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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
17
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$17,500.00
379 Sandspur Road
Camden, SC 29020
Kershaw
Status: Sold
Type: RESIDENTIAL
Size: 2,272 Sq. Ft.
Lot Size: 1 Acres
Year Built: 1981
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3
MLS ID: 442270
Description
Lots of privacy--located on a quiet country road. Huge home, 4 beds, 3 baths, fireplace, fenced yard. 1 acre lot with a detached storage bldg. Read more »
19
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$49,000.00
1246 Haile Street
Camden, SC 29020
Kershaw
Status: Sold
Type: RESIDENTIAL
Size: 1,319 Sq. Ft.
Lot Size: 1 Acres+/-
Year Built: 1900
Bedrooms: 2
Bathrooms: 1
MLS ID: 426653
Description
Location...Location...Location! Investment or Doctors Office Conversion Opportunity! 2 bedrooms 1 bath accented by hardwood floors. 1 Acre located near Kershaw Health and several other medical... Read more »
39
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$135,000.00
5004 Liberty Hill Road
Camden, SC 29020
Kershaw
Status: Sold
Type: RESIDENTIAL
Size: 1,500 Sq. Ft.
Year Built: 1960
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
MLS ID: 438151
Description
Take a look at this charming brick home with newly updated kitchen and appliances. Beautiful hardwood floors accent all rooms. Sit by a cozy fire inside or outside on the private rear patio.... Read more »
$87,500.00
1003-B Red Hill Road
Camden, SC 29020
Kershaw
Status: Sold
Type: RESIDENTIAL
Size: 1,232 Sq. Ft.
Lot Size: 5 Acres
Year Built: 1993
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2
MLS ID: 427646
Description
Great Re-modeled Manufactured home on 5 acres only 10 minutes from Camden. Three bedrooms and two full baths. Large bedrooms, Large Closets. Large rear deck. Large three stall Barn/Garage with... Read more »
36
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$450,000.00
2111 Lakeshore Road
Camden, SC 29020
Kershaw
Status: Available
Type: RESIDENTIAL
Size: 2,575 Sq. Ft.
Lot Size: 0.67 Acres
Year Built: 1989
Bedrooms: 5
Bathrooms: 3
MLS ID: 487944
Description
.67 Acre...Lake Wateree home on main channel offering 5 bedrooms with walk in closets, 3 spacious baths, loft and plenty of storage. Open floor plan entertains huge kitchen with pantry and tile... Read more »
36
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$665,000.00
189 Ascot Drive
Camden, SC 29020
Kershaw
Status: Available
Type: RESIDENTIAL
Size: 3,967 Sq. Ft.
Lot Size: 4.97 Acres
Year Built: 2016
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 4
MLS ID: 489084
Description
The Farms at Cottesmore delivers an elegant equestrian setting outside of small city charm. Located in the heart of Camden Horse Country, this gated subdivision mirrors sophistication and Southern... Read more »
34
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$399,900.00
123 Wild Turkey Lane
Camden, SC 29020
Kershaw
Status: Available
Type: RESIDENTIAL
Size: 2,304 Sq. Ft.
Lot Size: 5.08 Acres
Year Built: 1997
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3
MLS ID: 471361
Description
Welcome to Camden. The oldest inland city in South Carolina. This beautiful home is located on the Wateree River. This home's living area is raised above the 100 year flood plain and is... Read more »

Courtesy Of: Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

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$200,000.00
49 southern oak Drive
Camden, SC 29020
Kershaw
Status: Sold
Type: RESIDENTIAL
Size: 1,860 Sq. Ft.
Lot Size: 0.34 Acres
Year Built: 2006
Bedrooms: 4
Bathrooms: 3
MLS ID: 477397
Description
Welcome Home! Beautiful Home with perfect location in a well established Camden Neighborhood. Just a short drive to downtown Camden. This lovely home features a formal dining room with tray... Read more »
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