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History of Camden

History Of Camden

Thanks to caring citizens, much of Camden’s history has been preserved and many of the Antebellum homes restored. Visitors don’t want to miss our Historic Downtown District, as well as the Historic Clifton-Greening Street District, the Washington Street Historic District, the restored Missouri Pacific Depot, the many Civil War landmarks, and the more than 20 historic houses listed on the National Register of Historic Places. One of these homes is open as a bed and breakfast lodge while the McCollum-Chidester House serves as a museum with history dating back as far as 1847.

Camden actually was born in 1824 as a steamboat landing where cotton was loaded and shipped to New Orleans. In fact, the Bluff, as it was known, was one of the leading cotton-shipping terminals and became the site of a cotton gin in 1841, launching Camden’s industrial history.

The McCollum-Chidester House was a place where stagecoach drivers and traveling visitors found rest, refreshment and gracious hospitality in the days before the Civil War. The house is practically unchanged, as visitors can view original furnishings, mementos and bullet holes in the upstairs walls.

Camden Cemetary

The town certainly has seen a fair share of famous individuals passing through its history. Nineteenth century writer Edgar Allen Poe worked as a printer for the local newspaper, The Herald, in 1845. More recently, parts of John Jakes‚ “The North and the South” made-for-television mini-series, were filmed at the McCollum-Chidester House. Kirstie Alley and Patrick Swayze were two favorites of the locals. Camdenites were extras in the scenes filmed here. Martin Scorcese directed his first movie, Box Car Bertha, featuring Barbara Hershey and David Carradine in Camden as well.

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