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.
Holiday Entertaining Made Easy
My mom is the queen of the holiday spread. She will put before you a feast fit for a king-sized appetite-- and for allowing plenty of leftovers for everyone to take home. This year, I'm looking to impress her with the recipes Mast Store has shared with me and have her take home some of these fan favorites I know she'll love. These are for you, mom, and for everyone looking to whip up holiday entertaining without breaking the bank or a sweat! Bon apetit!Read More
Top 13 Gifts Under $25
Whether your family caps gift values, you're secret Santa-ing, or you're looking to get quality gifts without breaking the bank, Mast Store has a baker's dozen of our top sellers under $25 that will still have you holding steady in your spot as #1 gift-giver . . . and we tacked on our top 5 that are just a few dollars more in case you want to stretch that budge a bit.Read More
Your Persona Personal Shopper
Struggling to come up with gifts for those certain individuals on your list? We’ve curated some gifts to suit many personalities in your gifting circle. Read the descriptions, then refer to your list. We bet you’ll see some of these personas that need a check mark by their names. Find them below with our recommendations!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.