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flag  History of Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Journey back in time to Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Visit Columbia, South Carolina, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Columbia, South Carolina, USA - Main St, Looking South toward the Capitol

At the Riverbanks Zoological Park in Columbia more than 2000 animals thrive in recreated natural habitats with no bars or cages.

There is MUCH more to discover about Columbia, South Carolina, USA. Read on!

Columbia Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Main St, Looking South toward the Capitol
Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Main St, Looking South toward the Capitol
Post Office
Columbia, South Carolina, USA

Post Office
National Loan & Exchange Bank Bldg., Columbia, S.C.
Columbia, South Carolina, USA

National Loan & Exchange Bank Bldg., Columbia, S.C.

Discover Columbia: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1786 - Capital moved from Charleston to Columbia

1854 - Columbia
Columbia city, capital of South Carolina, and sent of justice of Richland district, on the left or E. bank of the Congaree river, immediately below the confluence of the Saluda and Broad, 124 miles N. N. W. from Charles ton, and 500 miles from Washington. Lat. 33° 57' N., Ion. 81° 7' W. It is pleasantly situated on a plain, and regularly laid out, with streets about 100 feet wide, bordered with ornamental trees. The greater number of the dwellings are of wood, and others are of brick. Columbia is the seat of South Carolina College, founded by the state in 1804, and liberally endowed. It has 8 professors, and a library of 17,000 volumes. The main buildings are of brick, 210 feet long, 25 feet wide, and 3 stories high. The other public buildings are the State house, 170 feet long by 60 wide, court house, 8 banks, a market house, the Insane Asylum, and churches of the Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Baptists, and Methodists. The Insane Asylum is richly endowed, and well conducted, under... Read MORE...

1865 - Gen. Sherman's troops reached Middleton Place Plantation, left it in ruins; burned Columbia; Civil War ended webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ usstates/ sctimeln.htm
1875 - Tornado
Augusta, Ga., May 1. - A fearful tornado struck Columbia, S.C., at half past 4 this afternoon. The steeple of the Presbyterian Church was demolished, and the roof of the market blown off. Although hundreds were in the neighborhood, no one was seriously hurt. The depots of the Greenville and Columbia and South Carolina railroads were unroofed and otherwise damaged. Threes were uprooted in every direction. Only one death is reported. The storm struck a passenger train on the Georgia railroad leaving Rutledge. Dr. Montgomery's house, near Rutledge, was blown down, and his son, four years old, blown away. John Norton's wife and child were badly hurt at Covington.
Daily Republican
Decatur, Illinois
May 3, 1875
1895 - Columbia
Columbia, a handsome city, the capital of South Carolina, and of Richland co., is on the left or E. bank of the Congaree River, at the confluence of the Broad and Saluda Rivers, 130 miles by railroad N.N.W. of Charleston, and $6 miles E.N.E. of Augusta, Ga. Lat, 33°57'30" N.; Lon. about 80° 51" W. It is at the head of steamboat navigation, is on the Charlotte, Columbia & Augusta Railroad, and is the southeast terminus of the Columbia & Greenville Rail. road, which connects here with the Wilmington, Columbia & Augusta Railroad and the South Carolina Railroad. The site is a plain, elevated 100 feet or more above the river, which is here crossed by a bridge. The plan of the city is regular, and several of the streets are 100 feet wide. It contains a new granite state-house, which cost about $3,000,000, a new city hall, a handsome United States court-house, built since 1873, 2 national and 2 state banks, the Ursuline Institute, an asylum for the insane, which is under the direction of the ... Read MORE...

Columbia, S. C., June 2. - A few minutes after 1 P.M. fire was discovered in the laundry of the State Insane Asylum, where nearly 1,000 patients are confined. The local appliances were unequal to cope with the flames, and a general alarm was rung in. The flames had gained much headway, before the arrival of the engines, however, and the laundry, electric, and heating plants were all lost, the main building being saved only by heroic efforts. Meanwhile the attendants had a horrible experience controlling the patients. Several hundred of the latter were walking in the grounds when the fire commenced, and, panic-stricken, they would have broken away but for the efforts of the authorities.

At one time it was feared that a lynching would result from an attack of two negro attendants on Fire Chief MAY. They had been placed as sentinels to keep the crowd out of the laundry, and refused to admit the firemen, one of the striking the Chief with a brick when he tried to force his way... Read MORE...

1900 - TRESTLES AND BRIDGES GONE - Flood Retarding Work of the Seaboard Air-Line
Columbia, S.C., February 15. - (Special.)
The connections of the Seaboard between Camden and Casey s, just across the Congaree river from Columbia, have been delayed by the freshet in the Wateree river at Camden and the Congaree at Columbia. Pending the slow building of the steel bridge over the former, a wooden trestle had been constructed, over which trains had already been run, all the iron and material from the north for this end of the line being brought over that trestle. This wooden bridge has been swept away and besides causing considerable financial loss, will delay the connection with the Florida Central and Peninsular for an indefinite time. Had the wooden bridge not given away as soon as it did, the timbers would have taken away the uncompleted steel bridge, but the wrecked structure passed under the steel works. Two hours later it would have demolished the other. At Columbia the temporary bridge has been carried away. This was used to carry material to workmen on the... Read MORE...

Columbia, a city, the capital of South Carolina and of Richland co., is on the left or E. bank of the Congaree River, at the confluence of the Broad and Saluda rivers, on the Southern R., the Atlantic Coast Line and the Seaboard Air Line, 130 miles NW. of Charleston. Lat. 33° 58' N. ; Ion. 81° 3' W. It is situated at the head of steamboat navigation and on the Columbia Canal. The site, in the district of the Pine Barrens, is a plain, elevated 100 feet or more above the river. The plan of the city is regular, and several of the streets are 100 feet wide. It contains an imposing granite state-house, city-hall, a handsome United States court-house, the Ursuline Institute, an asylum for the insane, which is under the direction of the state, a theological seminary belonging to the Presbyterians, the Presbyterian and Columbian colleges for women, Alien University, Benedict College (the last two for colored), and a state penitentiary. It is also the seat of the South Carolina College, which... Read MORE...

Columbia, S.C., Sept. 13 (AP) - Four officers and three enlisted men were killed in the crash of an Army bomber Sunday a mile from the Columbia Army Air Base.

The plane, stationed at the base, was returning from a routine training flight and crashed on landing.

The dead, listed by Second Lieut. D. R. Moore, public relations officer:
Second Lieut. FRANCIS W. SPARKS, 27, the pilot, Columbia, S.C.
Second Lieut. MARTIN O. VANGSNESS, 22, Carplo, N.D.
Second Lieut. DONALD V. URQUHART, 27, St. Louis, Mo.
Second Lieut. JAMES ATTRIDGE, JR., 23, Salem, Mass.
Sgt. LEON O. GALLIE, 23, Ingomar, Pa.
Staff Sgt. CHARLES O. FRAME, 22, Richmond, W. Va.
Pvt. ROLAND G. BRAUN, 23, Beaver Dam, Wis.

All occupants of the plane were instantly killed, Lieut. Moore said, except Pvt. BRAUN, who died en route to a hospital. The plane was destroyed.
Albuquerque Journal
Albuquerque, New Mexico
September 14, 1942
2023 - Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Columbia:
Riverbanks Zoo and Garden:

Explore the beautifully landscaped gardens and encounter a variety of wildlife at the Riverbanks Zoo. It's a great place for families and animal lovers.

Congaree National Park:

Immerse yourself in nature at Congaree National Park. Hike the trails, go bird watching, or take a canoe trip through the Congaree River floodplain forest.

South Carolina State House:

Take a tour of the South Carolina State House, a historic building with beautiful architecture. Learn about the state's history and government.

Columbia Museum of Art:

Appreciate a diverse collection of art at the Columbia Museum of Art. From classical to contemporary, the museum showcases a wide range of artistic expressions.

Finlay Park:

Enjoy some outdoor recreation at Finlay Park. It's a lovely spot for picnics, walking, and relaxing by the fountains.

The Vista:

Explore the Vista, a vibrant district filled with art galleries, shops, and a variety of restaurants. It's... Read MORE...

Discover Your Roots: Columbia Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Columbia, South Carolina, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were born or died in Columbia.

View Them Now (sorted by year of birth)

male ancestorJewett Monroe ALMY (8 October 1867, Gerry, New York, USA - 4 October 1959, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)
female ancestorMargaret Louise RENNEKER (9 October 1873, Charleston, South Carolina, USA - 5 March 1945, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)
male ancestorPeter H TRAHAN (5 May 1874 , Central Falls, Rhode Island, USA - 11 March 1939, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)
female ancestorAnnie Maria HALL (1 June 1880, Greene, Maine, USA - 23 March 1960, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)
male ancestorRalph Edwin SNOW (29 June 1911, Bennington, Vermont, USA (North Bennington) - 26 February 1972, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)
female ancestorEdna Campbell ROCKWOOD (18 November 1912, Bennington, Vermont, USA (North Bennington) - 8 April 1983, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)
male ancestorCharles Samuel WULLNER (18 September 1921, Lebanon, Indiana, USA - 28 February 2002, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)
male ancestorCornelius Herman CLARK (3 June 1931, Pittsfield, Massachusetts, USA (Coltsville) - 31 October 2018, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)

Genealogy Resources for Columbia

South Carolina Newspapers

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Updated: 10/11/2023 10:12:56 AM