Sunday, December 04, 2011

Camden: A Trip to the Past - Part 3

Saturday I went to the Revolutionary War re-enactment at Camden. I was particularly interested in details about how people lived in that time period, like food and clothing. Encampment participants had tents and campfires; one man tied fish to a board to smoke it by his campfire. A woman was cleaning pumpkin seeds to toast.  She was going to stuff the pumpkin with chopped apples and roast it on her fire, which sounded yummy.

The Kershaw house was open for self-tours. The present building was built in 1976-77 on the original brick foundation, a replica based on archaeology and photographs. Joseph Kershaw, a patriot, was a successful merchant who built much of original Camden, and his 18th-century mansion overlooked the town. While the Revolutionary War left most of Camden in ashes — including the Fredericksburgh (Quaker) meeting house — the Kershaw house escaped destruction because General Cornwallis used it for his southern headquarters.

After Independence, Camden was rebuilt to the north, on higher ground. The cemetery, the historical centre (around the house) and remains of the magazine and redoubts remain on the site of the early town. Ironically, the Kershaw house was burned in 1865 during the Civil War.

"Soldiers" acted out skirmishes on the Green, in front of the Cornwallis house. (I tried to share a video, but it's too large for blogger so here are a couple of photos.)

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