The corridor idea grew from an effort by the Kershaw County Clean Community Commission's (KCCCC) "Historic Campbell Street Project" to restore and beautify the area from Meeting Street to DeKalb Street --- a segment where a pre-Revolutionary War fortification once stood, and many African-American professional, civic and business leaders later lived.
Clifton W. Anderson, KCCCC chairman, was instrumental in helping secure the permission for the original location of the BHMA Memorial Site. He presented the street's project plan to the Kershaw County Council.
The BHMA Camden Alumni Chapter, stalwart sentinel and advocate of the Mather legacy, was a subcommittee of the KCCCC and acted as a “guiding force” for the implementation of the memorial.
Subcommittee members provided the school's historical information for the display boards and a Historic Campbell Street brochure.
(In 1997, the National Alumni Association explored the same idea and formed a proposal committee that drew a sketch. The action was based on a written offer from the former landowners, the Methodist Church’s Women’s Division, to donate two acres. The church group later denied the offer was official and stated their policy is to not donate land.)
Excerpt from Clifton W. Anderson's presentation before Kershaw County Council:
"8. Mather Academy --- research has been an enriching experience -- was Camden's most magnificent building and educational facility - early history - founders, Lang Plantation, etc. In 1950's students from 15 states, D.C., Bermuda, Haiti, Jamaica, Virgin Islands - was truly a school for scholars - was a Class A school one of top 4 High Schools in South Carolina. Owner has given us permission to utilize a small plot for the memorial. Immediate plans - to remove litter and brush, professional trim trees, fabricate and install a recreation of the BHM sign spanning the brick columns. Will work with the president of the alumni and his group to finalize plans, will continue with bird sanctuary here."
In an earlier year, KCCCC's then-Chairman Clifton W. Anderson (left) shakes hands with BHMA Camden Alumni Chapter President Mike McClendon under the former brick column entrance to the memorial.
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The Property - Mather Memorial Site
Boylan-Haven-Mather Academy NATIONAL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
Boylan-Haven-Mather Academy (Camden, SC) 1887-1983