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100 years ago – the Jefferson Hotel

Columbians, attired in “smart evening dress”, celebrated the opening of the Jefferson Hotel on May 13, 1913. The city was anticipating a thoroughly modern hotel from the rathskellar in the basement to the electric sign on the roof. The $250,000 complex, at 1800 Main St., was owned, operated and built by John Cain. Cain also built the Palmetto Building and the Arcade.

The hotel was the hub of Columbia business and legislative activity. It was rumored that many South Carolina laws were first conceived there and, WIS, Columbia’s first radio station, made the hotel its home in 1930. While The Jefferson Hotel remains in the memories of many Columbians the building was demolished in 1966.

Follow us in May as we share more memories from one of Columbia’s grand hotels.

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