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School History

The first separate building designated "Camden High School" was established in 1903.  The 11th grade was added in 1915 and the 12th grade was added in 1947.  These early schools stood in the vicinity of Laurens and Lyttleton Streets.  Past the first half of the century, white and black students were educated separately.  Black students attended the Jackson schools, founded in 1867 on Campbell Street. 
In their early years, both school systems used remodeled homes, churches, or buildings constructed for younger students to house their high schools.  In 1936, however, the first buildings built specifically to house the two high schools were constructed.  Both were two-story brick structures, the white school being located on Laurens Street and the black school on Campbell Street. In 1965 the schools were desegregated under freedom of choice, and by the 1970-71 term, a unitary school system was in operation.  All high school students began attending school on the enlarged CHS campus. In its early years, the original Camden High drew its students from the environs of the city of Camden.  
Throughout the years, however, populations of several rural county schools were consolidated into Camden High School, including Charlotte Thompson, Antioch, and Midway schools.  Students from the Lugoff area across the Wateree Bridge also attended Camden schools. The consolidations with the rural schools, as well as Jackson High yielded a CHS student population of well over 2,000 for a time.  
The building of Lugoff-Elgin High School and North Central High School in other parts of Kershaw County eased overcrowding as attendance lines were redrawn. The opening of the Kershaw County Vocational School (today the Applied Technology Education Campus, or ATEC) in 1968 enlarged Camden High's curriculum opportunities.  In 1992-1993, Camden High School moved onto its present campus at 1022 Ehrenclou Drive.  Facilities were added in Phase I of the KCSD's Facilities Equalization Plan.  Today's campus includes the original building which houses the administrative wing, library, and classrooms; the two-story building which contains classrooms and an assistant principal's office; the Main Gym, Mini-gym, Wellness Center, and Performing Arts Auditorium. 
The original town that became Camden was established in 1733, not far from the CHS campus, and is the county seat of Kershaw County.  The diverse student population includes a large number whose parents and grandparents attended the local school.  Camden has earned a reputation of being a city that values its rich history.  
The Revolutionary War Park, which includes the Joseph Kershaw-Cornwallis House, is a popular destination for tourists as well as for its Revolutionary War re-enactments.  Camden has also been dubbed "the Steeplechase Capital" with two steeplechase races, the Colonial Cup and the Carolina Cup, bringing tens of thousands of race fans to the Springdale Racetrack each year.