Experience Columbia SC invites you to take a journey through one of the most misunderstood periods in American history – The Reconstruction Era.
Reconstruction spanned from 1865-1877 and marked the post-Civil War period during which the United States grappled with the challenges of reintegrating the states that had seceded and determining the legal status of African Americans.
Reconstructed: A Journey Through the Reconstruction Era in Columbia SC features eight historic landmarks from the period and some of the key people who were influential during the time. Reconstruction spanned from 1865-1877 and marked the post-Civil War period during which the United States grappled with the challenges of reintegrating the states that had seceded and determining the legal status of African Americans.
The Reconstruction Era in Columbia was a time when the South Carolina State House was home to the first Black majority legislature, Black churches emerged as centers of community, social life and political power, Benedict College was founded and 90 percent of the students at the South Carolina College in 1870 – now the University of South Carolina – were Black.
Trail stops also include the Museum of the Reconstruction Era at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home, the nation’s first museum dedicated to exploring how Reconstruction shaped our contemporary nation; Hampton Preston Mansion and Gardens where you can learn the stories of enslaved men, women, and children and emancipated Black people who worked at the site during the Reconstruction era; Randolph Cemetery, established to be a more dignified resting place for African Americans in Columbia; and the Phoenix Building where The Daily Phoenix shaped the general public’s view of the Civil War and Reconstruction for generations.
The trail also highlights the stories of trailblazers like Robert Brown Elliott, William Beverly Nash and the Rollin Sisters. Pick up a copy of the trail and the Columbia SC Visitors Center or the Historic Columbia’s Gift Shop at Robert Mills. To download the trail and learn more about the stops and the trailblazers along the way, visit ReconstructedColumbiaSC.com.