On the corner of Marion and Richland streets in downtown Columbia stands the Mann-Simons site. The Mann-Simons Site was a collection of commercial and domestic spaces owned and operated by the same African American family from at least 1843 until 1970. Only one house stands today, however many ghost structures represent the former buildings that made the site a unique treasure to downtown Columbia.
According to Historic Columbia, “midwife Celia Mann and boatman Ben Delane made this site their home by the early 1840s. Members of Columbia's small population of free people of color, the couple challenged social norms at a time in which most Africans and African Americans were enslaved. Successive generations of their family negotiated the eras in which the capital city evolved from Jim Crow into the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s. Threat of demolition in 1970 galvanized a grassroots movement that saved the remaining structure, which opened as a house museum in 1978.”
A visit to the Mann-Simons Site traces the journey of Columbia’s African American community from enslavement through urban renewal.
Take a Virtual Tour
To start viewing the Mann-Simons Site VR on a desktop computer, press the play button.
Historic Columbia is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving Columbia and Richland County's historic and cultural heritage.
To View VRs on the Matterport App:
The 3D experiences were shot with a Matterport Pro 3D Camera.
Experience the VRs using the Matterport phone apps with either a Google Cardboard or Samsung Gear VR.
(1) Download the iOS or Android app to your phone
(2) Use your phone's browser to go to the VR link at Mann-Simons Site.
(3) When you click on a link, the Matterport App will open on your phone.
(4) The VRs will need to download to the app prior to viewing.
(5) Look for the visual queues (circles) to navigate through the VR experience.