Camp Bob Cooper's history dates back to the 1930s, when the South Carolina Public Service Authority repurposed the former farmland as a construction labor camp for the Santee-Cooper Hydro-Electric and Navigation Project.
More than 12,500 workers cleared over 177,000 acres of farms, forests and swamps to create Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie - at the time, the largest land-clearing project in U.S. history.
Clemson University leased the property in 1942, and a Clarendon County 4-H camp was held there the following year. In 1945, Camp Bob Cooper was listed as a statewide 4-H campsite. For almost 70 years, thousands of people of all ages have enjoyed camps, conferences, retreats and other special events on the shores of Lake Marion.
The property was named for Robert Muldrow "Bob" Cooper (1887-1966), who served as chairman and former director of the Public Service Authority. He was a life member of the Clemson University Board of Trustees, serving for 44 years. Cooper also served his state as a member of the SC House of Representatives, director of the State Development Board, and a collector of internal revenue. He was also a versatile farmer, one of the first in the state to grow flax. He was born in Wisacky, SC, and lived on a farm plantation in Lee County all his life.