Healthy Eyes Are in Focus at the Eye Center of Charleston

Protect Your Eyes with Help from an Ophthalmologist in Russellville, SC

If there's one thing that most people can agree on, it's that our human senses are extraordinary. They help us interact with the environment around us every day of our lives. Our brain processes signals from various neurons associated with our senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch to provide us with a meaningful perception of the world. The truth is, though, that we tend to take our senses for granted unless we experience a malfunction in any of them.

Humans have five senses and the same number of organs to complement those senses: a tongue to taste, a nose to smell, two ears to hear, skin for the sensation of touch, and eyes for sight. Of those senses and organs, our eyes are often considered the most essential, as they enable us to perceive up to 80% of all the impressions we encounter daily.

If other senses like taste or smell stop functioning, our eyes protect us from potential dangers. But they also help provide us with distinctly human memories. Think of all the picture-worthy moments that you have experienced over your lifetime. From seeing your baby smile or walk toward you for the first time to enjoying a memorable movie, it's safe to say that our eyes play an incredibly important role in our daily lives.

It makes sense, then, that we would want to protect our eyes and have them checked regularly to make sure they're healthy and functioning as they should. According to data by Ipsos, however, only 39% of Americans have been to an eye doctor's office in the last year. Fortunately, if you live in the Lowcountry, finding an eye doctor in Russellville, SC, is easier and more convenient than ever when you visit the professionals at Eye Center of Charleston.

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 Eye Surgeon Russellville, SC

The Eye Center of Charleston Difference

Unlike some eye doctor offices in South Carolina, our team uses the most advanced technology paired with our esteemed clinical and surgical skills to precisely diagnose and treat a wide variety of eye conditions and diseases. We focus on a number of vision conditions, medical conditions, and physician services, including but not limited to:

  • Cataracts
  • Presbyopia
  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Styes
  • Diabetic Eye Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Excisional Biopsies
  • Dry Eye Syndrome
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Flashes & Floaters

It all starts with an introductory appointment with one of our experienced eye doctors, who will take as much time as needed to get to know you, learn more about your needs, and better understand the symptoms you're experiencing. Once we know the extent of your eye care needs, our doctors will provide you with an effective, efficient diagnosis and plan of action to remediate any issues you're facing.

From nuanced eye surgeries to standard eye exams, we've got you covered. In fact, we offer the latest technology in Varilux Progressives, Transitions, Crizal Anti-Reflective Lenses, Prescription Polarized Sunglasses, and Thin Lightweight Lenses. With a wide selection of frames and sunglasses, you're sure to find the glasses you need in a style you love.

 Eye Doctor Russellville, SC

What is an Ophthalmologist in Russellville, SC?

When people think about eye doctors, they often think about professionals who conduct eye exams and prescribe contacts. They don't realize that an ophthalmologist is different than other professionals, like optometrists. So, what is an ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a vision health professional who plays a specific role in the field of eye care. Along with optometrists and opticians, they are part of a comprehensive eye care team. However, some patients may need clarification on the similar-sounding names of these three types of eye care providers. Each one has unique skills and training for the tasks they perform. You should understand these differences so you can choose the best professional to address your vision needs.

What are the Differences Between Ophthalmologists and Other Eye Care Specialists?

Opticians, optometrists, and ophthalmologists each have a separate role in the field of eye care.

 Eye Treatment Russellville, SC

Optometrists

These professionals conduct eye exams, vision tests, and can prescribe corrective lenses that help address and solve eye conditions.

 Eye Surgeon Russellville, SC

Opticians

Opticians are often labeled "eye doctors," but they focus mostly on filling prescriptions for contact lenses, glasses, and sunglasses. They're also experts at repairing glasses and adjusting frames as needed.

Ophthalmologist Russellville, SC

Ophthalmologists

These medical doctors treat and diagnose certain eye diseases. However, it's not uncommon for ophthalmologists to provide vision services similar to those of optometrists.

At Eye Center of Charleston, we offer patients all three eye care specialists to provide the most well-rounded, effective eye care services in Charleston and beyond.

Are Optometrists and Ophthalmologists Basically the Same?

While optometrists have a four-year Doctor of Optometry degree and can provide primary vision health care, ophthalmologists are medical doctors who have received approximately three times the education and training.

They can perform all the same services as an optometrist but can also provide treatment, including performing surgeries such as cataract removal, vision correction, and eyelid lifting. Optometrists may detect signs of eye diseases during routine eye exams but are unable to treat them, so they often refer patients to ophthalmologists at The Eye Center of Charleston.

Surgical Specialties at The Eye Center of Charleston

While we serve many different types of patients with a wide variety of needs, many clients visit our eye surgeon in Russellville, SC, for very specific procedures. Keep reading below to learn more about those surgeries and the conditions that necessitate an eye doctor's intervention.

While we serve many different types of patients with a wide variety of needs, many clients visit our eye surgeon in Russellville, SC, for very specific procedures. Keep reading below to learn more about those surgeries and the conditions that necessitate an eye doctor's intervention.

In a young and healthy eye, light passes smoothly through clear ocular structures and is then focused on the retina, the light-sensitive lining inside the eye. The lens, which is a slightly flattened marble-shaped structure, helps to focus the eye. If the lens becomes cloudy, yellow, or limits the amount of light that travels through it, it is known as a cataract. Cataracts can occur at any stage of life, from birth to old age.

Some of the most common symptoms of cataracts include the following:

  • Blurry or Dim Vision
  • Lights Are Too Bright
  • Lights Give Off Halo Effect
  • Faded Colors
  • Vision at Night is Poor
  • Vision Distortion

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause damage to the optic nerve due to high pressure in the eye, leading to possible vision loss. Therefore, the primary focus of treatment is to control eye pressure. Early intervention is crucial in preventing severe vision loss. While most patients can avoid severe vision loss with the use of topical eye drops, some require additional treatment.

It should be noted that some patients prefer to have less dependence on eye drops. Along with medical treatment, several safe and effective procedures are available, including laser trabeculoplasty and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery. To learn more about these treatment options, talk to your eye doctor at The Eye Center of Charleston.

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for sending visual information from your eye to your brain and is essential for good vision. While high pressure in your eye is often associated with optic nerve damage, glaucoma can occur even with normal eye pressure.

Although glaucoma can happen at any age, it is more prevalent in older adults and is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. Unfortunately, many forms of glaucoma produce no warning signs. The effect of the condition is so gradual that you may not notice a change in vision until the later stages of the disease.

That's why it's essential to have regular eye exams that include measuring your eye pressure. Early recognition of glaucoma is a very important part of that process because it can help slow down or prevent vision loss. If you have glaucoma, you will need to undergo treatment or monitoring for the rest of your life.

Some of the most common symptoms of glaucoma include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Eye Pressure & Pain
  • Low, Blurred, or Narrow Vision
  • Bloodshot Eyes
  • Nausea
  • Seeing Rainbow-Colored Haloes Around Light Sources

A pterygium is a non-cancerous growth that appears on the surface of the eye, causing blurry vision. It usually occurs in individuals who have a long history of exposure to sunlight or UV light. Should you need pterygium surgery at The Eye Center of Charleston, you can rest easy knowing that your eye doctor in Russellville, SC, will be highly trained and experienced in the surgical treatment of pterygia.

Also called surfer's eye, a pterygium is an overgrowth of the conjunctiva, which is a thin and clear membrane on the surface of the eye. It can appear as a fleshy growth and is usually found growing from the inner corner of the eye, close to the nose. However, it can also appear on the outer corner or on both sides of the eye. The condition is not cancerous and does not spread to any other part of the face or body. It can cause redness and irritation in the affected area.

If left untreated, a pterygium can grow across the cornea, which is the transparent 'window' that covers the pupil and iris, further impacting vision. In such cases, surgical treatment may be necessary. However, it's important to note that pterygia may grow back even after successful surgery.

Some symptoms of a pterygium include the following:

  • Itching & Burning
  • Inflammation & Bloodshot Eyes
  • Minor Eye Pain
  • Issues with Blocked Vision

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes

If you have diabetes, you may be wondering if the disease can affect your eyes and whether or not an ophthalmologist in Russellville, SC can help. To provide the best answer, it's important that you understand how diabetes can affect your eyesight.

Diabetes is a condition in which your body fails to properly convert food into energy. This is because your body either cannot produce or does not respond to insulin, which is a hormone responsible for transporting glucose (blood sugar) to the cells in your body. When there is an excess of glucose in the bloodstream, it can cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves throughout your body, including the eyes.

Understanding Diabetic Eye Disease

When we refer to diabetic eye disease, we're talking about a group of eye conditions that stem from diabetes. Those conditions include the following:

3 Easy Ways to Protect Your Eyes Everyday

Eye problems can be easily prevented if you adopt some easy-to-follow habits for eye care in your daily routine. Even though these habits are practical and easy to accomplish, many people brush them off - until they have serious eye problems. To maintain good eye health and sharp vision, try incorporating these eye care techniques into your daily routine.

Eye Center of Charleston Pro Tip

Swing by one of our eye clinics to see our selection of fashionable and chic sunglasses. Our licensed opticians keep a number of popular sunglass options available at all times, like Costa, Kate Spade, and Juicy Couture. Protect your eyes and look great at the same time!

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Use Protection from the Sun

It's important to be mindful of the potential risks associated with exposure to sunlight and UV rays. These hazards include an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration, as well as the possibility of cornea sunburn or photokeratitis. To protect your eyes, try wearing sunglasses that have UV protection. If you don't like wearing sunglasses, you can opt for UV-protected eyeglasses or contact lenses instead. You can also try wearing caps, visors, and hats for added protection.

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Try Not to Rub Your Eyes

One of life's little pleasures is rubbing your eyes when you're tired or have had a long day. It may feel good, but we don't recommend doing it. Reason being, your hands come into contact with a great deal of dirt, dust, and bacteria on a daily basis.

Every time you touch or rub your eyes, these harmful particles can be easily transferred to them. If you avoid touching your eyes with your hands, you can better prevent infections and irritations.

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Try the 20-20-20 Rule of Thumb

To keep your eyes in the best shape possible, consider adopting this handy rule. It states that:

  • Look away from your computer screen or TV every 20 minutes and fixate your gaze on something that is 20 feet away.
  • Blink your eyes 20 times in succession. This helps prevent dry eyes.
  • Get up out of your seat or away from your desk every 20 minutes. Then, take 20 steps. Doing so helps you vision and also helps promote healthy blood circulation and posture.

See a Brighter Future with Help from An Eye Doctor in Russellville, SC

At The Eye Center of Charleston, we're proud to offer a breadth of eye care services under one roof tailored to you and your whole family. From pediatric myopia management and treatment for dry eye to popular eyewear options and complicated eye surgery, we're ready to help. Regardless of the reason why you visit our eye care office, you can have peace of mind knowing that your patient experience will be comfortably curated for you.

Contact our eye care center today to learn more about our practice and to schedule an initial consultation with one of our expert eye doctors.

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Latest News in Russellville, SC

Rees tosses complete-game victory as SC baseball beats Russellville on Senior Night

MOKANE -- South Callaway baseball senior Owen Rees, an all-state catcher, tossed a complete-game victory, scored two runs and drove in one on Senior/Youth Appreciation Night Wednesday at South Callaway's baseball field."It's been a long year, and I've had games where I've thrown hard, games where I've thrown soft," Rees said. "This is one of the games I was not throwing my best; I just had to spot up and keep it away from the middle of the plate and let my infielders do the work. It's been a long, long season with them....

MOKANE -- South Callaway baseball senior Owen Rees, an all-state catcher, tossed a complete-game victory, scored two runs and drove in one on Senior/Youth Appreciation Night Wednesday at South Callaway's baseball field.

"It's been a long year, and I've had games where I've thrown hard, games where I've thrown soft," Rees said. "This is one of the games I was not throwing my best; I just had to spot up and keep it away from the middle of the plate and let my infielders do the work. It's been a long, long season with them. Some days, they've had really good games back behind me, and I trust them. Some days, it's kind of hard to, but I have complete trust in them right now going into districts. It's been a lot of fun. Behind the plate, hitting, I went through a slump there for a little while, and I came in today and just put everything out of my mind and swung the bat."

Snapping their three-game losing streak in the Show-Me Conference, the Bulldogs cruised to a 10-1 victory against the Russellville Indians.

Coming off a 7-4 defeat to Eugene Monday, where it plated three of its runs in the first two innings, South Callaway (11-13, 2-3 Show-Me) knew it needed to score more throughout the game.

The Bulldogs did that Wednesday, tallying two runs in the first inning, two in the second, two in the fourth, one in the fifth and three in the sixth, as they notched 10 hits.

"We were able to work into hitters' counts at the plate, getting into 2-1 counts, 1-0, 3-1 and then find the pitch we can be aggressive on," South Callaway baseball coach Mason Mershon said. "A lot of them did that today, one through nine."

In addition, Rees (3-2) allowed just four hits while striking out five, walking two, and hitting one batter. He threw 94 pitches (63 strikes) and faced 29 batters.

"He's had multiple successful starts for us on the mound, which is something that he hasn't really done in his time here up until this year," Mershon said. "He's really helped us out tremendously, and I couldn't be more proud of him, especially to do something like that on Senior Night. To go the distance for the team on the mound was awesome for him."

Ethan Edwards, who hit a double down the left-field line with two outs in the bottom of the first for South Callaway's first hit, scored the Bulldogs' first run when ensuing batter Rees reached second base on a throwing error to first base by Russellville's second baseman.

Rees scored in the next at-bat, swiping third base and heading home after the Indians' catcher overthrew his third baseman. That was South Callaway's final run of the first inning, as it held a 2-0 advantage.

An inning later, another Bulldogs senior excelled, with Jacob Boese grounding an RBI single to the shortstop. Registering its second run of the second inning, Dane Daugherty scored when Edwards snapped his bat and reached first base on a fielding error by Russellville's shortstop.

It remained 4-0 South Callaway until the top of the fourth when Russellville (6-18, 1-4 Show-Me) scored its lone run on Maddox Plate's RBI single to right field.

During the next frame, Edwards, using a different bat, increased the Bulldogs' lead to 6-1 when he slapped a two-RBI single up the middle.

Keeping its foot on the pedal, South Callaway went ahead 7-1 when Chase Mealy lined an RBI single to left field in the fifth inning.

A run short of earning a six-inning run-rule victory, the Bulldogs plated three runs on two hits and walks and a hit by pitch in the bottom of the sixth. Rees sent across South Callaway's first run of the inning on his sacrifice fly to center field, and three batters later, Graden Pontius smacked a two-RBI single through the second baseman's glove into right-center field.

Edwards and Boese each hit a double for the Bulldogs' two extra-base hits. Daugherty scored a game-high three runs and swiped a game-high two bases; South Callaway tallied five stolen bases.

Russellville starter Ethan Hickey took the loss, giving up four runs (one earned) on four hits and one walk while striking out one in two innings.

Before the game, South Callaway held its Senior Night ceremony for seniors Boese, Daugherty, Rees and Kaidon Gideon.

"Well, it's not easy for a senior player to come in and have a new coach to play for their senior year," Mershon said. "I'm really impressed by the way they've handled and been flexible with some of the new styles and new things that a new coach brings. I've really been grateful and blessed to have had the opportunity to coach these four and I hopefully can keep coaching them for several more weeks."

After beating the Indians, the Bulldogs' four seniors shared their experience with South Callaway and discussed their future beyond high school.

Boese shared why last season's Class 3 state runner-up finish was memorable to him.

"It was definitely just all of last year," Boese said of what was memorable about his time on South Callaway baseball. "It was just a fun experience with everybody, and especially going all the way that was awesome. I definitely won't ever forget it."

Following high school, Boese will go to technical school.

"In July, I started a state technical school in Nevada (Missouri), MWI," Boese said. "I'm gonna go weld."

Daugherty explained how the postgame meals have been one of his favorite memories while playing for the Bulldogs.

"I know it sounds boring, but going to eat (at Jalisco in Fulton) after games with the boys," Daugherty said. "That was always my favorite time. Obviously, it is great to get wins with all your friends and stuff, but yeah, just having that time outside of baseball.

Daugherty will attend the State Technical College of Missouri in Linn for the next two years before likely working at the Callaway Plant and doing nuclear operations.

"I'm really thankful for all my coaches and everyone that supported me," Daugherty said.

Gideon decided to play baseball in his final year at South Callaway and was happy with his decision.

"It was my senior year, and I've had a lot of regrets," Gideon said. "I was gonna play football earlier this year, and there's stuff going on in my personal life that prevented me from doing that. But looking back, I wish I had joined. I just didn't want to make the same mistake with baseball again. So, I decided to just stick it and do it, and I'm really happy that I did."

Looking back at his first year of baseball, Gideon explained what it's been like.

"I remember the first practice I came to; that was really awesome," Gideon said. "I remember my arm being sore. That was the big thing. But, there's been a ton of moments over the season where I've been really glad that I joined. Even though I haven't played in a while, I'm grateful for everything. All the memories I've made since I've been here for the last three months, I can't really name any specific moment because there's just been so much happening that I've been really enjoying every lesson."

Like Daugherty, Gideon plans to attend the State Technical College of Missouri.

"I plan on going to state tech for nuclear tech operations, and in the fall, looking to be a nuclear tech operator," Gideon said. "Nothing too much other than that, hopefully get my life on a good track, trying to prepare."

Last but not least, Rees, a key member of last season's state runner-up team and a three-sport athlete at South Callaway, reflected on what moment with the Bulldogs was most memorable.

"One of the best times that I've had was at the Borgia tournament at the beginning of the season," Rees said. "That's always fun whether we go out there and win or get our butts kicked. It's always fun to go out there and spend a weekend with just your teammates and go to the pool and just relax in each other's rooms and then just get up and play some ball in the morning. So, it's a pretty memorable moment."

Rees also bonded with his teammates and Fulton's team when South Callaway played state baseball in Ozark last spring.

"We went to Lambert's, and that was probably one of the best times I've had eating ever," Rees said. "It was just an all-out battle. We (South Callaway and Fulton) were in back-to-back tables. Let's just say there were rolls thrown at one another in that moment."

Being a multi-sport athlete can be challenging, but managing two in one season is even more so. Rees did that during his final two years at South Callaway with baseball and boys track and field.

"I've gone to a lot more (track and field) meets this year," Rees said. "It's a little bit more lenient this year than it was last year. New coach coming in, he let us do a little bit more than we did last year with coach (Heath) Lepper. But it's been nice to get away from baseball for a minute and relax out there on the track side of things. That's been a great and wonderful experience to get out and do something different that I don't do every day."

Upon graduation, Rees plans to join the military.

"Probably about two months ago, I went up...and got everything checked out and I was perfectly good," Rees said. "So, I went in, and I signed on to the Navy as a CB (construction battalion), and then my contract is for five years active and three years in the reserves. I'll be a construction mechanic for the CBs. So, working on all heavy equipment."

South Callaway honored its most experienced players and displayed its future when youth Bulldogs joined the host's starting nine on the field for the national anthem.

"We had a youth baseball camp back in the fall," Mershon said. "A lot of those kids were a part of and just kind of get associated with those youth kids, start building the relationships early with them is so important. And, a big, big piece of my coaching philosophy."

From here on out, it's the business end of the season for South Callaway. Its next game is against Show-Me/district opponent New Bloomfield (10-7, 2-3 Show-Me) at 5 p.m. Friday at Rod Haley Field in New Bloomfield. The Bulldogs are seeking their seventh straight victory against their in-county rival.

"We'll know our district seeds before Friday (district seeding meeting is today), but New Bloomfield has a rich, rich history in baseball and having success," Mershon said. "They're well coached by coach (Justin) Forsythe over there does a really good job and hope we can go there and compete and kick off the weekend with a win."

Looking back at the Camp Manufacturing Company and Russellville

This is contradicted by one family member, who says it was Theodore Russell, a cousin of W. P. Russell, who was the founder. Regardless, we’re telling the story of John M. Camp, Jr., who came to the area in 1922, where he found W.P. Russell operating a ground mill beside his cotton gin five miles west of St. Stephen. Camp bought part of Russell's farm and built his mill a half mile to the north of Russell's store, which had served as a post office since 1916.For newcomers to Berkeley County, Russellville is located on what used ...

This is contradicted by one family member, who says it was Theodore Russell, a cousin of W. P. Russell, who was the founder. Regardless, we’re telling the story of John M. Camp, Jr., who came to the area in 1922, where he found W.P. Russell operating a ground mill beside his cotton gin five miles west of St. Stephen. Camp bought part of Russell's farm and built his mill a half mile to the north of Russell's store, which had served as a post office since 1916.

For newcomers to Berkeley County, Russellville is located on what used to be the old Murray’s Ferry Road (modern day S.C. Highway 35) going north, approximately five miles from Bonneau, toward Santee River.

In his autobiography, John (Jack) Madison Camp, Jr. tells us about his family and their lumber mill village history located in Russellville. “We moved to Franklin, Virginia in 1921, but we soon moved again. We went to the St. Stephen area of South Carolina, where Daddy had been assigned the task of building a new mill and mill village. These itinerant sawmill communities had a motto, "Cut Out and Get Out." There was no reforesting program and no cry for it at that time.”

When the Camp’s moved into a new location that had a good stand of timber, they would keep cutting for some time, as was the case in the Santee area of South Carolina. The mill made a huge difference in the area, for sure, providing employment and a great economical boost. The plan was to work there for maybe fifteen to twenty-five years. The company laid down a center street, then set up a water tower that could be used for potable water uses and to supply the village that was soon to be built.

“They left room on the center street for the schoolhouse that my father built for the employee's children. The Russellville community didn't have a school in that area of Berkeley County at that time. Teachers were imported, much to the glee of all the single men in that area.”

Camp says it seemed to him that St. Stephen's main reason for being was that the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad came through there. And that was of course true, but not the main reason. Church and religion were of utmost importance in early colonial time, so the "old brick church" was actually the primary reason for St. Stephen's existence, and how the town got its name.

Just north, maybe a mile, of the little village of Russellville, made up entirely of Camp’s employees, was found a community club, a Parent-Teacher association, a home demonstration club, a two-story school building (see photo) in which two teachers (one of which was my Grandmother) taught and trained the young folks, and where on Sundays the auditorium served as a church and Sunday-School room, a two story hotel that would have been a credit to a much larger town, and twenty-two cottages, actually, they were homes for the employees, painted (!), and each with front and back yards that had been beautified.

Each year a civic contest was sponsored by Camp Manufacturing among its homemakers. A first prize of five dollars and a second of two-fifty were offered “to the one making the most improvements in the home grounds or to the one keeping the grounds most satisfactory.” Consequently, each yard turned out to be a bit of a garden, where kids romped and played, while their mothers sat on their screened porches (usually shelling peas and beans during summer months), passing away each day, pleasantly visiting one with the other of their neighbors.

Each home was screened and equipped with modern conveniences of lights and water, and practically each boasted a radio, and many with automobiles. The mill village of Camp had an electric system that drew its power from the company generator. Odd to us today, was the fact that at 9 o'clock P.M. the lights would blink once. At 9:05 they would blink twice, and at 9:15, all the current would go off until the next morning about daylight. Reason being, simply, the generators had to be shut down to maintain them.

The Camp family had lived in Virginia since before the American Revolution. The lumber business was started by P.D. Camp in Franklin in 1870. He later took into the firm his brother, R.J. Camp and J.L. Camp, and organized the Camp Manufacturing Company. All of the original members of the firm have passed on, and company tasks left to their sons.

Most likely, an important explanation of Camp’s success in business was its tenet that it is just as important to develop men as it is to manufacture lumber products. The heads of this firm always maintained that character building is superior to anything else.

Respect for the Sabbath was one of their policies that “must be held inviolate.” The story is told that when the Camps began their endeavor in the lumber business, the company had rented a tug to pull the logs up the river (this was in Virginia). The owners of the tug explained that they operated on a seven-day a week basis, and that is what they charged for. Camp replied that he understood this, and he expected to pay for seven days’ usage . . . but, he also intended to tie up the tug at 12 o’clock Saturday nights, where it would remain until 12 o’clock Sunday nights. Thus, after six-days a week, his plants, over those many years became silent on Sunday. (The only exception to this rule was boiler maintenance.)

Camp Jr. said at times his father would allow one of his hometown friends to come and visit him, and this was always a great and exciting occasion for both. They would stay in the men's dormitory on the upper floor of the company store building (see photo). This was a big wooden building (I don’t remember if it was painted), covered in tongue and grooved siding (we call it "bead-board" now) that was made in the mill. The men's dormitory consisted of several rooms and a big common shower and bathroom for the visiting men. The more permanent employees took up residence there in very modest rooms. Less permanent residents stayed over at Mrs. Nixon's Boarding House that was only a few hundred yards away. There was some heat from individual wood fed heaters in the company storerooms, but there was certainly no air-conditioning.

The Company Store was a big two-story building, with three chimneys. Any of life’s supplies you needed were available. A major part of the first floor was a large porch out front. It was covered, not screened, and there were benches around the porch for people to sit while waiting to go into the store, or just to enjoy some community life.

Camp's company store had a problem (as all general stores did), rats. Rice, flour, cornmeal, seed, etc., were being stored for use and sale. Cats were used from time to time, but probably were intimidated by the size of some of the rats. So, the company decided to use ferrets to keep the rats under control. They were slender, quick, and very aggressive. The ferrets had beautiful fur but were not very friendly. They would bite a person as quickly as they'd bite a rat. Nevertheless, they were necessary, and they seemed to keep the rats under control.

Camp’s homes (“quarters” to the locals) were close to the company store and arranged so that the houses faced each other across the main street. There was a rumor going around Russellville that all the children born on one side of that street were boys and all those born on the other side were girls. If a couple wanted to change the sex of the next child, they would just move over to the other side of the street. Oddly enough, that seemed to work for a long period of time.

The schoolhouse (see photo) and the boarding house were located at opposite ends of the street. Mrs. Nixon, the lady who ran the boarding house in St. Stephen, was a good manager. She furnished lots of good, very plain food to many hungry millworkers. Mill workers with no family could dine at the boarding house and be adequately nourished. Jack Camp, Jr. says "Mrs. Nixon also had an attractive daughter whose name was Elsie, who became fast friends with my older sister Virginia." Teachers were allowed to have meals at the boarding house, offering variety, and a change of conversation for the men there.

Camp’s boarding house cook was Joe Poseskie, and Jack remembers Joe cooking frog legs. A lot of people ate frog legs, but they were sort of dangerous to cook, because reflex action left in the dead limbs caused the legs to kick the grease out. That often burned the cook, and needless to say, Joe didn't like that.

The health of the Camp village was insured by company physician, Dr. Carroll, also the community doctor when I was young. Located between the white mill workers' quarters and the black's quarters that were located farther down the same street, the doctor's office was approximately 200 feet from the company store. Many of the medical problems originated from emergencies at the mill, so he would go right into the place where there had been an accident and treat the patient there. Then he would take them to Moncks Corner to Berkeley County Hospital, or Charleston, depending on the care required for them. It wasn't until the mid-fifties that Dr. Sam O. Schumann came to Camp village to practice medicine.

Camp Manufacturing Company in Russellville became Russellville Lumber Company, owned by Williams Furniture Company, then Southern Coatings and Chemicals in Sumter, S.C. In the middle 1960’s, Georgia-Pacific Corporation bought the Russellville Lumber Company property and began establishing the complex consisting of a plywood plant, chip-n-saw plant, particleboard plant, chemical plant, and forestry division . . . all at Russellville, South Carolina, employing 500+ people.

Resources: From his book While You're Up, A Memoir, by John M. Camp, Jr., Charleston News and Courier, and personal remembrances. — Keith Gourdin

Berkeley County Economic Development Hosting Public Meeting on Brownfield Grant

This informational meeting will provide more details on the $500,000 EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant Berkeley County Council accepted in September 2022. Economic Development officials and representatives with Terracon Consulting Engineers and Scientists, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be on hand to answer questions.This grant is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Assessment Grant Program and will help fund the first steps i...

This informational meeting will provide more details on the $500,000 EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant Berkeley County Council accepted in September 2022. Economic Development officials and representatives with Terracon Consulting Engineers and Scientists, SC Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC), and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be on hand to answer questions.

This grant is part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfield Assessment Grant Program and will help fund the first steps in a large-scale revitalization initiative to improve quality of life opportunities in the St. Stephen/Russellville area. Specifically, the grant will allow the Town of St. Stephen, Berkeley County Economic Development, and the EPA to work together to determine brownfield sites in the St. Stephen area that could be redeveloped to provide more job opportunities and other quality of life resources for the community.

Brownfield sites are properties that are or may be contaminated with hazardous substances, pollutants, petroleum, or other contaminants that pose a barrier to productive reuse. Such sites are often are in struggling neighborhoods and areas with blight, deteriorated infrastructure, or other challenges. A brownfield site may include public or private properties, green spaces, or parks in need of preservation. The grant has already identified two such sites: the former St. Stephen High School, which closed in 1996, and the area’s former Lumber Mill, which operated as a steam-powered lumber mill from the 1930s to mid-1960s and closed around 1970.

Members of the public are encouraged to submit information HERE if they own a property or know of a property in the St. Stephen area that could be considered for an assessment as a brownfield site. Landowners may be asked to participate in an assessment by providing information on the site’s history.

This EPA program also provides funding for these assessments—which are critical for determining real estate values—and will help identify and/or alleviate any potential environmental concerns at a site.

This revitalization initiative, which will be conducted in multiple phases, will include community input and engagement throughout the entirety of the process. For more information on the EPA Brownfield Assessment Grant Program, go HERE.

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-Prepared by the Berkeley County Public Information Office-

Berkeley County opened an application period from February 17 to March 17 for interested organizations to apply for funding. In partnership with Civitas LLC, the County established a CDBG Advisory Committee to review applicants and determine eligible groups before making a recommendation to Council. The money stems from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and will provide Berkeley County communities with resources to address unique community development needs. Funding has been awarded to the following local organizations for costs associated with public facilities and demolition:

*The approximately $1.28 million approved also includes $256,910 for administration and CDBG Program-related costs.

Through the CDBG program, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) approved $1,284,550 for Berkeley County to use to address community development needs. The County is also set to receive $552,117 in HOME funding from HUD for Program Year (PY) 2023, which begins July 1, 2023 and ends June 30, 2024. The above requests will be funded beginning July 1.

The CDBG Program provides annual grants on a formula basis to states, cities, and counties to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.

“We are excited to award this funding to help better serve a diverse set of support services throughout the County. Special thanks to the CDBG Advisory Committee and to each applicant for playing an important role in helping to meet the needs of our community.” -Berkeley County Supervisor Johnny Cribb

For more information on the CDBG Program, visit the County website or the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Program website.

Berkeley County Receives $500,000 Grant to Fund Revitalization in St. Stephen Area

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Thursday, September 15, 2022) – At its meeting on Monday, September 12, 2022, Berkeley County Council approved a $500,000 EPA Brownfields Assessment grant to help fund a large-scale revitalization initiative to greatly improve quality of life opportunities in the St. Stephen/Russellville area. Watch the full Council meeting HERE.This grant, part of the U.S. Env...

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Thursday, September 15, 2022) – At its meeting on Monday, September 12, 2022, Berkeley County Council approved a $500,000 EPA Brownfields Assessment grant to help fund a large-scale revitalization initiative to greatly improve quality of life opportunities in the St. Stephen/Russellville area. Watch the full Council meeting HERE.

This grant, part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Brownfields Community Wide Assessment Grant Program, will help fund environmental assessments on properties located within a certain designated Census Tract in the St. Stephen area. With the help of community and residential input, the Town of St. Stephen—together with the EPA and Berkeley County Economic Development—will conduct up to 15 site inventories of brownfield sites, in the St. Stephen area, that could be redeveloped to provide more job opportunities and other quality of life resources for the community.

The grant has already identified two such sites: the former St. Stephen High School, which closed in 1996, and the area’s former Lumber Mill, which operated as a steam-powered lumber mill from the 1930s to mid-1960s and closed around 1970. Another goal of this large-scale initiative will be to develop a complete revitalization plan unique to St. Stephen.

Public meetings and community engagement will be critical throughout this process. More information on public meetings will be forthcoming.

“County Council is committed to improving access to resources and employment opportunities for people throughout Berkeley County. This grant will not only help fund these initiatives, but also ensure the St. Stephen community is involved in the process. Berkeley County’s success is directly related to the success of its citizens; inviting the public to the table on critical decision-making efforts like this one are what makes us #OneBerkeley.” -Johnny Cribb, Berkeley County Supervisor

“The town of St. Stephen is grateful that the EPA selected us to receive one of the 2022 Brownfields Program Grants for $500,000. We were the only municipality in Berkeley County to receive this. In countless other communities around the United States, the EPA’s Brownfield Program has had a proven track record of leveraging private sector investment, creating jobs, and protecting the environment. St. Stephen will use this Brownfields Grant to spur our town with redevelopment and cleanup projects and bring sustained economic growth. We are thankful for the support of the Berkeley County Economic Development Office and their ability to work with myself, Town Council, and the Town’s administration to write the grant proposal. We are ready to collaborate with the various committees that will be comprised of St. Stephen residents and business owners to help us continue to grow and revitalize our town. It has been well worth the wait. This is the first of many blessings in store for our great town.” -John Rivers, St. Stephen Mayor

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-Prepared by the Berkeley County Public Information Office-

UCA sculptor installs cyclone at Russellville High School

Touch downThe big red cyclone hit land at Russellville High School on July 30 — finally.“Oh, my goodness,” said Wendy Sparks, operations manager of The Center for the Arts, as she watched the truck bearing the cyclone sculpture approach the front of the arts center. “It’s been a long time coming.”The Center for the Arts was the final destination of the large sculpture, created by Conway artist Bryan Winfred Massey Sr. The cyclone is the school mascot for Russellville High School....

Touch down

The big red cyclone hit land at Russellville High School on July 30 — finally.

“Oh, my goodness,” said Wendy Sparks, operations manager of The Center for the Arts, as she watched the truck bearing the cyclone sculpture approach the front of the arts center. “It’s been a long time coming.”

The Center for the Arts was the final destination of the large sculpture, created by Conway artist Bryan Winfred Massey Sr. The cyclone is the school mascot for Russellville High School.

“This center opened in April 2012, and we’ve been wanting to get this here ever since then,” Sparks said. “We are so fortunate to have found Mr. Massey. So many people in the community, in the school, have supported this project. We are so excited to finally see it here.”

Massey, who teaches at the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, was commissioned to create the sculpture, which, Sparks said, is the last piece of the arts center project at the high school. In November 2012, Massey met with Truman Hill and other members of the Project WOW! Group, whose objective is to improve the landscape at the high school and is comprised of alumni, former school board members and a horticulture teacher. Massey presented a design, then a maquette (a small model) to the Russellville School District Board of Education, which approved the project. Massey began the 15-foot-tall sculpture in early 2014.

Massey created the 2,500-pound cyclone of carbon steel, creating 18 rings measuring from 18 inches to 10 feet in diameter. After the sculpture was finished, Massey had it powder-coated and sandblasted; then he painted it red.

“I love it,” said Massey, smiling, as the sculpture stood cemented and bolted in its 6,000-pound base in a planter outside the arts center. “The installation was one of the smoothest setups I’ve had in a long time.

“I’m very pleased with the outcome. Everybody has had positive things to say about it.”

Employees of Elmo’s Boom Truck Service in Russellville provided the crane that was used to install the sculpture. Chris Campbell, maintenance department supervisor at the high school, and his employees assisted Massey with the installation, as did

J.J. Furgerson of Conway, Massey’s godson.

Ashley Snellenberger, communications coordinator for the Russellville School District, said one important component of the design is the structural integrity of the sculpture.

“The district insisted that the sculpture had to be able to withstand high winds and a school atmosphere,” she said. “Three engineers approved the structural drawings, and engineer Kurt Jones monitored the construction process and determined the maximum height could be 16 feet.”

“This is a real showpiece,” Sparks said. “The students will be so excited to see it when they return to school.

“I’m so exited for the patrons of the arts center to see it, too. This will be something they will want to visit and get their picture made with it.

“We have a lot of visitors come here. Our theater programs are just incredible. We have an Elvis show from Las Vegas coming Saturday, and a Tanya Tucker concert in October.”

Wesley White, former principal at the high school and now a member of the school board, as well as a member of the Project WOW! Group, said the sculpture will be lighted to highlight it as a feature of The Center for the Arts.

“It’s a unique piece of architecture,” White said. “Mary Jane Taylor, a local landscaper, will landscape it.”

Hill and his wife, Jan, a former Russellville High School teacher and a former UCA employee who initially suggested contacting Massey about the project, also attended the installation.

“Oh yeah, yeah. I like it,” Truman Hill said as he watched the sculpture being installed.

“Look at it from here,” he said, turning to Sheila Jacobs, the high school’s principal.

“It has more twist from this direction,” he said, standing a little bit in front of the sculpture with the arts center in the background. “This is the best view and is what people will see when they drive up.”

Jacobs said the sculpture “is a special addition to Russellville High School.”

“It’s a long time coming. We’re grateful to everyone who worked so hard to get it here. It’s pretty awesome.”

Russellville Mayor Randy Horton drove up to the school just after the sculpture had been installed.

“It’s a nice addition,” Horton said. “You’re certainly identifying the school.

“My daughter graduated from here last year. I drove her to school many times, looking at that [empty] planter, thinking, ‘It could be better than that.’ Today, it is certainly better. It stands out — no doubt.”

Snellenberger said a major benefactor and several alumni and friends of Russellville High School were responsible for the funding of the project. The school district funded the remaining costs.

“We are glad to add this unique piece of art to the RHS campus and to the community,” said Randall Williams, superintendent. “We appreciate the many alumni who donated ‘in honor’ or ‘in memory’ of a loved one to the Project WOW! fundraising campaign. This project shows what a difference just a few people can make in our schools and in Russellville.”

A formal dedication ceremony for the sculpture will be held in September during homecoming.

As for Massey, he is off to North Carolina, Georgia and Pennsylvania for three more installations of his work.

“All before school starts,” he said with a laugh. “I’m trying to slow down, but it’s impossible.”

Massey will start his 28th year of teaching art at UCA this fall.

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