Dr. Jane Bruce Guignard, is easily remembered as a Columbia legend. She can be found in all of the extant federal census from 1880-1940.
Few dynasties influenced the growth of the midlands like the Guignard family. Starting in 1790, the State Surveyor General, John Gabriel Guignard, laid out the downtown streets and designed the wide thoroughfares of Assembly and Gervais forever dividing the city into 4 distinct sections. A few years later the Guignard’s founded a brick works on the Lexington side of the Congaree River where their beehive shaped kilns still stand today and in the mid twentieth century the nineteenth century family home was transformed into the Still Hopes Retirement Community.
Another Guignard, Dr. Jane Bruce Guignard, is also easily remembered as a Columbia legend. She can be found in all of the extant federal census from 1880-1940. Beginning with the 1920 census Dr. Guignard is living at 1416 Hampton St. This was Dr. Guignard’ s home as well as home to several nurses on her staff. It also served as the office where she tended to her patients. Research reveals she lives and works on Hampton St. in the 1930 and 1940 census.
With just a little exploring in the Richland Library Digital collection the story of Dr. Guignard’ s residence starts to unfold. From the census, we know she moved into the house sometime between 1910 and 1920. The Inspections of Plumbing and Sewers show Dr. J. B. Guignard paying to have the water and sewer pipes, at the Hampton Street residence, connected to the city system in 1921. Certainly, the nurses living at the house were very grateful for the hook-up!
Researching the Columbia Building Permit Records doesn’t reveal any new additions or remodeling on the Guignard property but they do give a view of the remodeling taking place along the 1400 block of Hampton St. in the early 1930’s.
This elegant photograph of Guignard’s early twentieth century home is all that remains of the residence, now a surface parking lot. Locating families and individuals in the federal census gives researchers a strong foundation for research into other records like property records. There are other historic property records that can be explored through the library like the Columbia City Directories and The State Historic Newspapers. Exploring the homes of our ancestors can be a bit of a research rabbit hole but it’s a fun way to add depth to their life story.