- Grand Strand Weekend
- South Carolina for Kids
- South Carolina Bar-B-Que
- A Midlands Weekend
- Civil War Adventures
- South Carolina Waterways
- Three Days in Horse Country
- South Carolina for Seafoodies
- South Carolina Kitsch
- Gullah and African American History
- Upstate Weekend
- South Carolina’s Top Ten for Golfers
- South Carolina’s Offbeat Festivals
- Southern Comforts
- Lowcountry Romance
Founded in 1733 and South Carolina’s oldest inland city, Camden is considered by marketing types to be a part of the state’s so-called Old English District of the Upstate. The truth is that it’s physically much closer to Columbia, about a half-hour’s drive, and more in tune with the Columbia area both in economy and in spirit.
Camden’s attractive and practical geographic location on the Wateree River also got the notice of Native Americans. The town’s main drag, Broad Street, is actually on the route of the old Catawba trading path. Archaeologists now think the great and influential Creek town of Cofitachequi, which gained fame for its contact with Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto, was headquartered nearby.
Two key redcoat vs. Tory engagements happened nearby as well, both defeats: the battles of Camden and Hobkirk’s Hill. The Civil War saw little action here, other than as a hospital area for wounded troops. Most notably, it was the home of Mary Boykin Chesnut, famed Civil War diarist.
Camden’s resurgence came in the late 1800s, when it became home to a series of wealthy northerners who brought their wealth, and their love of horses, to town. To this day Camden is a major equestrian center, nicknamed the “Steeplechase Capital of the World.”
Camden’s most famous native son is Bernard Baruch, wealthy investment banker of the 1920s and adviser to presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin Roosevelt. His boyhood home is long gone, but a marker on Broad Street records its location.
© Jim Morekis from Moon South Carolina, 4th Edition