Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Richard Samuel Roberts House

Marker ID: SCHM 40-160
Location: 1717 Wayne St., Columbia, SC
County: Richland
Style: Free Standing **


Richard Samuel Roberts (1880-1936), a photographer who documented individuals, families, and institutions in Columbia´s black community and across S.C., lived here from 1920 until his death. Roberts, a self-taught photographer, moved his family from Florida to Columbia and bought this house at 1717 Wayne Street for $3,000. Roberts and his wife Wilhelmina Williams Roberts (1881-1977) raised their children here.

Roberts, who was a full-time custodian at the main Columbia post office, first used an outbuilding here for his photography studio. From 1922 to 1936 his studio was downtown at 1119 Washington Street. Roberts often advertised in the Palmetto Leader, the leading black newspaper in S.C. Some of Roberts´ best photographs were published in 1986 in A True Likeness: The Black South of Richard Samuel Roberts.

Erected by the Historic Columbia Foundation, the City of Columbia, and the S.C. Department of Transportation, 2011