Columbia has seen a lot - from the earliest days of the United States to the present day. It's been on the cutting edge and just behind the leaders in a number of instances.
Take a look at Columbia's wide thoroughfares. Contrary to what you might think, they are not a recent development but were actually planned for in the 1700s. That's right! Columbia is the nation's second planned city, right behind New Haven, CT, and was established as the state's new capital in 1786. In a vote of 11-7, the name Columbia, the United States' female personage, was chosen over Washington.
The grid for the city was set up with 400 blocks in a two-mile square near the river. The perimeter streets were 150 feet wide and the remaining streets were 100 feet wide. Those are not arbitrary numbers, but were based upon the belief that mosquitos could not travel more than 60 feet without having a little snack.
Columbia is the site of the world's first fully-electrified textile mill. Cotton made the South the natural location for textile mills, and the Columbia Mills Building, which opened in 1894 and now houses the South Carolina State Museum, was fully powered by electricity from day one. That makes the building itself the Museum's largest artifact.
Few of the city's buildings date back before 1865. Much of the city was burned by General Sherman during the Civil War, except, ironically, the First Baptist Church where the State's Order of Secession was drafted and approved.
The building that now houses the Mast Store was constructed in the 1870s during the Reconstruction Era. It's housed many different businesses over the course of time – including an undertaker's parlor, a bar, and two City of Columbia retail destinations – Efird's and Lourie's. Each served the people of the Midlands for over 40 years each.
A Mast Store Gift Guide
This is the time of year when you hope you have lots of scrap paper handy. Adding names, making notes, scratching out other notes, drawing lines to link thoughts – sometimes your gift list can get confusing! Mast Store hopes to help alleviate some of that confusion with this gift guide to at least get you started. It is broken out into different areas of the store to showcase some of the items we think would be appreciated by your lucky recipient.Read More
November 25 is Small Business Saturday
Since 2010, the Saturday after Thanksgiving has been recognized as Small Business Saturday. American Express recognized the impact that small businesses have on the economy, towns, and on our individual lives. By shining a light on the businesses we frequent every day and helping us see them in a whole new light, American Express and many neighborhood and municipal advocates are making Small Business Saturday a day of discovery and rediscovery.
Supporting other small businesses is in the ethos of Mast Store. So, in celebration of Small Business Saturday, we’re showcasing some of our favorite small businesses that you’ll find in most every Mast Store.Read More
Holiday Festivities are Starting Now
It’s hard to believe that it’s time to begin thinking about serving up the turkey and trimming the tree, but it is. Holiday celebrations begin this weekend. We’ve pulled together a quick list of parades in each of our communities along with other events you and your family may want to put on your holiday itinerary. Let’s get started.Read More
The location of the Mast Store in Columbia has a long retail history to live up to! The building itself is a product of the Reconstruction era...we bet you know why. In the early days, it housed several different businesses for various lengths of time; however, the majority of the building's history beginning in the early 1900s is shared by two businesses that called it home for over 40 years each.
*Photo courtesy of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.