An Improved Highway is Under Way That Will Connect the Two Towns and Benefit Business Men, Farmers and Pleasure Seeker Alike – Along the Old Camden Road.
From Columbia to Camden in and hour and 45 minutes! That is what automobilists will be able to accomplish when the new highway between this city and Camden that is now contemplated is completed. And the greatest part about the undertaking is the fact that the road when in condition will be a permanently improved highway, benefiting alike farmers along the route, merchants of this city and the traveling public of Columbia and Camden.
In order to investigate the condition of the two roads that might be selected for the improved highway, the county supervisor, Capt. W. D. Starling, and county engineer, Mr. T. I. Weston, made the trip to Camden Friday over the old Camden road and returned along the road known as the “Two-Notch road,” the trip being made through the courtesy of Mr. E. A. Jenkins in one of the new model Reo touring cars. From a hasty glance over the situation it is most probable that the old Camden road will be selected for the improved highway. In general this road is already in better condition that the other, especially in regard to to the grading, as much of this work has been done.
There will be very little work on the Richland side of the old Camden road. If this way is the choice of Capt. Starling and Mr. Weston. For 17 miles the Richland county road is in good condition and all that will have to be done with this is to pass the machine over to cut down the little knolls and then bring the big roller along. For 11 miles this road is almost perfectly graded. The last three miles on the Richland side show some defects, which can be easily remedied. At no portion of the road is there a track that can not be fixed with little trouble to the engineer.
On the Kershaw side of the old Camden road there is considerable work to be done for the first few miles on this side of the country.
The road is located well and with some work can be put in first class condition. A talk with the county supervisor of Kershaw revealed the fact that there was a sentiment in Camden and the surrounding country in favor of the undertaking, but there is a difference of opinion, naturally, as to which way the speedway should be run. Mr. M. C. West, the supervisor, was of the opinion, as Mr. Starling and Mr. Weston, just offhand, that the old Camden road would be better. He had received some encouragement from the farmer and from the business men of Camden.
An Advantageous Project.
The advantages of the new roadway can not be estimated at this time, but several of the more striking may be pointed out. First of all, to the merchants of this city the road will mean much. With the bills graded as some are now the increased in trade and closer connection with the farmer would come as a result of the undertaking. To the farmer the fact that he did not have to come over high hills would make him load more on his wagon and there would be a mutual benefit to himself and the merchant.
And on the Camden side the same would apply, for the better condition the road is in the better will the farmers be able to bring their produce to market. “I believe,” said Supervisor Starling, “that business should be centralized and this would be the case with such a roadway in and out of Columbia. There would be a mutuality of trade with the surrounding country that could be accomplished in no other way. For that reason we are working for better and better road in Richland county.”
Aside from the strictly business view of the situation there is another advantage that such a road would bring about. There are in Camden a number of tourists who would have their automobiles with them if such a road were built between that city and Columbia. A run of something over and hour to this city for the theatre or simply a pleasure trip through the country would indeed help both sides of the line. There is some country between Columbia and Camden which if properly cultivated would bring large yields and some capitalist would invest with the proper encouragement such as the new highway would cause.
That the farmers along the road realize what the road will mean to them was shown in the conversation with one on the trip. “I am a poor man,” said the farmer, “but I realize that the supervisor is working for our interest. I am trying to improve my land and he is helping me by improving the road. I can now carry better loads to town since the hills have been graded.” Several of those who are more prosperous have offered to help the project along with cash if the road is built past their lands. In addition to this there are other offers, showing that those who have the matter in hand and those for whose benefit the road is to be improved are aware of what it means to Richland and Kershaw.
A great work has been done in road building in Richland county. There are upwards of 400 miles of public roads and over two-thirds of Public roads and over two-thirds of this has been given the sand and clay treatment. Besides there is a stretch towards Hyatt’s Park of macadam, which is going to help matters out very much. This track is getting into good shape and will add much to Richland’s record for good roads. Other roads are being constantly improved and in a few years there will not be a bad stretch of road in the county. Comparing Richland’s roads with other counties is the best method of seeing what has really been accomplished. An actual trip over the ground shows the great work that has been done better than any description of the roads themselves. And one of the best that the county affords – if not the best = will be the speedway between Columbia and Camden and when this is done the people of both Richland and Kershaw will join in sayin. “Well done.”
Toot, Toot, Goodbye,
At 10:30 Friday morning Capt. W. D. Starling, the county engineer, T. I. Weston, a reporter of The State and the color chauffeur left Columbia in on of the new Reo cars for the wide open country, the green fields and all that sort of thing. The object, as stated, was to take a trip over the two available roads and to see which would be the best to develop into the new speedway. The trip to Camden was over the old Camden road, which was swung into at the end of Taylor street at 10:35 o’clock.
The first thing that naturally catches the eye along the road after leaving Columbia is the fact that it has been graded. This is true to the 11-mile post, the work having been done under the supervision of Mr. Starling last year. The machine was at work just outside of town and already the work is under way. The roller follows the road shaper and there is very little work to be done on this road up to the 11-mile post. At the 3-mile post the Penn branch cuts the road and this portion will be relocated with a concrete bridge over the stream, cutting off over the 150 yards and improving the highway.
This is, moreover, a permanent improvement and concrete bridges cost no more and last as long or longer than other bridges. This is the third of such bridges in the county. On the Asylum road there is one, and likewise on the Winnsboro road, near Hyatt’s Park. The work on Penn creek stream bridge has commenced and will be pushed to completion soon. The sand is got out of the creek, and this is mixed with the cement and gravel to make the correct proportions.
Along the Way.
Along the 11 miles of road that were quickly passed over there are many things of interest. The way is beautifully shaded and when all the work is completed at least this shape. The little knolls are removed with the machine, recalling the old way of building roads. Four and a half miles out is Dent’s mill, where a large hill was cut down last fall, making the roads now well seasoned and ready for good work. The hill on the astern side of the mill has also been cut down a little more will have to be taken off for the new speedway.
At Gravel branch, six miles out, the road will be made wider by aid of the machine and a stretch along here will make one of the best parts of the road, there is at this point for a distance of several hundred yards a cool stretch, with branches overhanging the road. The Ancrum Ferry road branches off from the old Camden road at a point six and a half miles from the city. This road is also the work of the supervisor and is in good condition.
From the 7-mile post to the 9 there is a fine stretch of roadway and the auto speeded up some. There will be almost no work to be done on these two miles of road. There is a small creek eight miles out, across which a bridge will be put, although the creek is very shallow.
Ten miles out of town there was a slight accident that delayed the trip nearly one hour. In striking a bridge that rises suddenly on the forward side of the front axle of the car was broken and had to be repaired. The machine shot forward again at 12 o’clock. There is an old church building along the road at this point known in Radical times as the Macedonian church. This is now used as a school house. Rose’s hill shows a curve in the road that will be cut down and put in better shape.
The road further down gets better and better from here for the next few miles. Along the 13- and 14-mile stretches the road is almost perfect, a wide road with a sufficient proportion of clay and gravel. Not many people are met on this road and this probably accounts in a measure for its good condition. When the new speedway is completed, through, there will be more traffic further away from home.
At 16 miles from town, at Messers pond, the party making the trip halted and had lunch, starting again at 1:15 o’clock, after a half hour’s rest. The next stretch of road is not so good. There is some sand and it will take considerable work to put the road into shape. There is only three miles of this in Richland county. In a few minutes Kershaw was reached.
In Kershaw County.
Without any reflection on the work done in Kershaw county, there is a difference in the roads in the two counties that can be detected at a moment’s glance. It is true that this was 13 miles from the county seat and that the roads got better as one approached Camden, The road can be fixed, with little trouble, though, being well located along the old stage line, Just across the line there is a beautiful swamp that will be very much admired by travelers along the speedway. The shade trees are placed naturally better than they could have been done by an artist along this line. Flowers are in bloom all around and the good old country, out=-door air prevails, there are a number of cedars along this rout, and some of the short pines with here and there a tall pine towering above its neighbors.
Travelers’ Rest is a beautiful spot. This is a wide, cleared space along the old Camden road, where the story goes in the old days travelers would spend the night when coming to Columbia from the Camden section through the country. Now there is the same old house with the same stable standing on the right with a little flower garden with roses and other flowers growing wild. From this point the road takes windings that are indeed fascinating. “There is something about a curving road that appeals to me,” said a lover of the country and he could not have found a better example than right here within 10 miles of Camden. At the 11-mile post there is a deep creek called “Pig’s creek,” that no automobile has been able to go through yet, so far as can be learned. This will have to be crossed by a bridge when the speedway is built.
From this point on the road improves and within a few miles of Camden there is a fine stretch that could not be improved much. Camden was reached at 4 o’clock and a consultation was held by the county supervisors and Engineer Weston. Mr. West, the supervisor of Kershaw, expressed himself as very much in favor of the road and is doing all in his power to have the work start as soon as possible. He has about eight miles in his county to put into good condition and Supervisor Starling has about three miles of bad stretch. This is the story of the work to be done in addition to removing the knolls.
The Two-Notch Road.
The trip back to Columbia was made over the “Two-Notch road” along which way the property owners wish the roadway to be built. This road is not so good in parts, although the trip back to Columbia was made in three hours without any hurry and all of the creeks were examined and the hills were looked over to see if there were any grading to be done or relocations of the road.
The Two-Notch road follows the Seaboard for the most part and this is urged to be an advantage. One thing that is against the road is the fact that if a breakdown occurred it would be necessary to wait on a train to get relief, whereas on the other road telephone connection can be bad, thus assuring prompter relief than by the other method.
However, the engineer has not yet decided which road will be used. It might be stated roughly that the Camden road would cost about 30 per cent, less to get into shape that the Two-Notch road. Those along the road where the highway will be built should remember that the grading that will be done will be permanent improvement for the county’s roads and that over one-half the work is already done on the Richland side. The grading is half and in addition to this when a hill is removed the work is done forever. The bridge and road expense of a county are about equal and by building concrete bridges one-half the annual expense in future years is removed.
To get the new highway along the old Camden road the following property owners and those interested in the project have made contributions:
E. M. Whaley $ 25
S. B. McMaster 25
D. S. Black 10
Dr. A. B. Kwolton 10
R. M. Owen, Reo Motor Car 100
Dr. R. W. Gibbes 25
Dr. W. A. Boyd 10
J. C. Robertson 25
Geo. R. Norris 25
Frank Gibbes 10
Mason Gibbes 25
G. M. Berry 25
T. H. Meighan 25
B. W. Ravenel 10
J. C. Lott 10
Dr. T. M. DuBose 10
Dr. Henry Horlbeck 10
J. E. Boozer 10
W. L. Blanchard 10
E. A. Jenkins Motor company 125
Dr. Wm. Weston (conditional,
Two-Notch road) 25
Dr. F. A. Coward 10
E. M. DuPre (conditional,
Two-Notch road) 50
Dr. LeG. Guerry 25
J. A. Faust, Dentsville 25
Dr. A. E. Shaw 10
E. W. Robertson (no amount
F. H. Hyatt 100
N. W. Porter (no amount stated) —
Gustaf Sylvan 25
F. C. Gilmore 25
Crystal Lake company (if by
W. J. Keenan 25
J. M. Hughes 10
W. D. Starling 25
Lee A. Lorick 15
S. E. Harmon 10
J. W. Bond 15
F. A. Hoefer 15
W. S. Reamer 25
Hunter Gibbes 10
Porter McMaster 10
C. T. Jones 10
H. Lorick 10
W. H. Monckaton, R. O. Jones
and other property owners be-
tween Columbia and Dents 1,000
J. C. Coulter 10.
The above totals up $2,010 and there are several in the list who have not stated the exact amount they would give but whose contributions will materially increase the amount for the road. It will also be noted that there are a few in the above list who favor the Two-Notch road. There is little doubt that the road will be built and with the 60-foot charter that the county has over the roadway a greater improved highway should be the result if those on the other side do their part. The trees will be trimmed and Columbia and Camden will be connected in a business and social way for the benefit of those here, those in Camden and the farmers along the way.
April 26, 1908 State (published as The State) Columbia, South Carolina News Article Issue 6258 Page 3