Early Cameron history emerges as Three Goodman brothers offered Major John Scott every other lot for a
mile on either side of the railroad tracks if he would arrange it so that
the railroad would run through their land. Major Scott accepted the offer
and in 1857 the Raleigh and Augusta railroad came to Cameron, and for quite
a while that was the end of the line. A variety of merchants and residents
came with the railroad and with that a community was established.
Cameron was named for Paul Cameron, an official of the railroad. In 1876, an
act by the General Assembly made Cameron an incorporated town.
The railroad brought boom times to Cameron, and it’s influence was
obvious, the town’s ‘city limits’ were set in a one mile square radiating
out from the train depot.
The town grew rapidly and soon was a bustling commercial center with
several mercantile stores, six turpentine distilleries, a millstone company,
and a carriage works. Winery and hosiery mills were added by the early
1900’s and by 1920, there were two hotels, ten general stores, three saloons
and one drugstore.
From 1880 to 1890 the population exploded from 117 to 218 residents.
During this time period the Muse Brothers Store in Cameron was known as the
largest department store between Richmond, Virginia and Augusta, Georgia.
The sandy soil in Cameron was the perfect mixture to grow Lucretia
Dewberries and in 1892, those dewberries put Cameron on the map. The
Lucretia Dewberry is a milder version of the blackberry with superior taste
and the cultivated blackberry was soon growing on farms all around the
community, attracting buyers from as far away as Florida. Cameron was known
as “The World’s Largest Dewberry Market”.
Unfortunately the dewberry patch
is a one-crop situation and the bushes soon aged and no new ones were
planted. By the 1950’s the dewberry industry had completely died and was
replaced by tobacco, which became the major cash crop for years to come.
has long been anchored by farming and agricultural endeavors, and tobacco
brought much money and growth into the area.
Currently there are over 300 residents living in this laid back residential
community. However, when the first Saturday in May and the first Saturday in
October roll around, you can expect
Cameron to be bursting at the seams when the town fills with vendors and
shoppers of antiques. "The Antique Capital of the Sandhills" brings in
hundreds of antique treasure hunters looking for that special piece.
People come from as far away as Maryland and Georgia to partake in the search for
new “old treasures”. Cameron history for years has brought visitors and new
residents looking for the quieter lifestyle to this sleepy little town.
If you have a day, take a drive to Cameron and walk through some of the
shops. Take a look at some of the architecture as you stroll along the main
drag. Victorian and Bungalow style homes dot the landscape, a lot of which
have never been touched. If you love history, you'll feel right at home.
Does your family have ties to Cameron history? Tell us about it
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