Healthy Eyes Are in Focus at the Eye Center of Charleston

Protect Your Eyes with Help from an Ophthalmologist in Saint Stephen, 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 Saint Stephen, SC, is easier and more convenient than ever when you visit the professionals at Eye Center of Charleston.

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 Eye Surgeon Saint Stephen, 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 Saint Stephen, SC

What is an Ophthalmologist in Saint Stephen, 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 Saint Stephen, SC

Optometrists

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

 Eye Surgeon Saint Stephen, 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 Saint Stephen, 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 Saint Stephen, 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 Saint Stephen, 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 Saint Stephen, 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 Saint Stephen, 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 Saint Stephen, 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 Saint Stephen, SC

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-

Animal Control Seizes Dozens of Cats from Hoarding Situation in St. Stephen

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Tuesday, February 14, 2023) – On February 9, 2023, Berkeley County Animal Control officers responded to a hoarding situation at a residential property near Harristown Road in St. Stephen, where they discovered dozens of cats in deteriorating conditions on the property, dubbed a “Cat Sanctuary.” Cats were located living inside a rundown trailer and outside the area.Officers seized 49 cats still alive but in poor health. An additional 23 cats were found deceased inside stru...

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – (Tuesday, February 14, 2023) – On February 9, 2023, Berkeley County Animal Control officers responded to a hoarding situation at a residential property near Harristown Road in St. Stephen, where they discovered dozens of cats in deteriorating conditions on the property, dubbed a “Cat Sanctuary.” Cats were located living inside a rundown trailer and outside the area.

Officers seized 49 cats still alive but in poor health. An additional 23 cats were found deceased inside structures at the site. The cats were taken to Berkeley Animal Center, where 10 cats were forced to be euthanized due to their sickly condition. The remainder of the cats are in the care of Animal Center staff and in stable condition.

The shelter is seeking adult cat food as well as monetary donations for medical costs and other emergency care needs for the cats. Please consider donating HERE (enter “sick cats” under “reason for donation”). The cats will be available for adoption once they are nursed back to good health. Cat food can be dropped off at 131 Central Berkeley Drive in Moncks Corner.

“Berkeley Animal Center staff is committed to conducting the proper care necessary to ensure these sickly cats are restored to good health and receive the medical attention and affection they so desperately demand at this critical time in their lives. We know this is a dire situation and that unfortunately, not all the cats rescued from these deplorable conditions could be saved. We cannot change these cats’ past circumstances and lack of quality care, but we can do our best to provide them all they need to survive and thrive going forward. We thank our fellow rescue groups for partnering with us and sharing this same mission.” -Heather McDowell, Berkeley Animal Center Director

Additionally, 15 cats were transported to Massachusetts-based rescue groups MSPCA-Angell and Northeast Animal Shelter (NEAS), two organizations Berkeley Animal Center has been working with since last year. On the day of the seizure, MSPCA also sent staff to assist with the cats’ treatment at the shelter. Additionally, Charleston Animal Society provided a veterinarian to aid with the care.

“We needed to move quickly as the cats are in pretty rough shape. They were rescued from a dire situation and are lucky help arrived when it did.” -Mike Keiley, MSPCA-Angell Director of Adoption Centers and Programs / NEAS Executive Director

The Berkeley County Sheriff’s Office has cited Suzanne Marie Melton, an owner of the Cat Sanctuary, with 20 counts of inhumane treatment of animals.

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-Prepared by the Berkeley County Public Information Office-

New plant to "revive" St. Stephen with hundreds of jobs

. - One Berkeley County town is getting a revival, thanks to Viva Holdings Group, Inc. The company announced Thursday a $28 million dollar investment into a new recycling manufacturing plant in St. Stephen, creating hundreds of jobs.County leaders referred to the new plant as "Project Revival.""We had major plants here that left and left us with an employment deficit," Mayor John Rivers, said, "This will greatly enhance the employment situation here in town."In a special flag-raising ceremon...

. - One Berkeley County town is getting a revival, thanks to Viva Holdings Group, Inc. The company announced Thursday a $28 million dollar investment into a new recycling manufacturing plant in St. Stephen, creating hundreds of jobs.

County leaders referred to the new plant as "Project Revival."

"We had major plants here that left and left us with an employment deficit," Mayor John Rivers, said, "This will greatly enhance the employment situation here in town."

In a special flag-raising ceremony Thursday, Viva Holdings Group, Inc. announced plans to renovate a 177,000 sq. ft. industrial site located at 315 Ravenell Dr. in St. Stephen. The plant will initially create 200 jobs, with the potential to create 384 long term. It's a much-needed economic boost, according to county representatives.

"This is an area that has been primarily ignored with economic development in previous years," Berkeley County supervisor Bill Peagler said. "We're hoping this is going to be a foothold to come in and give new life to St. Stephen and give new hope to individuals who haven't had a job in so long."

According to the latest state data available from 2012, the average income in St. Stephen is approximately $14,000.

"I'm most excited about knowing this factory will be re-opened again and be an opportunity for our young kids...to work and earn pay," St. Stephen resident Reginald Gerald said.

Viva President and CEO Marty Sergei said the company has already hired around a dozen people from the town.

"This is an area that hasn't been tapped. The good quality people in this area aren't using their skills," Sergei said. "We've already hired a dozen or so folks from St. Stephen, fantastic people, hardworking. All we need to do is get a couple hundred more, and we'll have a very successful company."

According to a press release, Viva's proprietary technologies use a combination of recycled rubber and recycled plastics from post-industrial and post-consumer sources. The products Viva creates at the St. Stephen location will be sold in the U.S. and exported to China.

The official start of employee hiring is scheduled for late 2016; the plant opening is set for early next year.

Copyright 2016 WCSC. All rights reserved.

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

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