and others.


Follow our hot links in the above article and here to find on your screen more about the William Bullard collection we screen-captured above. Thanks to Frank Morrill, Clark University, and Worcester Art Museum.

Posted in News, Program

Join us in 2018 for more good times!

Remember our Kendall Mill Village tour and Community Band concert you enjoyed last fall? Take a peek below to recall!

Our membership campaign is underway to support more great events being planned. Dues may be paid by the recent mailer you may have received, or online by paypal (bottom of right column).  We look forward to seeing you!


Posted in Uncategorized

Upcoming October Program

The Kershaw County Historical Society with The Camden Community Band
Hope to see you at our program

With Pride of Community

Sunday afternoon, October 22, 2017
Visit the Kendall Mill Historic District

1:00-2:45 Park at Wateree Baptist Church (2024 Haile Street) and start your visit at an exhibit in the Fellowship Center. Receive a historical background flyer, information, and a tour map for Open House visits to five renovated Kendall Village homes in short walking distance of the church and each other. Ribbon-cutting 2:45 in Kendall Park.

3:00-4:00 Outdoor Community Band Concert in Kendall Park (Haile Street and Park Circle). Blankets or folding chairs are suggested. Park at church or in open lots in Park vicinity.

Read more from The Camden-Chronicle Independent 17 Oct. 2017

19960620001 wateree band uniforms

Spirited music characterized the pride of community presented by the Wateree Mill Band of Kendall employees in Camden, here c.1923. (Courtesy of the Camden Archives)

Posted in Upcoming Program

Camden-Chronicle Independent Article: Kendall Mill Village tour, concert Sunday

The Camden-Chronicle Independent 17 Oct. 2017: Kendall Mill Village tour, concert Sunday.

“With Pride of Community”— Visit Kendall Historic Mill District Oct. 22 As Historical Society and Community Band Offer Open-House Tours and Concert

A fresh look at a resilient old section of Camden is to be offered Sunday, October 22, when the Kershaw County Historical Society, with the Camden Community Band, will welcome members and the public to the program “With Pride of Community” at Kendall Mill Historic District.

The two-part event begins with a no-fee tour from 1:00 to 2:45 p.m. that starts with parking at Wateree Baptist Church, 2024 Haile Street. At an exhibit in the church’s Fellowship Center, visitors will receive a historical background flyer and a walking-tour map for Open House visits to five renovated Kendall Village homes.

The five homes are in short walking distance of the church and of each other, as well as a lovely lakeside views on Lakeshore Drive.  The second-part of the event takes place not far distant in Kendall Park on Haile Street and Park Circle. Parking may remain at the church or be found in open lots in the vicinity of Kendall Park, familiar to many for its popular walking trail.

At 2:45 a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Camden Mayor Alfred Mae Drakeford will recognize the culminating of extensive infrastructure and beautification projects the City of Camden has carried out in the Kendall district, and Earl Bryant for the Society will offer greetings. This will take place at the site in the park visibly designated for the musical feature to follow.

From 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. the Camden Community Band will present a spirited hour-long outdoor concert at the upper end of the park with the background view of the historic Wateree Mill of the Kendall Company. Blankets or folding chairs are suggested for concert-goers.

Almost a century ago the Wateree Mill Band of Kendall employees was the community band, appearing throughout Camden and elsewhere at parades, holidays, and public events. The Camden Community Band in public performances shares their spirit and commitment.

The Historical Society has multiple purposes in the unique format of the October 22 program. First it hopes to show positive value in restoring and renovating old structures with historical compatibility in neighborhood sections, rather than abandoning or tearing down places of potential renewal. Meeting the homeowners and home-dwellers on the tour can be helpful to individuals considering a small or large renewal of their own.

Always interested in preservation of factual records, the Society also wishes with sight and sound in the Kendall district to awaken memories and awareness of rich historical vibrancy, as previous programs or tours have done in other areas of the city and county, such as Hobkirk Hill, Mather Academy, Liberty Hill, Boykin, West Wateree, Tiller’s Ferry, and Bethune.

Specifically, the Society hopes the attention of the Kendall tour and the Community band’s concert will encourage interest in and support for an upcoming exhibit at the Camden Archives. From Jan. 30 to Aug. 11, 2018, the Archives will feature the history and people of Camden’s early textile mills—DeKalb, Hermitage, and Kendall. At a date to be announced, the Archives will begin scanning photos and memorabilia citizens bring in to share in archival records. The Society’s work also depends on information gathering.

In days gone by, the front porches of village homes were the Facebook of the times, and many elder memories recall stories shared of old times and people. The Society and Archives look forward to hearing from persons with oral knowledge as well.

Early workers came to the mills in times that mingled despair and opportunity, working with determination for education and a better way of life for their families. Giving cooperation to those who accepted them and nose-thumbing to those who did not, they survived with grit, spirit, and individualism.  Wateree Church and Pine Tree School (relocated as Pine Tree Hill) grew from the Kendall tradition, along with the beautiful millpond which long preceded it.

The village, long just outside the city limits of Camden and home only to mill employees, had not only its own church, school, recreation areas, and band, but also a mill store, health clinic, athletic teams, and a self-elected government. All properties are privately owned now and in the City of Camden, with the Kendall Mill Village, including its mill complex, on the National Register of Historic Places.

The historic building that was the Wateree Plant of the Kendall Company and subsequent
companies has lately changed hands but continues operations as Medtronic, a modern manufacturing mill.

Posted in Article

September 2017 a Lively Meeting

A very interested group of 50 enjoyed speaker Michael Scoggins’ discussion of the Great Awakening and its effect on the Carolina Backcountry during the Revolution.
The Sept. 24 Kershaw County Historical Society program at the Robert Mills Courthouse in Camden also included members enjoying lively conversation and purchasing books autographed by the speaker. An annual election of officers for the Society was included.
Several new members joined. Membership is also available and may be paid via our webpage.
Hope to see YOU at our next meeting, October 22. Details to be posted soon!
Posted in Program

Carolina Backcountry History Program on Sunday, Sept. 24

Michael Scoggins Photo

Join us on Sunday, September 24, 2017 at 3 p.m. for a special program “Carolina Backcountry History” with guest speaker Michael C. Scoggins, Historian and Author. The program will take place at Historic Robert Mills Courthouse, 607 Broad Street, Camden, SC 29020.

Open to public, guests welcomed!

Sunday, September 24, 2017, 3 p.m.
Kershaw County Historical Society Program
At the Historic Robert Mills Courthouse
607 Broad Street, Camden, SC

Michael C. Scoggins
Historian and Author
To Speak on
Carolina Backcountry History

Historian for the Culture & Heritage Museums in McConnells, S.C., and research director of the Southern Revolutionary War Institute in York, S.C., Michael C. Scoggins holds degrees in science, engineering technology, and history, specializing in military and Southern history. Among multi-faceted interests, he has been a vocalist/guitarist/composer of rock, country, blues, swing and gospel music.

Scoggins’ most recent publication is The Great Awakening and Southern Backcountry Revolutionaries. He will have it and other books of his for purchase and autographing at the program. Another of his recent publications is The Scotch-Irish Influence of Country Music in the Carolinas. Two of his histories of the Revolution in the Backcountry are The Day It Rained Militia and Relentless Fury. He also co-authored two books on African-Americans in the Revolution’s Southern Campaign, one on loyalists and one on patriots.

Michael C. Scoggins’ professional information

Michael C. Scoggins’ publications

Posted in Upcoming Program

A Great Day at the Bonds Conway House!


About 100 persons, including family visitors and Society greeters, saw Jim McGuirt present Elsie Goins a gavel he made for her family from wood of the Lafayette Cedar.

It was the July 20 gathering of descendants of Bonds Conway, builder of the c.1812 home now headquarters of the Kershaw County Historical Society.

Outside and inside the house, family members from across the country reviewed their ancestor’s history. Bonds Conway was the first African American on local record to purchase his freedom from slavery.

About the Bonds Conway House, Our Headquarters.

About 100 persons, including family visitors and Society greeters, saw Jim McGuirt present Elsie Goins a gavel he made for her family from wood of the Lafayette Cedar. They also heard Harvey Teal describe a 1793 Bonds Conway document on special display for the occasion.

Downloadable pictures from the Bonds Conway Visit.

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Posted in News

Flash Views: Photos Program

Posted in Uncategorized

All About the Photos

Sunday, March 5, 2017, 3 p.m.
Kershaw County Historical Society PROGRAM
At the Kershaw County Fine Arts Center
Woods Auditorium
810 Lyttleton Street, Camden, SC

The Importance of Images as Historical Records
Speaker—Displays—with An Ask-the-Expert Segment


Special Speaker Beth Bilderback
Visual Materials Archivist, South Caroliniana Library, USC
(Visit online old Camden photos at USC’s Digital Library)

You may bring YOUR old family or historical photos to ask the experts about!

Guests Welcomed

Hope you will JOIN US for the program
And we invite you to JOIN US as a member of our Society


Posted in Program

Peek at a recent program

KCHS Presents “The Cantey Papers” at the Camden Archives

Posted in Program