March 05, 2013

Ross E. Beard, Jr. Collection at Camden Archives and Museum

Over the past several weeks, we have had a great deal of activity at the Archives and Museum. Mr. Ross E. Beard, Jr., has generously loaned us several items from his magnificent collection. It started small – one day, Mr. Beard brought three firearms to “measure” our cases. A few days later, “small” was no longer in our vocabulary. The CAM received more than 140 firearms, photographs, bayonets, toys, and other items in one afternoon! A week later, Mr. Beard brought in over a hundred items and today, we received more than 200 more objects! These objects will be placed on display in the six rear wall cases of the museum wing at the Archives and Museum. Since we can’t display every item at the same time, we will be able to rotate objects in and out of the display cases every few months. We have learned, and are still learning, a lot about the evolution of firearms!  Ross E. Beard with members of the Camden Police and Fire Departments.
Our staff can’t thank the Camden Police Department and the Camden Fire Department enough for all the assistance they have given to us during this process. The police officers have escorted Mr. Beard to and from Columbia, helped him load, unload, and photographed more than 300 items and have come back to the archives several times to make sure all the objects are “legal.” The Fire Department personnel have been just as wonderful. They also helped with the transport of objects to the archives and have cheerfully carried “stuff” up and down the stairs here at the archives for our staff.  They all helped our staff to make sure that identification tags were in place, the items were photographed, and that everything was properly stored. We could not have gotten by these past few weeks without their help. As Mr. Beard said, the members of Camden’s Fire and Police Departments are the city’s best ambassadors. So, THANK YOU ALL!!  

Mr. Beard with the wooden gun made by "Carbine" Williams at the age of ten.

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