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.
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