Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Monteith School

Marker ID: SCHM 40-163
Location: 6505 Main St., Columbia, SC
County: Richland
Coordinates: N 34° 4.143    W 081° 0.226
  34.06905    -81.00376666
Style: Free Standing **


This African-American school, built nearby before 1900, was originally New Hope School, a white school affiliated with Union Church. It closed about 1914. In 1921 Rachel Hull Monteith (d. 1958) opened Nelson School as a black public school in the Hyatt Park School District. With about 100 students in grades 1-5, it later became a 3-teacher school with Monteith as its principal and added grades 6 and 7.

Nelson School was renamed Monteith School in 1932 to honor Rachel Monteith. A civil rights activist, she was the mother of prominent civil rights activist Modjeska Simkins Monteith* (1899-1992). By 1936 her daughter Rebecca (1911-1967) also taught here; she became principal when her mother retired in 1942. The Hyatt Park School District was annexed into the city in 1947, and the school closed in 1949. Moved here in 2003, it now serves as a community center.

Erected by the Historic Columbia Foundation, the City of Columbia, and the S.C. Department of Transportation, 2009 [2010]


* The marker reads "Modjeska Simkins Monteith" but the correct name is Modjeska Monteith Simkins.