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History of Camden, South Carolina

Did you know that Camden, SC is the oldest inland city within the state of South Carolina? In 1730, Camden became part of a township plan ordered by King George II. Originally laid out in 1732 as the town of Fredericksburg in the Wateree River swamp (south of the present town) when King George II ordered 11  inland townships established along South Carolina's rivers. In 1758, Joseph Kershaw, from Yorkshire, England came into the township, established a store and renamed the town Pine Tree Hill. Camden became the main inland trade center in the colony. Kershaw suggested that the town be renamed Camden, in honor of Lord Camden, a champion of colonial rights in the British Parliament.

In 1780, during the American Revolution, Lord Charles Cornwallis and 2,500 of his Loyalist and British troops marched to Camden and established there 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 near Camden, and on April 25, 1781 the Battle of Hobkirk Hill was fought between 1,400 troops led by General Nathanael Greene and 950 Loyalists and British soldiers. The latter battle was a costly win for the British, and forced them to leave Camden and retreat to the coast. 

After the Revolution, Camden's prominence and wealth grew as a major interior trading town with direct ties to Charleston and the world. Regional products were transported from Camden to Charleston on flat-bottom riverboats that plied the adjacent Wateree River before the railroad arrived in 1842.

Starting in the mid-1880s the Camden area became an increasingly popular destination for wealthy northern families to spend the winter. Eventually, 3 resort hotels provided state of the art winter tourism activities well into the 1930s and beyond. 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 area 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 city is known as the 'Steeplechase Capital of the World'.”

Because of its long history and many years of wealthy winter visitors and deep-pocket northern owners, Camden has an enviable inventory of antebellum homes and charm that remains unique among towns of its size in South Carolina and elsewhere. Browse Homes For Sale in Camden, SC >

Living in Camden Today

Today, Camden is the largest city in Kershaw County and is home to The Carolina Cup and The National Steeplechase Museum. The city continues to prosper with successful local businesses, delicious restaurants and a growing population. Nestled nicely in between Sumter and Columbia, and not far from the edge of Lake Wateree, makes Camden an inviting place to live. The area hosts some of the best public schools in the State as well as the Camden Military Academy. 

Home To 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 draw a crowd of over 70,000 spectators. "The Cup" has become a premier social sporting event in Camden and in South Carolina. The race is held at the Springdale Race Course, just north of Camden. The National Steeplechase Museum is located near the course.

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

Historic Landmarks

Browse Our Listings for Camden, SC Homes For Sale >

Homes For Sale in Camden, SC
36
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$315,500.00
1785 Kiowa Trail
Camden, SC 29020
Kershaw
Status: Available
Type: RESIDENTIAL
Size: 2,152 Sq. Ft.
Lot Size: 1.42 Acres
Year Built: 1965
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 3
MLS ID: 463950
Description
Lake Wateree home with recent renovations to basement and updated kitchen. Located in Wateree Hills, this 3 bedroom home is move in ready. Sitting on over an acre, includes a large storage building... Read more »

Courtesy Of: Graham Realty, Inc

36
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$325,000.00
1507 Park Circle
Camden, SC 29020
Kershaw
Status: Available
Type: RESIDENTIAL
Size: 2,633 Sq. Ft.
Lot Size: 1 Acres
Year Built: 1915
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 3
MLS ID: 451313
Description
History Enthusiasts!!! A Splendid Home that was built in early 1900's. This residence is a “National Register of Historic Places” (SC Dept. of Archives and History), and overlooking Kendall... Read more »

Courtesy Of: Southern Properties Realty

20
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$265,000.00
1952 White Road
Liberty Hill, SC 29020
Kershaw
Status: Available
Type: RESIDENTIAL
Size: 1,224 Sq. Ft.
Lot Size: 1.22 Acres
Year Built: 2001
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
MLS ID: 457366
Description
Water front lake home on Lake Wateree! Take advantage of year round lake life in the heart of Beaver Creek. Just a short boat ride to dine with friends and family. This home has a desirable... Read more »
19
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$161,900.00
114 Simmons Drive
Camden, SC 29020
Kershaw
Status: Available
Type: RESIDENTIAL
Size: 2,212 Sq. Ft.
Lot Size: 2.62 Acres
Year Built: 1995
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 4
MLS ID: 470692
Description
Nice place to call home. 2.62 acres with 2 out buildings. Great Porches too! Read more »

Courtesy Of: Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

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$199,000.00
1403 Lyttleton Street
Camden, SC 29020
Kershaw
Status: Available
Type: RESIDENTIAL
Size: 3,000 Sq. Ft.
Lot Size: 0.24 Acres
Year Built: 1900
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 2
MLS ID: 462592
Description
This beautiful 3 bedroom, 2 bedroom home in the Historic District exudes charm throughout. From the 9 ft. ceilings with molding, 2 fireplaces, original doors and glass windows, gleaming hard wood... Read more »
33
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$1,200,000.00
1707 Lyttleton Street
Camden, SC 29020
Kershaw
Status: Available
Type: RESIDENTIAL
Size: 5,000 Sq. Ft.
Lot Size: 1.89 Acres
Year Built: 1850
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 8
MLS ID: 467438
Description
This Historically antebellum home is a tribute to exquisite southern living. The architecture, full restoration and gardens accentuate life on a grand scale. c 1850. Sky lighted wraparound veranda;... Read more »

Courtesy Of: Graham Realty, Inc

5
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$20,000.00
1099 Old River Road
Camden, SC 29020
Kershaw
Status: Available
Type: RESIDENTIAL
Size: 972 Sq. Ft.
Year Built: 1901
Bedrooms: 1
Bathrooms: 1
MLS ID: 463204
Description
This property is located near downtown Camden. It is situated just off of Dekalb street on Old River Road next to an commercial property. The property has an old house which has no value. Great... Read more »

Courtesy Of: Graham Realty, Inc

36
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$339,000.00
404 Garrison Street
Camden, SC 29020
Kershaw
Status: Available
Type: RESIDENTIAL
Size: 3,624 Sq. Ft.
Lot Size: 0.79 Acres
Year Built: 2000
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 4
MLS ID: 463062
Description
One of a kind custom home located on a Cul de Sac in Camden's popular Chesnut Hills. This home features over 3600 square feet , 4 bedrooms , 4 full baths, and a great open floor plan. It has... Read more »

Courtesy Of: Montgomery and Moore Real Estate

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