Our Photographers Contact Us
Our Patrons Please Give Today Add Images Add History Our Work South Carolina Picture Project

Robert Mills Courthouse — Camden, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Kershaw County  |  Robert Mills Courthouse

Adopt A South Carolina Landmark
Robert Mills Courthouse

This grand Greek Revival structure, located on Camden‘s Broad Street, was completed in 1827. Designed two years earlier by renowned architect Robert Mills, it served as a courthouse for nearly 80 years. Mills is among our state’s most notable sons. Born in Charleston in 1781, he is responsible for no less a landmark than the Washington Monument. In South Carolina, he designed such an abundance of important structures – from plantation homes to county jails – that we’ve created a thorough guide to buildings designed by Robert Mills.

Kershaw County Courthouse Camden

Greg Young of Camden, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Despite its connection to Mills, it is important to note that the edifice we see today looks substantially different than the edifice Mills created. The courthouse in its original form featured an imposing facade dominated by six Ionic columns; an 1847 renovation replaced them with the four Doric columns you see today. At that same time, the second-story balcony and central stairwell were added.

Kershaw County Courthouse

Steven Faucette of Williamston, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Attached to the back of this stairwell is the original headstone for Johann von Robais, Baron de Kalb, a major general in the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War, who was killed by British forces in Camden. The headstone was found in 1901 in the basement of Bethesda Presbyterian Church. It was then moved and mounted to the stairwell by the Hobkirk’s Hill Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Today a monument commemorating the celebrated general stands in front of Bethesda Church, where he is interred.

Kershaw County Court

The courthouse was built to be fireproof; its masonry walls are 22-inches thick on the ground floor and taper to about 15 inches on the second floor. The walls are covered in plaster. The floors are brick with a vaulted ceiling in the central hallway and double-arched ceilings downstairs. Portions of the courthouse have been restored to its 1845 appearance. For example, pine planks now cover the bricks on the second floor. The judge’s bench and witness stand look as they did when Mills designed them. (Mills designed another Fireproof Building in Charleston.)

Kershaw County Court Interior

The courthouse functioned in its original capacity until 1906. It is currently operated as a welcome center by the City of Camden’s tourism department. It previously housed the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce. The facility can be rented for special events, and tours are free and available during business hours.

The Kershaw County Courthouse is listed in the National Register as part of the Camden Historic District:

Architecturally and militarily significant, Camden was a center of activity in both the Revolutionary and Civil Wars, and its architecture reflects the two centuries of its growth. The city was named in honor of Lord Camden, British champion of colonial rights. In 1774 wide streets were laid off in a grid pattern. The town expanded northward as shown in a 1798 plat. The plat set aside six parks which formed the basis for the city’s present 178 acres of beautiful parkland. Most of the original town was destroyed by the fire of 1813. This accelerated growth northward to the Kirkwood area, north of Chesnut Street. Originally, the houses in this area were summer cottages, but by 1840 Kirkwood was a year-round residential area of handsome mansions and elaborate gardens. Many of the mansions were built around the cottages, which still survive at their core. Contributing properties are mostly residential but also include public buildings, a church, and a cemetery. Camden’s architecture is classically inspired and includes examples of Federal and Classical Revival, in addition to cottage-type, Georgian, Charleston-type with modifications, and mansion-type houses. Several of the city’s buildings were designed by noted architect Robert Mills.

Robert Mills Courthouse Info

Address: 607 South Broad Street, Camden, SC 29020
GPS Coordinates: 34.239379,-80.606795
Website: https://www.cityofcamden.org/rental-venues/robert-mills-courthouse

Robert Mills Courthouse Map

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you enjoy this page? Do you have any information we should add? Send us your comments below — we can't wait to hear from you!

4 Comments about Robert Mills Courthouse

SC Picture Project says:
November 18th, 2019 at 10:13 am

Thank you, Cortis! You caught us mid-edit, but the page is fully updated now and you can take a look. We really appreciate the heads up! 🙂

Cortis Calk says:
November 13th, 2019 at 3:49 pm

Editorial comment, the opening paragraph states the building date as 1827 and the building design date as 1835. Thank you

SC Picture Project says:
September 8th, 2019 at 1:05 pm

Susan, thank you so much for sending us this update! I have made the changes above. 🙂

Susan Sale says:
September 4th, 2019 at 2:41 pm

Hi – the city tourism office is now operating the Robert Mills Courthouse as a Welcome Center, open for viewing the courtroom. It is never referred to as the Kershaw County Courthouse, as four others have been built further up the road in Camden. Thanks for your help!


Join Us on Facebook
Follow Us on Instagram
See Us on Pinterest


Abbeville ACE Basin Adams Run Aiken Alcolu Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Banks Barns & Farms Barnwell Batesburg-Leesville Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cayce Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Chesterfield Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Cordesville Courthouses Darlington Daufuskie Island Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Elloree Erhardt Eutawville Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Fort Mill Fountain Inn Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Great Falls Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hardeeville Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historical Photos Historic Houses Hodges Holly Hill Honea Path Hopkins Hotels & Inns Huger Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Jamestown Johns Island Johnsonville Johnston Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lake Marion Lakes Lancaster Landrum Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Lowndesville Manning Marion Mars Bluff McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mount Carmel Mount Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Pacolet Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Pinewood Pinopolis Plantations Pomaria Port Royal Post Offices Prosperity Ravenel Restaurants Ridgeland Ridge Spring Ridgeway Rivers Roadside Oddities Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Santee Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stateburg Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Sunset Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Troy Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Ware Shoals Waterfalls Water Towers Wedgefield West Columbia Westminster Winnsboro Woodruff Yemassee York