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Columbia History, South Carolina

The city of Columbia was founded by the General Assembly in March 22 1786 when the bill to create a new state capital by State Senator John Lewis Gervais was accepted. With this approval, there was a difference of opinion on naming the city. However, Columbia finally won over Washington by a 11 to7 majority in the state Senate.

The local government of Columbia consisted of the commissioners, who were later taken over by a Commission of Streets and Markets in 1797 by the General Assembly. The problems they faced were related to poor sanitation, gambling and public drunkenness. However, being the second planned city of America, Columbia overcame these problems.

Introduction of taxes

Columbia was first chartered as a town in 1805 and had John Taylor and six wardens to govern the town. John Taylor went on to become the governor of Columbia.

Taxes were introduced in Columbia. In 1816, fire brigades were started where all males had to serve. However, these brigades were later taken over by volunteer departments.

In 1854 Columbia became a chartered city by electing a mayor and his staff of six men. A police team followed in 1856 while the first waterworks of Columbia was built to provide water to homes and businesses of the city.

17 blocks of paved streets were built in 1908 in Columbia while the first paid firemen started work in 1903. The federal courthouse of the city was bought by the city to be used as a City Hall in 1934. Being a structure built from granite, this structure was included in the National Register of Historic Places. This building was constructed by Alfred Bult Millet, President Ulysses S. Grant’s architect

Reversal of racial discrimination

Fort Jackson came into being in 1940 after the reactivation of Camp Jackson, and, on the approval of the Pentagon, it was annexed to the city in 1968. It was in the 1940s that racial discrimination in Columbia was reversed and blacks were slowly given equal treatment and were paid as whites.

Major Kirkman Finlay worked hard at the refurbishment of Saeboard Park or Finlay Park in the 1980s while Columbia saw revitalization in its downtown area in the 1990s and 2000s to boast many shops, restaurants, art galleries and places of interest the city has to offer today.

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