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Kershaw-Cornwallis House – Camden Revolutionary War Site

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The Kershaw-Cornwallis House was originally built in 1777 by an early settler of Camden. (Camden, in fact, is the oldest inland town in South Carolina.) Joseph Kershaw had established a store in Camden for a Charleston mercantile company and did quite well. In fact, Camden had become an inland trade hub of sorts by 1768. The House was confiscated or seized by the British in 1780 when Lord Cornwallis setup a headquarters in the house. The British occupied it until 1781. Joseph Kershaw lived there until his death in 1791. The family sold the house by 1805 and it served as home for the Camden Orphan Society until 1822. In the Civil War, Camden House was a confederate storehouse and was destroyed in 1865. The house was rebuilt in 1877 at the Camden Revolutionary War Site.

The house site has been restored and furnished as it would have been in the Revolutionary period. On the grounds there are a variety of interesting exhibits. The house sits on 107 acres which includes the original townsite of Camden. There are two cabins dating from the early 1800s on the grounds as well as military fortifications which have been reconstructed and a partially rebuilt house dating to 1795, the McCaa house. Additionally, there is a blacksmith exhibit, 2 walking trails (.6 mile and 3.5 mile), a Quaker Cemetery dating back to 1758, headquarters for Lord Cornwallis and other points of interest dating from the early history of Camden.

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