5 Places You Can Connect With The American Revolution

Article by Jason Barnette

Columbia didn’t exist when the American Revolution was fought across South Carolina. But it’s a good place to learn about it today. Local museums feature exciting exhibits, hands-on opportunities, and detailed information about the battles and skirmishes in the region. The State House features miles of hiking trails with monuments and memorials dotting the paths, and inside, you can see grand portraits depicting important Revolutionary War battles. Find out where you can learn more about the American Revolution while visiting Columbia.

Site 1

South Carolina State House

After the American Revolution, South Carolina elected to move the capital from Charleston to a central location that was easier for people to reach. In 1786, a new city was established at Friday’s Ferry on the Congaree River. By a vote of 11 to 7, a committee chose Columbia as the name.

After the first two State Houses, built from wood, were destroyed by fire, plans were put into motion to build a fireproof State House that would endure. Construction halted during the Civil War and Reconstruction Era, but was finally completed in 1907.

Explore the extensive grounds of the Capital building. A life-size bronze statue of George Washington stands at the steps of the north entrance facing Main Street. Adjacent to Sumter Street, the Revolutionary War Generals Monument honors Francis Marion, Thomas Sumter, and Andrew Pickens. Revolutionary War patriot, Captain Lunsford, is buried along Assembly Street, the only gravesite on the Capitol’s grounds.

Guided tours are offered of the State House every half hour. The tours include a 15-minute introduction video, behind-the-scenes details about state government, and intriguing information about the architecture of the building. A tablet dedicated to Emily Geiger, a local Revolutionary War heroine, hangs on the wall of the Senate Chamber. Several paintings depicting Revolutionary War battles hang in the Main Lobby on the second floor.

Inside Tip: The best time to visit the State House and experience the full guided tour is when the legislature is not in session.

1100 Gervais Street | Columbia, SC 29208 | (803) 734-5049| scstatehouse.gov

Cayce Historical Museum

The Cayce Historical Museum is a reconstruction of a two-story trading post built by Joseph Kershaw in 1765. After the Fall of Charleston, the British seized the trading post and built Fort Granby around it, one of a series of inland fortifications between Charleston and Camden. In May 1781, Lieutenant Colonel Henry Lee assaulted the fort and forced the British to evacuate. After taking any plunder, the Americans destroyed the fort.

The historical museum stands behind the Cayce Police Department. Nothing remains of the fort. Inside the museum, two floors of exhibits interpret the region’s history, including several exhibits about Fort Granby, Emily Geiger, and the Revolutionary War.

1800 12th Street | Cayce, SC 29033 | (803) 739-5385 | caycesc.gov/museum.php

Lexington County Museum

The Lexington County Museum is a unique complex with 30 historic structures gathered from throughout the region and moved to a small property. The John Fox House is the only original structure on the property – the gorgeous two – story house was built in 1832. Begin at the Museum’s office and book a guided tour of the structures – the tours include inside access and the history of the structures.

The Lawrence Corley Log House, tucked away in the corner of the property near the main offices, is the oldest structure in Lexington County. Built in 1771, it was home to Lawrence Charles Corley, a prominent landowner who served 31 days in the SC State Militia during the Revolutionary War. By the early 1800s, Corley owned over 600 acres between Twelve Mile Creek and Fourteen Mile Creek, encompassing most of present-day Lexington.

231 Fox Street | Lexington, SC 29072 (803) 359-8369 | lexingtoncountymuseum.org

Don’t Miss: After touring the historic structures, get lunch or dinner in downtown Lexington. Order fresh homemade pasta at Alodia’s Cucina Italiana, traditional Irish dishes at O’Hara’s Public House, or craft beer and burgers at Old Mill Brewpub.

South Carolina State Museum

From the third floor to the ground level, exploring the South Carolina State Museum is like walking through the State’s history. The Museum’s top floor begins with a replica of Fort Moultrie – the palmetto log fort William Moultrie used to defeat the first British invasion of Charleston. A small nook features a few Revolutionary War artifacts and paintings. The rest of the museum explores the state’s history through the Civil War, Reconstruction, early technology development, cultural experiences, and modern times. Large galleries feature thousands of artifacts and displays. If you need a break, check the schedule at the 4D theater or browse the gift shop.

301 Gervais Street | Columbia, SC 29201 (803) 898-4921 | scmuseum.org

South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum

The primary collection of this military museum is artifacts from the Civil War. However, the museum features a small exhibit about the Revolutionary War with a few artifacts. Take the time to explore the other exhibits throughout the small museum tucked inside the main floor of the South Carolina State Museum.

301 Gervais Street | Columbia, SC 29201 | (803) 737-8095| crr.sc.gov

Don’t Miss:  Gervais Street is a busy thoroughfare in downtown Columbia and a great place to find something to eat. Grill Marks is an excellent burger joint, but you need to save room for one of their signature Freakshakes. Liberty Tap Room & Grill is a hot spot for local beers on tap and American foods. The folks at Blue Marlin don’t stick to just one type of food – you’ll find Southern, Cajun, and European styles on the menu. Motor Supply Company is a farm-to-table experience with a constantly changing menu, but it always features fresh ingredients from local farms and is served with upscale southern flare.