Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Harriett Cornwell Tourist Home

Marker ID: SCHM 40-184
Location: 1713 Wayne Street, Columbia, SC
County: Richland
Coordinates: N 34° 0.355    W 081° 2.702
  34.00591666    -81.04503333
Style: Free Standing **


Harriett Cornwell Tourist Home

This home’s first owner was John R. Cornwell, an African American business man and civic leader who owned a successful barber shop on Main St. After his death, Cornwell’s wife Hattie and daughters Geneva Scott and Harriett Cornwell lived here. From the 1940s until after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 they ran the house as a “tourist home” for black travelers. Harriett also taught at Waverly Elementary School. During the Jim Crow era, segregation gave African American travelers very few choices for restaurants or lodging. Many chose to stay in a network of private houses located across the South and nation. These tourist homes often relied on word-of-mouth, but many were also listed in guides such as The Negro Travelers’ Green Book. This house was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

2014 by Richland County Conservation Commission.