A Concise Background of Columbia

THE 1700s

For a century before the creation of Columbia by the General Assembly in 1786, the site of Columbia was important to the overall development of the state.
The Congarees, a frontier fort on the west bank of the Congaree River, has been the mind of navigation from the Santee River system. A ferry was established by the colonial government in 1754 to connect the fort with the rising premiums on the high ground on the east shore.
State Senator John Lewis Gervais of one-hundred introduced a bill that was approved by the legislature on March 22, 1786 to make a new country capital.
There is considerable debate on the name for its newest city. 1 legislator insisted to the name Washington, but Columbia won out by a vote of 11-7 within the state Senatein June.
The commissioners created a town of 400 Blocks in a two-mile square along the river. The blocks were broken up into half-acre lots and sold to speculators and prospective residents. Buyers had to create a house at least 30 feet long and 18 feet wide over three decades or face a yearly 5 per cent punishment.
The perimeter streets and two through streets were 150 feet wide. The rest of the squares were divided by thoroughfares 100 feet wide. The width has been determined by the fact that the pesky and dangerous mosquito could not fly more than 60 feet without dying of starvation on the way.
Columbians still enjoy most of the magnificent network of streets that are broad.
The commissioners contained the local government before 1797 when a Bank of Streets and Markets had been created by the General Assembly. Three main problems occupied most of the time: public drunkenness, gambling and bad sanitation.
Since the next planned city in the United States, Columbia began to develop quickly. Its population was nearing 1000 shortly following the turn of this century.

THE 1800s
Columbia obtained its original charter as a town in 1805. An intendent and six wardens could regulate the town.
John Taylor was the first elected intendent. He served in both houses of the General Assembly, both houses of Congress and as governor of the country.
By 1816, there were 250 homes in town and also a population over 1000.
town’s governing body has been enabled to taxation those taxpayers by upto 12 cents per $100 of property. An extra 5-cent levy might be charged to people that wished to become exempt in patrol duty. Additional taxes could be levied for ownership of a bin, $5; a lane, $3$4 for a mechanic license.
For another $2 a year, a citizen could be-come exempt from working on the streets. Whenever the Legislature was in session, the town council constantly heard complaints regarding weeds and bushes growing within the roads.
One of those first municipal employees was the”Warner”, someone who experienced town cautioning citizens when it was their time to focus with the public streets and roads.
At the early days of this town, every citizen was required to keep 1 fire bucket for each chimney inside his residence. Five small flame brigades were organized in 1816 with each man taxpayer likely to function. Volunteer branches later substituted these brigades.
Policing the new town was also a hit and miss proposal in the early 1800’s. The legislature has made a marshall who walked through town twice a day. A formal city shield was created in 1824. Citizens could purchase an exemption from serving in the shield for 5.
Columbia became chartered in 1854, by having an elected mayor and six aldermen. 2 decades after, that they had a police force consisting of a full-time leader and nine patrolmen. The starting salary for your patrolmen was $16 per month.
Abram Blanding, town’s first school educator and attorney, assembled Columbia’s first water works. Potable water using a steam engine on a wooden tank, water was carried by cast iron and also lead pipes to the homes and companies of the city.
The town bought the system from Blanding at a third of his investment in 1835. Like a tribute to Blanding, town council afterwards changed the name of Walnut Street to Blanding Street.
Growing lasted, together with all the first annexations of their suburbs at 1870.

There were, nevertheless, 11-5 publicly maintained street crossings at intersections to help keep pedestrians from being forced to wade through a sea of mud between wooden sidewalks.
Being an experiment, Washington Street was paved with wooden blocks. This was shown to be the foundation of much local amusement when they buckled and hauled away during heavy rains. The cubes were replaced with asphalt paving in 19-25.
The very first paid fire fighters were hired in 1903. Acar was purchased for its principle that same year, clearly the very first vehicle owned by this city.
In 1934, the federal courthouse at Main and Laurel had been bought by the town, also in 1937, it became Columbia City Hall. Built of granite in nearby Winnsboro, Columbia City Hall is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Designed by Alfred Bult Mullett, President Ulysses S. Grant’s federal builder, the building was finished in 1875. Large cost overruns probably caused this to be left out.

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