Columbia to Camden

Effort To Secure Completion Of Highway Between The Two Cities.

Camden, July 24 (Special) – A meeting of citizens of Kershaw and Richland, in the interest of the completion of a highway between Camden and Columbia, was held here in the opera house last evening, the ideal having been suggested by the Columbia Chamber of Commerce through Secretary Moorman. The attendance was unusually good, considering the hour and the uncertainty of arrival of the Columbia party and the short notice given. Committees will be appointed from Camden and from Columbia to cooperate with Supervisor Owens of Richland and work out a plan by which the road can be put through.

The Columbia party arrived in Camden a few minutes before 7 o’clock and went at once to the opera house, Mayor D. M. Zemp called the meeting to order and presided, and Editor C. W. Birchmore of the Wateree Messenger acted as secretary.

Secretary C. W. Moorman of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce stated that Mrs. Jas. A. Hoyt, vice president of the Chamber of Commerce, would speak for that organization.

Mr. Hoyt stated that the Columbians had come over to show their interest in the completion of the highway between the two cities that has already been started by Supervisor Owens and is now out about ten miles on the Two-Notch road. it had been the general impression that the two supervisors had an agreement as to the completion of the road, but recently Mr. West had stated he would not finish the Two-Notch road. So far as the selection of routes was concerned, that was a matter with which the chamber of commerce had nothing to do, but it is the desire of the people of Columbia to have a good road between Camden and Columbia and they want Camden and Columbia to get together on the proposition.

Dr. E. M. Whaley, president of the Columbia Automobile club, was next called on. He said that he was interested in the Capital highway project and that he wanted to say this association was not going through any county which did not provide the road for it; the association is not going to build any roads itself. A number of counties and town are offering inducements for this road to come their way and there are plenty of routes that can be used just as well as the one through Camden. Dr. Whaley related some of the commercial benefits to be secured from the completion of this tourist road.

Supervisor Owens, when called on, said that he had understood Supervisor West was willing to meet him at the county line on the Two-Notch road, but Mr. West interrupted to say that this was a mistake and that he had never made any promise of that kind. Mr. Owens asked if Mr. West would meet him on the old Camden or Wire road, but Mr. West replied that he desired first to hear the matter discussed.

Auditor Rabon of Kershaw stated that there was at least one-third more travel on the Two-Notch road.

Mr. S. B. McMaster said that all were friends and he could see no reason why they could not get together and complete the road by one route or another.

Mayor Zemp declared that there was no better supervisor in the State than Mr. West and that the visitors could depend upon it he would do his duty as he saw it. He called on Mr. West to speak.

Supervisor West.

The Kershaw county supervisor made quite an impression by his straightforward talk. He said that he had only four thousand dollars a year for road work, with a chain gang of about fifty hands, and that he was now at work in upper Kershaw, where the citizens had put teams at his disposal and he had to finish in that section before taking up anything else. He did not thing the Two-Notch road the best route and would not promise to work it, but he would some time in the future take up the old Wire road and work it to the county line. He would not say when he could do this.

In reply to questions, Mr. West said that if the people along either road would agree to assist him he would work these roads, but the proposition must come from them and not him, and they must be prepared to carry out their part of the arrangement.

Commissioner Watson made an impressive talk on the value of good roads to the farmer and told of what had been accomplished in that line in this State, in opening up new territory. He declared that in all countries the dirt roads paralleled the railroads and that this was a strong point in favor of the Two-Notch route, which closely follows the Seaboard Air Line, Dr. Whatley had already pointed out that this route is preferable because it passes through several small towns, such as Blaney and Lugoff, it is near the railroad and along the telephone line, so that the traveler can keep in communication with the outside world.

Mr. L. A. Wittkowsky suggested that a committee be appointed to see what could be done towards securing cooperation from the property owners along the road, in order to assist the Kershaw supervisor and this was put in the form of a motion, as follows: “That a committee be appointed by the chairman on behalf of Kershaw county and a committee by the president of the Columbia Chamber of Commerce on behalf of Richland county to ascertain what aid can be secured from the citizens on the proposed route and other routes to assist in building this road between Camden and Columbia.”

This motion was adopted.

Mr. Wm. E. Gonzales said that he wished to impress upon the citizens present that this much more than a local question, that it is a part of a grat national highway, and that its importance can not be estimated.

There was considerable discussion concerning the relative merits of Two-Notch route and the route by the old Camden or Wire road. All of this will doubtless be brought out by the committee to be appointed later. It is claimed that the Two-Notch road has lighter grades, that there are no large unbridged streams to cross, that is passes through several small towns, that is along the railroad and follows the telephone line. Mr. West, however, is strong in his opinion that the Camden road is better from every standpoint.

A Pleasant Trip

The party of Colombians left Columbia yesterday afternoon a few minutes before 7, stopping at Blaney for about half an hour to let the shower pass on, and being delayed at the ferry over the Wateree for about an hour, as the heavy machines had a hard time negotiating the muddy hills up from the river bank. The party made the trip in the following cars: Mr. F. S. Terry’s Cadillac, driven by Mr. W. W. Pearce, with Mesrs. W. E. Gonzales, S. W. Owens, Jas. A. Hoyt and G. R. McNeil, Mrs. C. M. Lide’s Mitchell, driven by Mr. Lide, with Messrs, R. B. Herbert, John G. Ehrlich and Defraffenreid. Dr. E. M. Whaley’s Chalmers-Detroit, driven by Dr. Whaley, with Dr. J. J. Watson, Messrs. A. H. Seats, F. H. Gibbes and J. M. Cantey, Mr. W. L. Blanchard’s White steamer, driven by Mr. Blanchard, with Messrs. E. A. Jenkins, C. W. Moorman, E. J. Watson and Dr. William Weston, Mr. John M Graham’s Ford, driven by Mr. S. B. McMaster, with Messrs, John M. Graham, J. W. Bauer and J. W. McCormick, Dr. F. A. Coward’s Ford, Driven by Dr. Coward, with Mr. F. L. Brown.

The party was met at the ferry by several Camden cars. Leaving Camden last night after 9 o’clock, the automobile party reached Columbia before midnight.

July 24, 1909  Columbia Record (published as THE DAILY RECORD)  
Columbia, South Carolina
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