Columbia, cities, United States

Columbia kəlŭmˈbēə [key]. 1 City (2020 pop. 104,681), Howard co., central Md., between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore. Founded in 1967 and developed by James Rouse, it is one of the largest and most successful American planned cities. It incorporates nine villages around a downtown, along with schools, churches, a mall with more than 200 stores, parks, and business and cultural facilities. The Post-Merriweather Outdoor Pavilion is Columbia's cultural focal point.

2 City (2020 pop. 126,254), seat of Boone co., central Mo.; inc. 1826. The trade center of a farm and coal area, it has some light manufacturing but is best known as the seat of the Univ. of Missouri and Stephens College. The city is a medical center, with the university hospital, a state cancer hospital, a state regional mental health center, and a veterans' hospital. Houses in the city date from c.1820.

3 City (2020 pop. 136,632), state capital, and seat of Richland co., central S.C., at the head of navigation on the Congaree River; inc. 1805. It is the largest city in the state and an important trade and commercial point in the heart of a fertile farm region. Its industries include boatbuilding and the manufacture of electric equipment, paper and metal products, stainless steel, and apparel. A trading post flourished nearby in the early 18th cent. In 1786 the site was chosen for the new state capital because of its central location; the legislature first met in its new quarters in 1790. During the Civil War, General Sherman's army entered Columbia on Feb. 17, 1865. That night the city was burned and almost totally destroyed by drunken Union soldiers. An educational center, Columbia is the seat of the Univ. of South Carolina, Benedict College, Columbia College, Allen Univ., and Columbia International Univ. Notable buildings include the statehouse (begun 1855, damaged in 1865, completed 1901), President Woodrow Wilson's boyhood home (1870), and several antebellum houses. Also of interest are the South Carolina Archives Building; the Columbia Museum of Art and Science; the Midlands Exposition Park, with historical exhibits; and a zoo. Adjacent to the city is U.S. Fort Jackson, a major infantry training center. Lake Murray (formed by the dammed Saluda River) and Congaree National Park are nearby.

4 City (2020 pop. 41,690), seat of Maury co., central Tenn., on the Duck River; inc. 1817. Once a noted mule market and racing horse center, it is the trade and processing hub of a fertile area producing beef cattle and burley tobacco, as well as a shipping point for the region's limestone and phosphate deposits. Columbia has many fine antebellum homes, such as the James K. Polk House (1816). A national jubilee for Tennessee walking horses is annually held in June.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2024, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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