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View of Main Street, Columbia, S.C. 1913. From Local History Digital Collections

Summer Learning Track: Local History

Have you always wanted to know more about your local community? Then challenge yourself this summer to learn more about the history of Columbia and Richland County!

You can join the Friend’s Summer Learning Challenge by using this sample Learning Track, or develop your own. The challenge begins on June 1st and goes through August 16th.

Get started with some books on local history. Below are some of my favorites:

  • Columbia & Richland County: a South Carolina Community, 1740 – 1990 by John Hammond Moore
  • Forest Acres by Warner Montgomery
  • A History of Richland County, 1732-1805 by Edwin L. Green
  • Lost Columbia: Bygone Images from South Carolina’s Capital by Alexia Helsley
  • South Carolina’s Historic Columbia Yesterday and Today in photographs by Russell Maxey
  • Tales of Columbia by Nell S. Graydon
  • Shandon Memories: a Pictorial History of the Shandon Neighborhood in Columbia, S.C.
  • Follow up with some personal histories by local authors. Most can be checked out but some of our rare titles are available in the Local History reading room. Who knows, you may be inspired to write your own!

  • From My Point of View: Columbia 1907-1945 by Edwin H. Cooper
  • Random Recollections of a Long Life, 1806-1896 by Edwin J. Scott
  • Lintheads by Alvin W. Byars
  • Journey Proud by Salley McInerney
  • A Plantation Mistress on the Eve of the Civil War: the Diary of Keziah Goodwyn Hopkins Brevard, 1860-1861 by Keziah Goodwyn Hopkins Brevard
  • A True Likeness: the Black South of Richard Samuel Roberts, 1920-1936 by Richard Samuel Roberts
  • Vignettes of Early Columbia and Surroundings by Alva Lumpkin
  • Woods and Waters and Some Asides by Harry Hampton
  • Take a break from reading to attend these events on local history topics this summer:

    Richland County History: A Visual Journey - July 10, 6:00 p.m. Bostick Auditorium, Richland Library Main

    In 1799 Richland County was established with a population of about 3,900. Today Richland County attracts a diverse population of more than 399,000. Celebrate the 215th anniversary of Richland County's formation with a digital tour of the county’s history.

    Three Interesting Women: A Case Study - July 24, 6:00 p.m. Richland Library Southeast

    Join Walker Family and Local History Room Manager Debbie Bloom as she discusses three fascinating local women and the resources she used to find them.

    Gills Creek: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow - July 31, 5:30 p.m. Bostick Auditorium, Richland Library Main

    The Gills Creek Watershed Association will introduce new and interesting topics about the Gills Creek watershed. Guest speaker Warner Montgomery will share stories, photos, and both personal and told experiences about the watershed and surrounding neighborhoods.

    Gamecocks and Lintheads - August 9, 2:00 p.m., Walker Local History Center, Richland Library Main

    Meet Richard Whaley and his brother W.B. Smith in this pre-season local history line-up. One brother built the Olympia mill and the other was the first football coach for the University of South Carolina. Author Joby Castine will present and perform excerpts from his book Gamecocks & Lintheads.

    By the end of this summer you will be a local history expert. Happy Learning!


    Amazon Says: The story of South Carolina's heartland told from the prospective of a founding father, a plantation mistress, an African-American politician, an editor, a mayor, and other lo more...
    Amazon Says: The story of South Carolina's heartland told from the prospective of a founding father, a plantation mistress, an African-American politician, an editor, a mayor, and other local residents. less...
    Amazon

    Journey Proud by Salley McAden McInerney
    Amazon Says: Journey Proud is the story of four white children growing up in the early 1960s in a middle-class neighborhood in Columbia, South Carolina. The lives of Annie Mackey, Buck McC more...
    Amazon Says: Journey Proud is the story of four white children growing up in the early 1960s in a middle-class neighborhood in Columbia, South Carolina. The lives of Annie Mackey, Buck McCain, Twig Roebuck, and his big sister, Briddy, intersect with Naomi Portee, a young black woman who arrives on a hot August day in 1963 to care for Annie. Naomi, who longs for a child of her own, reluctantly takes the job with the Mackey household. She joins other housekeepers who ride dirty city buses from one side of town to the other to work for white families in Shimmering Pines, a place of ranch-style brick homes, "woody" station wagons, skinny pine trees and heat-stricken grass. Annie, 12, Buck 13, Twig, 12, and Briddy, 15, spend much of their time at the old Montague farm which spreads out gracefully along one side of Shimmering Pines. The farm has long been fallow, but it remains a sanctuary for wildlife, for the children and for a magnificent Southern live oak tree which the youngsters lovingly call "the Old Lady." It is underneath the Old Lady, on a cold March afternoon in 1964, that a mulatto baby is born to Briddy. Annie, Buck and Twig are on hand for the birth of the infant, which Briddy can't possibly keep. "There can't be no baby, so there ain't no baby," Buck declares, wielding a rusty shovel with which he plans to bury the infant underneath the Old Lady. What becomes of the tree, the baby, the children and Naomi, is at the core of a remarkable story that examines the racially-charged times of the early 1960s. This coming-of-age tale set in the South during the civil rights movement exposes the inequities of the period and shows how childhood innocence is often replaced by harsh realities. Along with Naomi, the youngsters are simultaneously bound together and pushed apart by rules - written and unwritten - that dictate everything from where they can pee to who they can love. Journey Proud incorporates national events - the March on Washington and the assasination of President John F. Kennedy. The story is also infused with events which took place during that era in South Carolina. In the fall of 1963, significant desegregation of public schools was still several years away, but parochial schools around the state were admitting their first black students. Classified advertisements in the real estate section of Columbia newspapers described starter homes in "COLORED" neighborhoods. And when a federal court order ruled that public parks in the state must admit "Negroes," the parks - including a popular one just outside Columbia - closed before Labor Day to avoid integration. "Journey proud" is an old Southern expression describing the anticipation one feels before beginning a long trip. Join Annie, Buck, Twig, Briddy and Naomi as they begin theirs. less...
    Amazon

    Amazon Says: This is the first edition, 1980. 373 pages, with many historic and contemporary b&w photos. Endpapers are location maps. more...
    Amazon Says: This is the first edition, 1980. 373 pages, with many historic and contemporary b&w photos. Endpapers are location maps. less...
    Amazon

    Amazon Says: Rising from the banks of the Congaree River, Columbia is the center of South Carolina, in reality and in spirit. This volume traces the twists and turns of the city's history, more...
    Amazon Says: Rising from the banks of the Congaree River, Columbia is the center of South Carolina, in reality and in spirit. This volume traces the twists and turns of the city's history, from its creation by the General Assembly in 1786 through the dark days of secession and Civil War to the New South boosterism of the early twentieth century. Using rare and unfamiliar images, archivist and educator Alexia Jones Helsley reveals the lost history of South Carolina's capital, writ large on the city s ever-changing face. less...
    Amazon

    Forest Acres by Warner M. Montgomery Ph.D.
    Amazon Says: Revolutionary War heroes Thomas Taylor and Wade Hampton I bought 18,500 acres along the Old Camden Road east of the proposed South Carolina capital city of Columbia in 1785. T more...
    Amazon Says: Revolutionary War heroes Thomas Taylor and Wade Hampton I bought 18,500 acres along the Old Camden Road east of the proposed South Carolina capital city of Columbia in 1785. Taylor's family settled what became known as Quinine Hill and Edge Hill. The Dent family moved into the Gills Creek area and established Bethel Methodist Church. In the early 20th century, John Hughes Cooper turned Forest Lake into an upscale residential-recreational development. South Carolina senator James H. Hammond, who had purchased most of Quinine Hill, and Cooper led the creation of the City of Forest Acres in 1935. Cooper was elected the first mayor. Hammond was elected one of the first councilmen. From a community of just 300 people, Forest Acres has grown with churches, schools, parks, and vibrant shopping areas serving over 10,000 residents. Though surrounded by Columbia, Forest Acres is indeed a city apart. less...
    Amazon

    Amazon Says: Book by Roberts, Richard Samuel, Johnson, Thomas L., Dunn, Phillip C. more...
    Amazon Says: Book by Roberts, Richard Samuel, Johnson, Thomas L., Dunn, Phillip C. less...
    Amazon
    • Local History Digital Collections
      The collections found here include photographs, pamplets, books and historical materials from the Civil War to the mid 20th-century eras.
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