Columbia, South Carolina
|Columbia, South Carolina|
|Nickname(s): "The Capital of Southern Hospitality" (Official), "The Big Friendly"|
|Richland County, South Carolina|
| • ||Steve Benjamin, (|
|• City||133.8 sq mi (346.5 km2)|
|• Land||131.3 sq mi (340.1 km2)|
|• Water||2.5 sq mi (6.4 km2)|
|• Density||929/sq mi (358.5/km2)|
| • ||549,777|
| • ||784,745|
| • Summer (|
Columbia is the
Columbia is on the fall line from the
The state capital was Charleston on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean. In 1786, the legislature decided to move the capital to the center of the state, and the site of Columbia was chosen for its location on the river just 13 miles (21 km) northwest of South Carolina's geographic center. The State Legislature first met there in 1790. After remaining under the direct government of the legislature for the first two decades of its existence, Columbia was incorporated as a village in 1805 and then as a city in 1854. Columbia received a large stimulus to development when it was connected in a direct water route to Charleston, by the Santee Canal. This canal connected the Santee and Cooper Rivers in a 22-mile (35 km) section. It was first chartered in 1786 and completed in 1800, making it one of the earliest canals in the United States. With increased railroad traffic, it ceased operation around 1850.
Columbia was one of the first planned cities in the United States. It is known for its wide streets.
The 20th century saw Columbia emerge as a regional textile manufacturing center. In the 1920s, Columbia businessmen constructed a large dam on the Saluda River to make hydroelectric power. The dam, using the native red clay soil and bedrock, was the largest earthen dam in the world when it was completed in 1930. Lake Murray which was formed by the dam is 41 miles (66 km) long, and 14 miles (23 km) wide at its widest point. At the time when the lake was finished, it was the world's largest man-made reservoir. The company that built the dam grew to become SCANA Corporation, one of Columbia's largest employers.
The city of Columbia has recently accomplished a number of redevelopment projects and has several more planned. The historic Congaree Vista, a 1,200-acre (5 km2) district running from the central business district toward the Congaree river, features a number of historic buildings that have been rehabilitated.