With over 7,000 images in the Local History Digital Collections it can be hard to find those hidden gems. Take a look at what your neighbors found interesting in June, 2020.
The Walker Local and Family History Center maintains a healthy collection of historic photographs, postcards and other local memorabilia. A selection of these are online in the Local History Digital Collections, with new additions each week. Each month I’ll share the most popular images from the previous month. Below are the top 5 images from June, 2020.
In 1977, six 150 ft.-tall light poles were installed on Main Street as part of a beautification project to lure shoppers back downtown. However, residents complained that the bright, towering lights resembled hovering UFOs. They were eventually deemed “aesthetically unattractive” and removed only 9 years later, at huge cost to the city.
Columbia High School graduated generations of Columbians from this site between 1896 and 1974. The building pictured was constructed in 1915 but was no longer needed as a school as residents left the city for the suburbs and new schools were built around town, including a new Columbia High School in the St. Andrews area. The old school sat empty for years before being demolished in 1984.
3) Heathwood Hall, 1950. From the Russell Maxey Photograph Collection.
Heathwood Hall was constructed as a suburban residence for M. Chappell Heath and family in 1914. In 1950 the mansion was purchased by the Episcopal Diocese and became Heathwood Hall Episcopal School, a private school for students in grades 1 through 6. The school added a high school level and moved to a larger campus off of Bluff Road in 1974. But only a year later the old Heathwood building was bought by developers and demolished without a permit in the dead of night. The developers had hoped to avoid controversy, however many local residents were very sad to see this local landmark go.
Miss South Carolina Nancy Moore smiles as she pins a badge on U. S. Senator Strom Thurmond while both were on a stop in Columbia. Moore, of Aiken, was traveling to Atlantic City, N. J. to compete in the Miss America pageant. The Senator stopped by to offer his congratulations and to wish her good luck. Despite their 44-year age difference, the couple would marry in 1968.
Elephants, horses, donkeys, a camel, and performers with the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus are pictured walking over the Blossom Street bridge towards the Carolina Coliseum in Columbia. The circus train disembarked in Cayce and the animals and performers crossed the bridge with fanfare to drum up excitement for the arrival of the Greatest Show on Earth. The show was held in the Carolina Coliseum for decades.