South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Columbia Mills Building, Richland County (Gervais St. on the Congaree River, Columbia)
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Facade Main Entrance Right Oblique Left Elevation Right Rear
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Left Rear
Right Elevation Window Detail Aerial View
ca. 1980

(Mt. Vernon Mill; South Carolina State Museum) During the late nineteenth century the cotton textile industry in South Carolina experienced a period of remarkable growth. By the turn of the century the state was one of the leading manufacturers of cotton mill products in the country. The Columbia Mills Building, which housed one of the largest textile concerns in South Carolina, represents the importance of this industry to the state. In addition, the Columbia Mills Building is believed to be the first textile plant in the nation to be operated by electricity. This innovation meant that textile mills no longer had to be located adjacent to their source of power. The mill is a massive four-story brick factory constructed in 1893. Lockwood, Green and Company of Boston served as engineers and architects; and the William A. Chapman Company of Providence, Rhode Island, was the contractor. The building provided for the manufacture of cotton duck fabric. Columbia Mills became part of Mount Vernon-Woodberry Cotton Duck Company, Mount Vernon-Woodberry Mills, Inc. and finally Mount Vernon Mills, Inc., continuing to manufacture cotton duck until 1981 when the plant was closed. The mill building was donated to the State of South Carolina and adapted for use as the South Carolina State Museum. Listed in the National Register May 24, 1982.

View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property. In addition, the Historic Resources of Columbia includes historical background information for this and other related National Register properties.

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