Need Association Management?

Contact Us

West Columbia sc

The City of West Columbia, South Carolina, is located within Lexington County. 

West Columbia’s city slogan is “Bridging Past, Present, and  Future.”   

Location – Latitude: 33°59′27.8″N, Longitude: 81°4′23.4″W. West Columbia’s standard street delivery zip codes are 29033, 29073, 29169, 29170, and 29172. The zip code for post office delivery is 29171. The telephone area codes for West Columbia are 803 and 839.

The U.S. Census for 2019 estimated population for West Columbia was 17,998. West Columbia has a total area of 6.99 square miles, per the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau. West Columbia is within the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which consists of the counties of Lexington, Richland, Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, and Saluda. West Columbia, based on population, is the largest municipality in the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area’s total population for 2020 was estimated at 847,397. Greenville Metropolitan Statistical Area is the largest in South Carolina, with the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area coming in second. Measured by population, the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area is the 69th largest in the United States.

West Columbia was originally chartered as the Town of Brookland in 1894. Reportedly the name is derived from all the brooks located in the area. The charter was changed to West Columbia in 1936.

A Brief Historical Overview of West Columbia & the Surrounding Area / 

Part One – Through 1800 

The writings from the Hernando de Soto North American expedition of 1539 to 1540 were the first to document the area at the confluence of the Broad and Saluda rivers, which come together to form the Congaree River. This area is broadly defined as the future Columbia, West Columba, Cayce, and Lexington. However, evidence found at Native American archaeological sites in this area date back 12,000 years. Three prominent Native American archaeological sites discovered and excavated for research of these ancient inhabitants of the area are the Manning Archeological Site, the SAM Site, and the Taylor Site. 

While de Soto’s expedition is renowned for its progression and discoveries of North America, the expedition is also infamous for the brutality shown towards many of the Native American people that were encountered. The brutality shown to many Native Americans is compounded by the European diseases these Native American’s became exposed to that devastated their populations.  

De Soto’s expedition came ashore south of present-day Tampa, Florida, in May of 1539. His nine ships contained over 600 men and 220 horses for his expedition. This would become the deepest exploration of the interior of the future United States up to this time. This expedition would have the most bearing on future exploration and exploitation of North America by European nations.  

This expedition was in search of an overland route to China, gold, and other treasures.  De Soto’s expedition is recorded in a number of writings. The first and probably the most often cited is by an unnamed member of the expedition. He was reportedly a Portuguese knight who identifies in his writing as the Gentleman of Elvas. His work was originally published in 1557. The report was compiled by the Spanish king’s factor (accountant) who accompanied the expedition, Luys Hernández de Biedma. Luys Hernández de Biedma’s report of the expedition was submitted to the king’s court in 1544. La historia general y natural de las Indias, written by Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés published in 1851, a portion of this work was reportedly based on de Soto’s secretary’s, Rodrigo Ranjel, journal. Unfortunately, Ranjel’s original journal has been lost to history. 

The expedition proceeded through what would become Florida and Georgia. In Georgia, Native Americans related stories of the Cofitachequi chiefdom in the future South Carolina having vast quantities of gold. The Cofitachequi chiefdom’s territory was generally the area between the Santee, Wateree, and Pee Dee rivers. Seemingly motivated by the search for gold, de Soto entered the future of South Carolina in April of 1540.

De Soto arrived at the confluence of the Broad and Saluda rivers, where the Congaree River is formed. It is documented that the expedition discovered a large Native American village on the west side of the river. These Native Americans are presumably who became known as the Congaree Indians. The expedition traveled onto the capital of the Cofitachequi chiefdom, surmised to have been near present-day Camden.  

The Congaree Indians habituated the area around the confluence of the Broad and Saluda rivers, where the Congaree River originates. The Congaree language was distinct and not related to the common Siouan language spoken by most Native Americans in the region. Thus they were not Siouan people. The Congaree Indians were prosperous and thrived along the rivers. In James Mooney’s “The Aboriginal Population of America North of Mexico,” published by the Smithsonian Institute in 1928, estimated the population of the Congaree to be 800 in the year 1600. 

Between the first contact with European explorers and 1698, the Congaree Indians population was decimated by smallpox. It was reported that in 1698 that most of the tribe was lost to smallpox. This is supported in 1701 by the findings of John Lawson, an English explorer. Lawson wrote of his meeting with the surviving Congaree in A New Voyage to Carolina, published in 1709. In his writing, he spells Congaree as “Congeree.” His description of the Congaree Indians from this writing, “The Congerees are kind and affable to the English, the Queen being very kind, giving us what Rarities her Cabin afforded…These are a very comely Sort of Indians, there being a strange Difference in the Proportion and Beauty of these Heathens.” Lawson records that the Congaree were small in number, about a dozen houses in the village, due to intertribal conflicts and smallpox.

Colonel John Barnwell (1671-1724), a South Carolina colonist, planter, and militia leader, enlisted the help of Native American tribes in his punitive campaign against the Tuscarora Indian uprising in North Carolina. He persuaded the Congaree Indians to join his Indian force in what became known as the Tuscarora War of 1711. Barnwell led his force of around 500 Native Americans and 30 white colonial militia officers to North Carolina in late 1711. The force arrived in North Carolina in January of 1712. In short order, Barnwell’s force engaged with the Tuscarora Indians, eventually forcing them to enter into a peace treaty with the state of North Carolina. This peace was short-lived, and the Tuscarora rose up again. However, by that time, Barnwell’s contingent had disbanded, including the Congaree Indians, and had returned to South Carolina.   

The Yamasee War of 1715 was a conflict between the Yamasee Indians and the South Carolina colony. The Yamasee Indians and other Native American tribes instigated raids against colonists. With dreadful consequences, the Congaree allied with the Yamasee, and over half the Congaree were either dead or enslaved by the conclusion of the conflict. Barnwell, in 1715, documented that the surviving Congaree totaled just 22 men, 70 women and children. What remained of the Congaree inhabited one village.  

Soon after the conclusion of the Yamasee War, the remaining Congaree joined the Catawba Indian tribe. For a time, the Congaree maintained their tribal distinction and traditions. However, as a distinct tribe, the Congaree Indians became extinct when their descendants intermarried with the Catawba Indians.

The city limits of West Columbia abut the City of Cayce in the south, the Congaree River, and Columbia to the east. The history and development of West Columbia by European settlers is not as extensive as neighboring Cayce or Columbia. However, there are many similarities between early settlers and the mechanics of the early settlement of West Columbia. 

South Carolina, before the American Revolution, had around ten “townships” scattered throughout the state. Townships were first formed by the colonial government in 1730. These townships were established in areas already populated by settlers. The formation of these townships was for numerous reasons, to encourage further settlement, the common defense of the settlers, establish semblances of law and order, and other reasons that people seek concentrated population locations today to live.  

The township of Congaree, which includes the present-day West Columbia, Cayce, Lexington areas, was established in 1730. The Congaree Township was renamed in 1735 to the Saxe-Gotha Township. This new name reportedly derives from the marriage of the Prince of Wales, Frederick Louis Hannover, to Augusta, Princess of the Duchy Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. However, the pair were not married until April 27, 1736. The renaming was supposedly in recognition of the German Lutherans and German-speaking Swiss who had settled the area. Ironically, it is reported that few if any of the German immigrants were from this German duchy.  

The early settlers to Saxe-Gotha Township were primarily German Lutherans and German-speaking Swiss immigrants. To entice settlement of the backcountry and Saxe-Gotha, land grants and travel expenses were offered to immigrants willing to relocate. The first arrival en masse of German-speaking Swiss was in 1737. This contingent was organized and led by John Jacob Riemensperger, and he arrived with twenty-nine Swiss families. In 1740 and 1748, Riemensperger traveled back to Switzerland and convinced around 600 more to immigrate to Saxe-Gotha Township. By 1750, approximately an additional 1,500 Germans had immigrated to the township. By the beginning of the American Revolution, Saxe-Gotha Township and Dutch Fork (the area to the northeast of the township) were inhabited by German-speaking farmers with indentured servants.  

Around the middle of the 18th century, Scots-Irish immigrants began to arrive in the Saxe-Gotha Township. The Pennsylvania Dutch began to arrive in the Saxe-Gotha Township area around this same time period.  Early immigrants to the area were primarily subsistence farmers. Prosperous farmers and their farms eventually became more than subsistence farmers and cultivated crops for the market. Beginning in the late 1790s with the invention of the cotton gin, cotton cultivation became a major market or cash crop for farmers in the entire region.   

The relatively recent Swiss and German immigrants during the American Revolution, for the most part, were Loyalists to the Crown. These Loyalist sentiments were reportedly based on concerns about their original land grants being taken and appreciation for the religious freedoms they were granted by the Crown. Loyalist sentiments ran deep during the American Revolution with the population in the southern colonies.

Historic Population of West Columbia Per the U.S. Census

1900 1,089 —

1910 900 −17.4%

1920 1,793 99.2%

1930 1,722 −4.0%

1940 1,744 1.3%

1950 1,543 −11.5%

1960 6,410 315.4%

1970 7,838 22.3%

1980 10,409 32.8%

1990 10,588 1.7%

2000 13,064 23.4%

2010 14,988 14.7%

2019 17,998 (est.) 20.1%

Key Population Aspects of West Columbia Per the U.S. Census Bureau: 

Population per 2010 Census: 14,988

Male population: 48.1%

Female population: 51.9%

Population under 18 years: 14.4%

Population 65 years & over: 20.7%

High school graduate or higher 2015-2019: 88.7%

Bachelor’s degree or higher 2015-2019: 32.0%

Median home value 2015-2019: $142,800

Owner-occupied: 54.5%  

Total households 2015-2019: 8,315

West Columbia had 1,818 businesses or firms within the city limits as of the 2012 U.S. Census.

Copyright © 2021 William Douglas Management, Inc.

west columbia sc

The City of West Columbia, South Carolina, is located within Lexington County. 

West Columbia’s city slogan is “Bridging Past, Present, and  Future.”   

Location – Latitude: 33°59′27.8″N, Longitude: 81°4′23.4″W. West Columbia’s standard street delivery zip codes are 29033, 29073, 29169, 29170, and 29172. The zip code for post office delivery is 29171. The telephone area codes for West Columbia are 803 and 839.

The U.S. Census for 2019 estimated population for West Columbia was 17,998. West Columbia has a total area of 6.99 square miles, per the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau. West Columbia is within the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which consists of the counties of Lexington, Richland, Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, and Saluda. West Columbia, based on population, is the largest municipality in the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area’s total population for 2020 was estimated at 847,397. Greenville Metropolitan Statistical Area is the largest in South Carolina, with the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area coming in second. Measured by population, the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area is the 69th largest in the United States.

West Columbia was originally chartered as the Town of Brookland in 1894. Reportedly the name is derived from all the brooks located in the area. The charter was changed to West Columbia in 1936.

A Brief Historical Overview of West Columbia & the Surrounding Area / 

Part One – Through 1800 

The writings from the Hernando de Soto North American expedition of 1539 to 1540 were the first to document the area at the confluence of the Broad and Saluda rivers, which come together to form the Congaree River. This area is broadly defined as the future Columbia, West Columba, Cayce, and Lexington. However, evidence found at Native American archaeological sites in this area date back 12,000 years. Three prominent Native American archaeological sites discovered and excavated for research of these ancient inhabitants of the area are the Manning Archeological Site, the SAM Site, and the Taylor Site. 

While de Soto’s expedition is renowned for its progression and discoveries of North America, the expedition is also infamous for the brutality shown towards many of the Native American people that were encountered. The brutality shown to many Native Americans is compounded by the European diseases these Native American’s became exposed to that devastated their populations.  

De Soto’s expedition came ashore south of present-day Tampa, Florida, in May of 1539. His nine ships contained over 600 men and 220 horses for his expedition. This would become the deepest exploration of the interior of the future United States up to this time. This expedition would have the most bearing on future exploration and exploitation of North America by European nations.  

This expedition was in search of an overland route to China, gold, and other treasures.  De Soto’s expedition is recorded in a number of writings. The first and probably the most often cited is by an unnamed member of the expedition. He was reportedly a Portuguese knight who identifies in his writing as the Gentleman of Elvas. His work was originally published in 1557. The report was compiled by the Spanish king’s factor (accountant) who accompanied the expedition, Luys Hernández de Biedma. Luys Hernández de Biedma’s report of the expedition was submitted to the king’s court in 1544. La historia general y natural de las Indias, written by Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés published in 1851, a portion of this work was reportedly based on de Soto’s secretary’s, Rodrigo Ranjel, journal. Unfortunately, Ranjel’s original journal has been lost to history. 

The expedition proceeded through what would become Florida and Georgia. In Georgia, Native Americans related stories of the Cofitachequi chiefdom in the future South Carolina having vast quantities of gold. The Cofitachequi chiefdom’s territory was generally the area between the Santee, Wateree, and Pee Dee rivers. Seemingly motivated by the search for gold, de Soto entered the future of South Carolina in April of 1540.

De Soto arrived at the confluence of the Broad and Saluda rivers, where the Congaree River is formed. It is documented that the expedition discovered a large Native American village on the west side of the river. These Native Americans are presumably who became known as the Congaree Indians. The expedition traveled onto the capital of the Cofitachequi chiefdom, surmised to have been near present-day Camden.  

The Congaree Indians habituated the area around the confluence of the Broad and Saluda rivers, where the Congaree River originates. The Congaree language was distinct and not related to the common Siouan language spoken by most Native Americans in the region. Thus they were not Siouan people. The Congaree Indians were prosperous and thrived along the rivers. In James Mooney’s “The Aboriginal Population of America North of Mexico,” published by the Smithsonian Institute in 1928, estimated the population of the Congaree to be 800 in the year 1600. 

Between the first contact with European explorers and 1698, the Congaree Indians population was decimated by smallpox. It was reported that in 1698 that most of the tribe was lost to smallpox. This is supported in 1701 by the findings of John Lawson, an English explorer. Lawson wrote of his meeting with the surviving Congaree in A New Voyage to Carolina, published in 1709. In his writing, he spells Congaree as “Congeree.” His description of the Congaree Indians from this writing, “The Congerees are kind and affable to the English, the Queen being very kind, giving us what Rarities her Cabin afforded…These are a very comely Sort of Indians, there being a strange Difference in the Proportion and Beauty of these Heathens.” Lawson records that the Congaree were small in number, about a dozen houses in the village, due to intertribal conflicts and smallpox.

Colonel John Barnwell (1671-1724), a South Carolina colonist, planter, and militia leader, enlisted the help of Native American tribes in his punitive campaign against the Tuscarora Indian uprising in North Carolina. He persuaded the Congaree Indians to join his Indian force in what became known as the Tuscarora War of 1711. Barnwell led his force of around 500 Native Americans and 30 white colonial militia officers to North Carolina in late 1711. The force arrived in North Carolina in January of 1712. In short order, Barnwell’s force engaged with the Tuscarora Indians, eventually forcing them to enter into a peace treaty with the state of North Carolina. This peace was short-lived, and the Tuscarora rose up again. However, by that time, Barnwell’s contingent had disbanded, including the Congaree Indians, and had returned to South Carolina.   

The Yamasee War of 1715 was a conflict between the Yamasee Indians and the South Carolina colony. The Yamasee Indians and other Native American tribes instigated raids against colonists. With dreadful consequences, the Congaree allied with the Yamasee, and over half the Congaree were either dead or enslaved by the conclusion of the conflict. Barnwell, in 1715, documented that the surviving Congaree totaled just 22 men, 70 women and children. What remained of the Congaree inhabited one village.  

Soon after the conclusion of the Yamasee War, the remaining Congaree joined the Catawba Indian tribe. For a time, the Congaree maintained their tribal distinction and traditions. However, as a distinct tribe, the Congaree Indians became extinct when their descendants intermarried with the Catawba Indians.

The city limits of West Columbia abut the City of Cayce in the south, the Congaree River, and Columbia to the east. The history and development of West Columbia by European settlers is not as extensive as neighboring Cayce or Columbia. However, there are many similarities between early settlers and the mechanics of the early settlement of West Columbia. 

South Carolina, before the American Revolution, had around ten “townships” scattered throughout the state. Townships were first formed by the colonial government in 1730. These townships were established in areas already populated by settlers. The formation of these townships was for numerous reasons, to encourage further settlement, the common defense of the settlers, establish semblances of law and order, and other reasons that people seek concentrated population locations today to live.  

The township of Congaree, which includes the present-day West Columbia, Cayce, Lexington areas, was established in 1730. The Congaree Township was renamed in 1735 to the Saxe-Gotha Township. This new name reportedly derives from the marriage of the Prince of Wales, Frederick Louis Hannover, to Augusta, Princess of the Duchy Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg. However, the pair were not married until April 27, 1736. The renaming was supposedly in recognition of the German Lutherans and German-speaking Swiss who had settled the area. Ironically, it is reported that few if any of the German immigrants were from this German duchy.  

The early settlers to Saxe-Gotha Township were primarily German Lutherans and German-speaking Swiss immigrants. To entice settlement of the backcountry and Saxe-Gotha, land grants and travel expenses were offered to immigrants willing to relocate. The first arrival en masse of German-speaking Swiss was in 1737. This contingent was organized and led by John Jacob Riemensperger, and he arrived with twenty-nine Swiss families. In 1740 and 1748, Riemensperger traveled back to Switzerland and convinced around 600 more to immigrate to Saxe-Gotha Township. By 1750, approximately an additional 1,500 Germans had immigrated to the township. By the beginning of the American Revolution, Saxe-Gotha Township and Dutch Fork (the area to the northeast of the township) were inhabited by German-speaking farmers with indentured servants.  

Around the middle of the 18th century, Scots-Irish immigrants began to arrive in the Saxe-Gotha Township. The Pennsylvania Dutch began to arrive in the Saxe-Gotha Township area around this same time period.  Early immigrants to the area were primarily subsistence farmers. Prosperous farmers and their farms eventually became more than subsistence farmers and cultivated crops for the market. Beginning in the late 1790s with the invention of the cotton gin, cotton cultivation became a major market or cash crop for farmers in the entire region.   

The relatively recent Swiss and German immigrants during the American Revolution, for the most part, were Loyalists to the Crown. These Loyalist sentiments were reportedly based on concerns about their original land grants being taken and appreciation for the religious freedoms they were granted by the Crown. Loyalist sentiments ran deep during the American Revolution with the population in the southern colonies.

Historic Population of West Columbia Per the U.S. Census

1900 1,089 —

1910 900 −17.4%

1920 1,793 99.2%

1930 1,722 −4.0%

1940 1,744 1.3%

1950 1,543 −11.5%

1960 6,410 315.4%

1970 7,838 22.3%

1980 10,409 32.8%

1990 10,588 1.7%

2000 13,064 23.4%

2010 14,988 14.7%

2019 17,998 (est.) 20.1%

Key Population Aspects of West Columbia Per the U.S. Census Bureau: 

Population per 2010 Census: 14,988

Male population: 48.1%

Female population: 51.9%

Population under 18 years: 14.4%

Population 65 years & over: 20.7%

High school graduate or higher 2015-2019: 88.7%

Bachelor’s degree or higher 2015-2019: 32.0%

Median home value 2015-2019: $142,800

Owner-occupied: 54.5%  

Total households 2015-2019: 8,315

West Columbia had 1,818 businesses or firms within the city limits as of the 2012 U.S. Census.

Copyright © 2021 William Douglas Management, Inc.

Need Association Management?

Contact Us