Monday, October 17, 2016

Historic Columbia South Carolina

As I had written previously, our time in Columbia was challenged by Hurricane Matthew and the fact that it was for some businesses  a holiday weekend (Columbus Day).  Those facts did not deter us.  When we could not get anything done pertaining to my brother's estate we checked out the more popular tourist stops.  Columbia is the capital of the state, so we drove over to the state house.  John and I had seen it on our other visit to the city but my sister Gloria had not seen it.   Because of the hurricane it was closed on Saturday.  Despite the wind and a bit of rain we still walked around the capitol grounds.
In a previous posting I wrote about the statue of George Washington which stands on the capitol steps, but I did display a picture of it.  The statue was purchased in 1858 and placed inside the state house.  During the Civil War it was brick batted by soldiers from Sherman's army. It was not repaired, in 1887 it was moved outside on the grounds, in 1907 it was placed on the capitol steps.
Also on the capitol grounds we found the statue of a man who, it was noted on the monument,  was a United States Representative, Senator, Governor, and Supreme Court Justice.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt also gave him a title as "Assistant to the President" during the time he was in office.  No other man has ever served in all those capacities.  Interesting that until that day I had never heard of him!  The signage on the monument indicated that he was "most distinguished of his time".  The man was James Byrnes who lived from 1879 to 1972.  We learned more about him when we visited the Mckissick Museum which is on the University of South Carolina campus- the only museum opened on the Monday we were in town.  We also wanted to tour some historic homes while we were in town, however none were opened.  We did a drive around town anyway, searching them out.
The Woodrow Wilson home is noted to be an "important link to the United States' most pivotal era- the United States Reconstruction" after the Civil War.  Dr. and Mrs. Joseph R. Wilson, parents of Woodrow Wilson, lived here only a few years during the President's teen years.  It is South Carolina's only presidential site.

The last historic home I want to show here was once the temporary war home of General and Mrs. Chestnut.   They entertained Jefferson Davis and his staff here in 1864.   Jefferson Davis, President of the CSA, addressed the citizens of Columbia from the front steps.  This pretty much concludes what I have to write about our weekend in Columbia-  we thought that we would have to extend our time in Columbia through Tuesday because we were told that  the Probate Court building was not opened on Monday due to the holiday.  We had nothing better to do than to check out to see if that fact was correct.  Surprise!  Apparently that information did not apply to county buildings.

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