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.
For many of us, summer is our vacation time, time away from the hustle and bustle, time to relax, time to dig in to that TBR (To Be Read, for those who don't have one piled three miles high) stack and read all the delicious books we've just been itching to devour. To help you choose some great reads this summer, we asked our employees what they will be reading and shared that with you here. Whether you're looking for a steamy escape, an engrossing whodunit, or a thought-provoking nonfiction piece, our recommendations offer a little something for everyone. So, take a gander at what we're reading, and maybe you'll find something to add to your own TBR pile this summer!Read More
A Few of Our Favorite Hikes
Do you find yourself staring out the window, daydreaming about being outside enjoying the sunshine, listening to the birds sing, and seeing what wildflowers are in bloom? Well, you are not alone, not by a long shot. When we’re not at work, we’re out enjoying those same things. This week we’ve asked our staff members to share some of their favorite places to hike. Next time you’re in the “neighborhood,” check one of these adventures out.Read More
Father's Day Favorites
Just what do you get the man who gives his all? It's a conundrum sometimes to think of the perfect gift for your awesome dad. After all, he's done so much for you over the years, and you want to show how much you appreciate the love, the sacrifice, the joy he has brought to your life.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.