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Roland Goodale’s recollections of Camden, 1910-1960s

Posted: May 30, 2014 9:38 a.m.
Updated: June 2, 2014 5:00 a.m.

In the 1960s Roland Goodale did a taped interview in which he described living in Camden beginning about 1910. A copy of the transcript of his Interview was in the Carrison Collection recently given to the South Caroliniiana Library by Mary Alden Carrison. This collection is presently being catalogued by Dr. Allen Stokes and will soon be available to researchers.

Three excerpts from this interview have been selected to give the reader a notion about the content of the entire interview. Roland almost provides a city directory of those times through his account of who lived where and when.

Watching the George Washington House being moved

The George Washington House is a home owned by Jack Whitaker (1960s). It is located between Chesnut Street and Laurens Street on the west side of Mill Street. I remember when they moved that house and it was located on King Street, that’s about a block from York Street.

They had two mules and a winch. A winch is something you use, a cable, a chain and a rope. The mules would go around in a circle and it would slide the house on the logs. I remember it coming up, well up the middle of the street, and it took quite a while to place it where it is now situated.

There was a lady from [the] North, Mrs. Knapp, Julie Knapp. She renovated it and fixed it up and made it a tourist inn., adjacent to the Court Inn. President Washington set out from Philadelphia March 17, 1791, making his trip through [the country.] The house that I said was located on King Street-that was a large house where he was entertained. The house where George Washington spent the night was the southeast corner of Fair and York Streets. There was no difficulty coming up the street because there were no electric wires, telephones poles, or anything to obstruct it.

Kirkwood Hotel guests skeet shooting

Around about 1910 and along in March, the Kirkwood Hotel was filled with guests and they had a large shooting of clay pigeons. It was located across a wooden bridge going west. They had a half mile race track back out there, located there and they built the traps about pits there where they would throw out the clay pigeons.

Well, they had some of the finest shoots in the country. I remember one in particular from Philadelphia. He was the nation’s best. I refereed on a good many occasions at the shoot. One man I remember well was John Phillip Sousa and he would come out and he was quite a shot. He would give me a cigar and it had his name on the band around the cigar.

Remembering Cool Springs

Cool Springs is an unusual structure with extensive porches and 64 columns. Mr. and Mrs. Lowery owned it at the time that our youngest daughter, Elizabeth, and Walter Long were married. We held the reception at Cool Springs and it was beautifully decorated and it was a lovely occasion. Mr. and Mrs. Lowery were catering to wedding parties and special occasions.

Cool Springs is less than a mile north of Camden on the east side of the road. Cool Springs was built in the early 1800s. To my recollection and knowledge of Cool Springs, it has changed ownership nine times. Now, I remember one of the people who owned it and that was Mr. and Mrs. Kirkbride.

It’s a boiling spring that comes out of the sand and the water is as clear as crystal. He had the water bottled in a beautiful green bottle and he sold it to the hotels. The Kirkwood was purchasing it at the time. [also] the Court Inn and the Hobkirk.

You could take a bottle of this water and put it on the shelf and let it stand for [a year] and turn it upside down and you would see no grades in it. There is not many kinds of water that could stand that kind of test. They had a picture of Washington and Lafayette drinking from the spring and that label was on the bottle.

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