History, horses and hospitality are the heart of Camden, and it is the quarters to various eminent art galleries, libraries and museums. Experience history that imprints back to the earliest days of the formation of the colonies through the War for Independence and the advancement of the country.
Explore the role of African Americans during the Great War from a local perspective and learn how the community helped to win the war to end all wars. The African American Cultural Center, under the guidance and support of the Camden Archives and Museum, highlights the rich history of African Americans in Camden. Exhibits are phased in and out every six months. The center also hosts community meetings to discuss the arts, genealogy research and the civil rights movement.
Situated on the grounds of historic Springdale Race Course is the National Steeplechase Museum, the only museum in the country dedicated strictly to steeplechasing. Check out the life-sized bronze statue of steeplechase champion Lonesome Glory and the colorful silks of all the winners of National Eclipse Awards since 1948. The collection of memorabilia, trophies and photographs showcase the history of steeplechase horse racing in America. The museum also holds a wealth of knowledge about skilled athletes, both equine and human, who have become renowned champions.
The Camden Archives and Museum tells the story of the people of Camden and the surrounding area by collecting, preserving and making accessible items of value to the history of the area. Artifacts on display are as diverse as pre-colonial Native American items, remnants from the 1780 Battle of Camden and the halter worn by American champion thoroughbred racehorse, Ruffian. If you’re looking to discover more about the people and places that make up this charming city, the Archives and Museum house one of the best genealogical research libraries in South Carolina. The South Carolina Daughters of the American Revolution Library and the Colonial Dames XVII Century Library also are housed at the archives for exploration.