Bloomsbury Inn

1707 Lyttleton Street, Camden, South Carolina 29020
Innkeeper(s): Bruce and Katherine Brown
  • Sensational in Every Season! Bloomsbury Inn

    Sensational in Every Season! Bloomsbury Inn

  • Front View of Bloomsbury Inn

    Front View of Bloomsbury Inn

  • Fall at Bloomsbury Inn

    Fall at Bloomsbury Inn

  • Enjoy the beauty of the southern veranda at Bloomsbury Inn!

    Enjoy the beauty of the southern veranda at Bloomsbury Inn!

  • Mary Chestnut Bed Chamber

    Mary Chestnut Bed Chamber

  • General's Bed Chamber

    General's Bed Chamber

  • Ladies' Parlor

    Ladies' Parlor

  • Commons Area

    Commons Area


Allopathic Garden 11 Sep 2014, 12:50 pm

While visiting Washington, Arkansas with our grandchildren, we discovered a historic home of an allopathic doctor. In his back yard was a garden.  I asked what you would find and of course many of the items were herbs that we have today.  I was told cilantro, lemon balm, pepperment, rosemary, thyme, lavender and german chamomile were common.   Here at Bloomsbury, Katherine keeps a herb garden to use with our guest’s breakfast.

Some of the more exotic home remedies that caught my attention (I don’t recommend any of them):

Snake bite: Apply the mouth of a bottle filled with spirits and camphor to the wound.

Sore throat:  Eat loaf sugar with camphor or 20 drops of turpentine on sugar before going to be.  Katherine will tell you her grandmother was still using this home remedy on her as a child.

Stings:  Apply wet salt or a raw onion.

Scarlet fever: Rub the body all over with bacon fat and citrate of ammonia.

Corns:  Bind half of a raw cranberry, with the cup side of the fruit toaward the foot.

Teeth and Breath:  Honey mixed with pure pulverized charcoal to make a tooth past.  Lime water with a little Peruvian bark (what is that?) to be occasionally used for offensive breath.

Toothache:  A poultice made of ginger or of common chickweed applied frequently to the cheek.

Warts:  Wet the top of the wart and rub two or three times a day with a piece of unslaked lime.

Well, I guess if you were out in the woods with only yourself, these would be possible options.  I don’t recommend there use.

The grandkids were a little freaked out.  Especially when I told them that if they come to Bloomsbury with a sore throat they may get sugar with turpentine.  Just kidding!!






Grandmother’s Yeast Rolls 5 Sep 2014, 7:56 am

Bloomsbury Inn Yeast Rolls

by Sally Rose Stites Chisam

1 cup milk, scalded

1/4 cup sugar

1 tsp salt

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup warm water (pretty warm 105-115)

2 pkgs yeast

2 eggs

5 1/4 cups flour

Scald the milk (that makes it a “Grandmother” recipe) and do not let simmer or boil; stir in the sugar, salt and butter;  cool to lukewarm. Place very warm water into a very large warm bowl.  Sprinkle in the yeast and stir until dissolved.  Add lukewarm liquid mixture, eggs and 2 cups of flour.  Beat until smooth. (yes, by hand)  Stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough.  Turn dough out on lightly floured board; knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 – 10 mins.  (you won’t need extra upper arm exercise today).  Place the dough in a lightly greased large bowl, turn it over so top of dough is greased.  Cover and let it rise, near but not on the cook stove or close to the fireplace.  Cover with soft cloth and it will double in about 30 minutes.

Punch down the dough.  Turn it out on a floured board. Divide dough into 3 pieces.  Form each piece into nine inch long roll, pinch into 9 equal pieces, form each piece into a ball and place in a greased round cake pan.  Make 3 pans like this.  Cover, let rise in warm place until doubled again.  Brush with butter, bake 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

(I don’t know about you, but I don’t always need that many buns.  I usually make a dozen in a greased pie pan.  Then I place all the other balls on a cookie sheet, before they rise the second time, and allow them to freeze as individual dough balls.  After they freeze, place them in a freezer bag to store.  When I need them, I take them out and place them in a greased dish to rise.  Remember they are frozen so it will take some time (2-3 hours) to defrost and rise again.  I promise these are worth every minute of time and inch of effort to make these!)

Bloomsbury Meatloaf 9 Aug 2014, 1:10 pm

1.5 pounds ground lamb

3/4 cup oats (not instant)

1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped

1 egg

1/4 cup of your favorite, thick BBq sauce

salt/pepper to taste

4 slices of black forest ham

3/4 cup grated cheese, use your favorite/blend

2 small cans tomato paste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Mix the first 6 ingredients well, in a large mixing bowl.  Go ahead, take your rings off and use your hands.  Turn the meat mixture out onto a rectangle of waxed paper or foil.  Flatten the meat mixture out to a 8 x 12 rectangle.  Place the ham down the middle of the meat mixture.  Place the cheese down the middle of the ham.  If you like lots of veges…place chopped bell pepper, chopped mushrooms, asparagus spears, capers, artichoke hearts…whatever you like, down the center of the cheese.   Just be sure your 8 x 12 meat mixture will roll up/seal around your ham/cheese/veges.  Pull up one side of paper/foil to center of mixture; pull up other side of paper/foil to center of mixture…press the to meat mixture sides together to form a seal.  Fold up the ends to be sure all the “extras” are sealed in.  Place your 9 x 13 baking dish over the sealed folds.  Run your hand under the foil and flip the meat mixture and dish at the same time –  wow, you have your meatloaf, seam side down in your baking dish.  Cover the top of your meatloaf with tomato paste…as thick as desired.  Bake 375 degrees for 35-45 minutes…until the tomato paste is a deep-deep red/brown.  Remove from oven, rest for 7.3 minutes and serve piping hot!  Delicious will be the only compliment coming from your dinner guests!

Bloomsbury Jam-Off 6 Aug 2014, 12:14 pm

The second Bloomsbury Jam-Off is scheduled for Sunday, 14 September 2014! Yes, Jam-Off (amateur jam-off). The top three entries will be awarded a Jam-Off Certificate and Prize.

Inn guests are always asking for recipes, regional secrets and tips. In fact, many want to learn to can. So, in 2013 the competition was opened for j-petitors to submit their best jar of jam and recipe to compete in the first Jam-Off. It is difficult to believe that has been a year ago, but it is time for the second Jam-Off.

Be sure to follow the rules for the second Jam-Off:
* All submissions must reach Bloomsbury not later than 8 September 2014
Bloomsbury Inn, 1707 Lyttleton Street, Camden SC 29020
* Each submission must be made in a pint jar or smaller, home canned (NO commercially produced items please)
* Unfortunately we cannot accept refrigerator jams
* No entry fee
* Acceptable submissions include jam, jelly, preserves, fruit sauces and fruit spreads
* Each submission must be accompanied by a card containing:
J-petitors Name, Address, Telephone Number and Email Address (email addresses will not be shared/sold)
Title of Submission
Category of Submission (jam, jelly, preserve, sauce, spread)
Recipe (this recipe will be shared upon request…so please do not send Auntie Margaret’s Secret Recipe)
* Be sure to tell your friends they should also make a submission (ok — they don’t have to be friends)

So, j-petitors start canning now and be sure to have your j-tastic submission in by 8 September 2014.

Quaker Cemetery – Capt. Benjamin Carter 2 Aug 2014, 2:59 pm

As I stated, once a month, I plan to make a post concerning the “residents” of Quaker Cemetery.  It is a fascinating location with so much Camden history…I don’t think even the residents realize it is such a gem.  When you come to Bloomsbury, it is a great place to visit.  So, let’s talk about Captain Benjamin Carter.

Captain Carter lived from 1758 until 1830. A revolutionary war veteran, he lived in Camden for fifty years. He enlisted in 1776 and was considered a gallant soldier of the Revolution. He participated in the Battle of Camden, Brandywine and Germantown. He also spent the winter at Valley Forge.

A great story is told of him concerning the Battle of Camden. According to Judge O’Neall “This old soldier (Captain Carter) said that he commanded a company on the extreme left of Gates line, at the Battle of Gum Swamp (Battle of Camden) and at the first fire all of his men fled. Left alone he went to the Captain next to him, whose men had also abandoned him, and asked what was to be done. He received no satisfactory answer. Whereupon he said to his neighbor: ‘I’ll be d—d if I am here to be shot down.’ He jumped on his pony, which he had fastened in the bushes, left the field, and said: “I suppose I was the first man out of reach of danger.’”
Despite this tongue-in-cheek story told by him of the disaster at the Battle of Camden, Captain Carter was a popular man in Camden. He kept an open hospitable parlor and dining-room for his neighbors where wist and loo (card games) parties were sometimes conducted. While some gambling may have occurred, there was never excess characterized in these meetings nor evil attributed.

Captain Carter was an old bachelor. He was a kind man, with a warmth of heart and yet could be rough and brusque at times as a bachelor could be. Captain Carter passed away on January 20, 1830. His best friend was Benjamin Bynum who died six years after him on July 9, 1836. They are buried side by side with headstones that are duplicates of each other.

Sunday afternoons are a great time to visit the cemetery. It is located about 3 miles from Bloomsbury…a very easy drive.

Kershaw County Farmers Market 25 Jul 2014, 7:56 am


Fresh produce!  Come to the Kershaw County Farmers Market on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. to get your “farm to table”

produce, eggs, meat, honey, dairy products, and baked goods.  With over 25 venders providing a huge selection you will be able to find almost anything you need to make that great home cooked meal. The market also has flowers, plants, and many handmade products. It is an adventure just to walk through the venders tents and of course to people watch as well.

You will find that the farmers market provides more than just produce.  It is also a socialization point for the people of Kershaw County and the surrounding areas where we support small business at the same time.  It is great to meet the people that actually planted and harvested what you eat giving you the opportunity to ask questions.

The Kershaw County Farmers Market is open from the 2nd Saturday in April through the 3rd Saturday in November.  Located in the center of Camden behind the First Community Bank.

July 2014 Recipe of the Month: Fresh Tomatoes Galore 11 Jul 2014, 1:36 pm

Yes, it is tomato season at Bloomsbury.  Yes, it is a wonderful breakfast item.  Yes, breakfast guests love fresh tomatoes.  They are so easy to work with and they are so versatile when cooking.

Skinning the tomato.  Most people do not mind the peel and others just love a skinned/peeled tomato:

1 large pot of boiling water

Cut an good-sized “x” just through the skin on the bottom of the tomato

Bloomsbury Inn serves lots of fresh tomatoes when they are in season.

Dip the tomato down into the boiling water for 30 – 45 seconds, and when removed, the skip will slip right off.

The skin slips right off.

Now that you have skinned your tomatoes, you face options galore:

1)  Slice, season, serve them.  To your preference slice thick or thin and arrange tomatoes on a pretty dish.  Season them with 1) just pepper and salt; 2) drizzle flavored, 1st cold pressed olive oil (i.e. cilantro garlic or thyme) and a high quality balsamic vinegar (i.e. pear or Tuscan herb);  or,3) place a good slice of mozzarella or gouda cheese between each slice, top with capers, season and serve.

2: Slice and season thick slices and place them on a baking tray.  Mix together

1 TBS melted butter,  1/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup fresh parmesan cheese.

Sprinkle the bread/cheese mix over each tomato slice.  Broil them until the tomato is warmed and the topping is golden brown.

3) Prepare and season your favorite pasta (penne, egg noodles, linguini, etc.).  Drain the pasta and while still hot, toss in chopped tomatoes and the herbs you like.  Top with your favorite cheese, grated of course, and serve.

4) Canning tomatoes is just fun.  Can them plain.  Stew tomatoes and okra for canning.  Prep for a cold winter by making fresh tomato/vegetable soup for canning.  Make tomato jam.

Don’t hesitate to share your favorite fresh tomato recipe on this blog or on our FB page:  Bloomsbury Inn.  And, of course, if you are overrun with fresh tomatoes don’t hesitate to drop some by Bloomsbury Inn.

Menagerie Antiques 9 Jul 2014, 12:53 pm

Menagerie Antiques

Come stay at Bloomsbury Inn and plan a weekend of fun.  If you are into antiques, then Camden, SC is an antique collectors dream!  With nine antique shops and malls, there is something for everyone.  From collectables to fine, upscale antique furniture, downtown Camden is the location for you.  Especially,  if you start comparing prices between Camden, Charlotte, and Charleston.

Why “old” is “new”.   Menagerie Antiques, located in the heart of downtown, is proof that “old” is the current look. If you are looking for a vintage watch, you will find it at Menagerie. If you are looking for the perfect dry sink, Menagerie will have it. The shop abounds with a wide variety of antiques and collectibles. No, it is not a collectible junque shop.

The prices vary widely as the shop is divided into vendor booths. Each vendor establishes the prices for the items in their booth. As a result, it is important to visit every inch of the shop to ensure you do not find the same item for a better price. Not too long ago, a savvy shopper purchased an early American, signed sundae dish for less than $5.00. Yes, you read that correctly, a signed glass dish for less than five dollars. Both the store owners and the vendor were pleased that it would be going to such a savvy shopper. Many times, the best finds are located in small, unique towns and in the shops, especially Menagerie, with the largest variety.

It is also important to visit often. There are two thoughts on pricing antiques: 1) price the items for their actual value. or 2) price the items to move.   At Menagerie, you will see some of each. The good news is that many items are priced to move, and that means the inventory turns very quickly.

Camden, South Carolina is rich with antique shopping. And, the town is so interesting that you will want to make your visit more than just a day-trip. Antique shopping galore, museums, parks, dining, entertainment, Menagerie may be your reason for visiting, but you will certainly find reason to stay.

Agnes of Glasgow 26 Jun 2014, 10:13 am

Agnes of Glasgow

     About once a month, I will be posting a blog on some of our more famous personages to be found in the Quaker Cemetery.  Behind every headstone is a story.  And in the case of Quaker Cemetery, it reflects the history of Camden.
     The oldest grave of fame associated with the Quaker Cemetery is really not in the cemetery proper, but a few hundred yards prior to the entrance. The grave site is that of Agnes of Glasgow. Agnes of Glasgow lived from 1760 to 1780. She was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and followed her lover Lt Angus McPherson, a British Army Officer, about the world. Agnes knew he had been sent to America. She stowed away on a ship in order to reach Charleston, South Carolina, and believed that he was in Camden. Hearing that he was wounded, she searched from town to town and finally arrived in the Camden area. Agnes then became ill and died. Folklore lends that she was buried, under the cover of darkness, in Camden by King Haigler of the Wateree Indian tribe. This story is suspect as King Haigler was slain on 30 August 1763 by the Shawnee tribe, while he was traveling between the Waxhaws Settlement on Cane Creek to a Catawba town on Twelve Mile Creek. His death was 17 years before Agnes arrived in Camden. Nevertheless, it is known that she came here looking for Lt McPherson, died, and  was buried here in Camden.
     Many believe she walks the Quaker Cemetery at night looking for her lost love. Who knows, when you visit Bloomsbury, you might spend an evening by her grave watching for the truth. Come to Camden, enjoy our history and enjoy a lovely evening at Bloomsbury Inn!!

Moonshine Sold in Camden, SC 19 Jun 2014, 9:07 am

Bloomsbury Welcomes Dark Water Distillery!!  Moonshine, White-Lightin’, Hooch, and Arkansas Clear Water…these terms all describe high proof distilled spirits that are growing in popularity in the US!   Today, legit Moonshine distributors are popping up in areas never really known for producing the original illicit corn liquor.

“People always have a passion for creating something that’s their own, and I wanted to give people something unique that they couldn’t get anywhere else in Camden,”  Carl Monday, owner,  said in a press release.

Dark Water Distillery has joined the growing trend of producing and selling 100 proof products. Carl Monday, a federal detective and fourth generation distiller, has brought his trade and family secrets for small batch distilling to the small town of Camden, South Carolina. At 923 Broad Street, DWD is a must visit in Kershaw County. To date, the small shop is offering corn Moonshine and some fixin’s. Yes fixin’s to turn your Moonshine in to Appleshine or Cherry Devine. They also offer Moonshine Salsa!

If Moonshine is not to your taste, a stop in the shop is still very interesting and educational. You can witness the boiling of corn mash and lay eyes on a homemade 50-gallon copper still. You can learn the history of Moonshine and the details of making Moonshine. If you want to know what the “XXX” signifies, you could look it up on Google, but it would be far more fun to learn it from a real moonshiner.

Dark Water Distillery has plans to produce higher than 100-proof Moonshine and other spirits such as bourbon, gin and vodka. You might get away with calling the owners “bootleggers”, but in reality they have all the licenses appropriate for legal Moonshine production and sales.

Come stay at Bloomsbury and go for a taste test.  Yes, samples! Of course you can enjoy a little sample when you visit Dark Water Distillery, a small artisan micro-distillery at 923 Broad Street, Camden, SC 29020