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Let’s Go | Mann-Simons Site
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 of the Mann-Simons Site. Grab some goggles to enjoy the VR experience.
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