Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia is the largest city in the State of South Carolina and also its capital city. It is also known as "The Capital of Southern Hospitality", because of the overwhelming hospitality seen in this city. Its official motto is "Justitia Virtutum Regina", which translates into Justice, the Queen of Virtues, mottos on which the city stands by. The city is named after Christopher Columbus. It has a modest population of about 129,272 as of 201. Although part of the city is extended to its neighbor, the county of Lexington, it is the Richland County's seat of government. The city is named by CNN Money.com one of the best places to retire and by the US News & World Report as the 6th in America's Best Affordable Places to Retire.

The city of Columbia is located 13 miles southwest of the geographic center of South Carolina. The City of Columbia SC is your true southern city. It is historic, sultry and yet has all the things any modern city has. It has more than 400 restaurants and the commercial district is complete with boutiques, spas, night spots and shops. Then for the more adventurous there are the numerous rivers, gardens, trails and parks that offer wide range of outdoor activities for all ages.

Columbia has a lot to offer those who enjoy city life as well as the outdoors. The city also has a bustling nightlife, various places to eat, places to see and can also offer you a great shopping experience. Many businesses in the city also thrive.

Columbia History

Columbia was created in 1786 by the South Carolina General Assembly. Since then it has become an important city of South Carolina. That year, Columbia was chose as the new state capital and it was where the State Legislature met in 1790. Then in 1805, the state was incorporated into a village, then eventually as a city in 1854. The city experienced great development when it was connected to Charleston by water, through the Santee Canal. The Canal was chartered in 1786 and was completed in 1800. Eventually however, travel by the Canal ceased when railroad traffic became the main mode of transportation of the people in the city.

The commissioners of the city at that time designed a town along the river. The town was divided into blocks which the commissioners then sold to prospective homeowners. To encourage development of the town, the buyers were obligated to build their homes within three years or they will have to pay a penalty of 5% every year until their homes are built. The houses must comply with the standard set by the commissioners. By 1779, the General Assembly created the Commission of Streets and Markets, which was empowered to handle the issues of poor sanitation, gambling and public drunkenness. This makes Columbia SC one of the first planned cities in the country. And because of planning, the city rapidly grew that by the turn of the century, it has a population of close to 1000.

By the turn of the century, 1801, University of South Carolina, which was then South Carolina College, was founded. The school was founded so that the students of South Carolina will not go to England since at that time the state sends more students there than other states. One other reason is to unite the uptown and the lowtown country.

Then during the time when cotton was in demand, Columbia's commerce and economy was centered on it. The city needed slaves to work in the cotton industry that about 1500 slaves started to live in the city by 1830. Their population grew to more than double by 1860. During Reconstruction the city was the first southern State legislature to have an ex-slave member.

Then by the twentieth century, Columbia experienced another growth as it became a major textile manufacturing city that by 1907 the city had six mills. By 1912, the city experienced construction boom with the construction of Union Bank Building, Palmetto National Bank and hotels. Then by 1917, the city was chosen to have the military installation of Camp Jackson. Since then the city enjoys growth and recently it is revitalizing its downtown area.

About Columbia, South Carolina

Many of the districts in Columbia, South Carolina have their own unique experiences to offer to visitors and residents alike. Congaree Vista, which used to be a warehouse district, is now a community that offers great dining experience. Five points, unlike many old communities in the state that failed to retain its old and historic homes and building, remains to be the same bohemian district as it was more than seventy years ago. Then east of Five Points is the Doors of Devine which has a collection of the most upscale restaurants and shops which any visitor will find delightful. Then on Main Street or Downtown Columbia is where you can find the new restaurants, condos, and the best nightspots. This district is a delight for those who want to indulge in youthful party and night of fun. West Vista is where you can find homes surrounded by local shops, burger joints, zoos and parks. Decker international Corridor is rejuvenated and now has the best traditional restaurants in the city.

The famous Main Street or Lexington is where one can find the Southern historic charm. Its cobbled streets are completed with antique shops and boutiques. Of course it also offers some of the best bars, restaurants and shops around. Harbison district is where you can find the towns of St. Andrews and Irmo. Village at Sandhill is an example of lifestyle communities where the people live, play and work within their community. Chapin is a small town where you can find the famous Lake Murray. The town is peaceful and beautiful. Forest Acres is at the center of midlands of South Carolina.

The neighborhoods in Columbia are Arsenal Hill, Congaree Vista, Cottonwood/ Bellevue Historic District, Earlewood, Eau Claire, Elmwood Park, Forest Acres, Forest Hills, Grandby Mill Village, Gregg Park, Heathwood, Heritage Woods, Hollywood-Rose Hills, King's Grant, Lake Carolina, Long Creek Plantation, Martin Luther King (Valley Park), Melrose Heights, Old Shandon, Olympia Mill Village, Robert Mills Historic Neighborhood, Rosewood, Sherwood Forest, Shandon, The Summit, Spring Valley, University Hills, Wales Garden, Historic Waverly, Wheeler Hill, Wilde Wood, Winchester, Winslow, Woodlake, The Woodlands and Yorkshire.

Getting to and getting around Columbia SC is easy and totally hassle free. Columbia is one of the only three cities in the country where three major Interstate pass through the metropolitan area. The city is also served by the Columbia Metropolitan Airport, which is serviced by Delta, US Airways Express, American Eagle, United Express and Continental Express; and by the Amtrak station which is serviced by the Silver Star Trains. For intercity mobility, the Grayhound Lines, which has its station in Gervais Street, is the best mode of transportation.

About Richland County, South Carolina

Although part of Columbia City is extended to the county of Lexington, it belongs to Richland County. Columbia City is the seat of the Richland County. Richland County was founded in 1785 to form part of the Camden District. Richland County is actually the second most populous county, following Greenville County, in the state. The County has eleven County councils who hold term for four years. They govern the county under the Council-Administrator form of government, which is the same as the Council manager type of government, except that instead of council manager the chief executive is called council administrator.

Richland County has an area of 772 sq. m., with 756 sq. m. of it is land while the remaining 15 sq. m. is water. The county has five municipalities, namely, Columbia City, Forest Acres, Irmo, Blythwood and Eastower. The adjacent counties of Richland are Fairfield County in the north, Kershaw County in the northeast, Sumter County in the east, Calhoun County in the south, Lexington County in the west and Newberry County in the northwest. The cities and towns in Richland County are Arcadia Lakes, Blythewood, Cayce, Columbia, Eastover, Forest Acres and Irmo. Its unincorporated cities include Arthurtown, Ballentine, Boyden Arbor, Capitol View, Dentsville, Eau Claire, Gadsden, Harbison, Hilton, Hopkins, Horrell Hill, Killian, Kingville, Lake Murray, Leesburg, Lykes, Mountain Brook, Olympia, Pontiac, Riverside, St. Andrews, Spring Hill, State Park, Wateree, Windsor Estates, White Rock and Woodfield. Its regions include Dutch Fork, Fort Jackson, Intown, Lower Richland, Northeast Richland and Upper Richland.

The county has several attractions, including the Congaree National Park, Lake Murray, Riverbanks Zoo, Sesquicentennial State Park, South Carolina State Museum, Martin Luther King Park, Woodrow Wilson's Boyhood Home and Richland Public Library. The county also has some of the most beautiful lakes in the state, including Broad River, Congaree River, Lake Murray, Little River, Saluda River and Wateree River.

The County is also home to many historic places including Barber House, Big Lake Cattle Mound, Woodlands, Siloam School, Saint Thomas' Protestant Episcopal Church, Farmers and Merchants Bank Building, St. Phillip School, Grovewood, Kensington Plantation House, Good Hope Baptist Church and Cooner's Cattle Mound.