Kendall Mill in Camden – also known as Wateree Plant – has served several businesses since it was built in 1899. The building was constructed as the Dekalb Cotton Mill by noted mill designer W.B. Smith Whaley, the same architect behind Olympia Mill in Columbia.
Dekalb Cotton Mill began operating in 1901 yet closed just one year later. It reorganized and opened again in 1903 under the name Pine Creek Manufacturing Company. It expanded its mill village to include a church. Production continued to increase over the next few years, and in 1908 the company was bought by the Thomas Parker Corporation of Greenville. By 1916 it was sold once again, this time to the H.P. Kendall Company, giving the mill its commonly-used name. The cotton mill continued to thrive until the Kendall Company became a subsidiary of the Colgate-Palmolive Company. Today the building houses Covidien Manufacturing.
A lake, shown above, lies behind the mill and is part of a public park. Kendall Mill is listed in the National Register as part of the Kendall Mill Historic District:
The Kendall Mill Historic District is centered around the Wateree Plant and associated structures that date from 1899 to 1923. The district contains eight properties of key historic or architectural significance and 113 supporting properties which illustrate the growth of the companies which utilized the plant through the years. The mill village to the south and southeast of the plant was built between 1900 and ca. 1925 and is a virtually intact reminder of the importance of the textile industry to South Carolina. The mill faces Kendall Park, a ten-acre landscaped park. On the eastern border of the park are the mill supervisors’ houses, built between 1900 and ca. 1925. The operatives house consist of one-story, one-and-one-half-story, and a few two-story frame houses which date from 1900 to 1923. The district also includes Kendall Lake, north of the mill.
The Dekalb Cotton Mill was organized in 1899. The Dekalb Mill building, designed by W.B. Smith Whaley in the Romanesque Revival style, was considered a model of textile architecture. The original plant building is a four-story rectangular brick building with a back stair tower and an imposing six-story front stair tower. The west addition to the plant, which is in keeping, architecturally, with the older buildings, was constructed in 1964.