History

A Few Factual Highlights:

In 1789 it was proposed that the Capital of the United States be located here.

During the first part of the 19th Century, Columbia was an important stopping place along the Underground Railroad, as escaped History of slavery in the United Statesslaves would be transported across the Susquehanna River and often fed and given supplies in Columbia before heading north towards Canada.

In the 1840s and 1850s, the town became an important regional center of commerce, with manufactured and agricultural goods being shipped via railroad, canal and the turnpike to markets in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, Baltimore and other locales. Important industries included warehousing, tobacco processing, iron foundries, clock making and boat building.

The world’s longest covered bridge (5,960 feet) once spanned the Susquehanna from Columbia to neighboring Wrightsville, York County. Built in 1814, it was destroyed by high water and ice in 1832. A replacement bridge was burned in June of 1863 by state militia during the Gettysburg Campaign in the American Civil War, preventing Confederate States soldiers from entering Lancaster County and attacking Harrisburg from the rear. Yet another replacement covered bridge was destroyed by a windstorm a few years later. The final bridge, the Pennsylvania Railroad Bridge, was a steel open-air bridge, which was razed in the early 1960s.

During the Civil War, a number of local black citizens enlisted in the 54th Massachusetts Infantry, a regiment composed of black soldiers serving under white officers. The unit gained fame in an assault on Fort Wagner in South Carolina. Some of these veterans are buried in Columbia’s ‘black cemetery,’ located just off North Fifth Street.

Columbia has been, for over half a century, home to the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, whose campus on Poplar Street includes a Clocktower, the National Watch and Clock Museum, the National Watch and Clock Library, and the School of Horology, training professional clock and watch repairers.

Source: Wikipedia.
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If you discover factual discrepancies, please let us know, sighting your source(s).

We continue to work hard at gathering the most accurate historical facts about Columbia and its past inhabitants.

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