Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Booker T. Washington School / Booker T. Washington High

Marker ID: SCHM 40-164
Location: corner of Marion & Blossom Sts., Columbia, SC
County: Richland
Coordinates: N 34° 0.624    W 081° 2.597
  34.0104    -81.04328333
Style: Free Standing **



The two-story main building at Booker T. Washington School, built in 1916, stood here until 1975. At first an elementary school with grades 1-10, it became Booker T. Washington High School with grades 9-10 in 1918, added grade 11 in 1924, and added grade 12 in 1947. Columbia´s only black high school from 1917 to 1948 and for many years the largest black high school in the state, it closed in 1974.


Booker T. Washington High, one of the first black high schools accredited by the S.C. Dept. of Education, was also one of the most significant institutions in Columbia´s black community for more than fifty years. Notable principals included C.A. Johnson, 1916-1931; J. Andrew Simmons, 1932-1945; and Harry B. Rutherford, 1950-1965. The University of S.C. bought the property in 1974 and demolished the main building in 1975.

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