South Carolina State Museum

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Columbia Mills Building
South Carolina State Museum
South Carolina State Museum is located in South Carolina
South Carolina State Museum
Location 301 Gervais St, Columbia, South Carolina
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Built 1893
Architect Lockwood,Greene, & Co.; Chapman,William A., Co.
MPS Columbia MRA
NRHP Reference # 82003902 [1]
Added to NRHP May 24, 1982

The South Carolina State Museum, located in Columbia, South Carolina, is the largest museum in the Southeastern United States. Positioned on an old shipping canal on the Congaree River that dates back to pre-Civil War times, the museum is widely recognized as a resource for South Carolina history and lifestyle. The museum opened October 29, 1988 and is housed in what it calls its largest artifact, the former Columbia Mills Building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.[1][2][3] When the mill opened in 1894, manufacturing cotton duck cloth (a canvas-like material), it was the first totally electric textile mill in the world. It was also the first major industrial installation for the General Electric corporation. On certain levels of the museum, the original flooring has been kept intact, distinguishable by hundreds of textile brads and rings (that carried the threads during the spinning process) that became embedded in the floor while it was still being used as a mill.

The museum represents four disciplines: art, cultural history, science and technology, and natural history. Exhibits include life-size replicas of the Best Friend of Charleston, the first American-built locomotive, and the H.L. Hunley, the first submarine to sink an enemy ship in combat. The second floor is notable for its recreation of a Megalodon, named Finn, suspended mid-air just around a corner, which has scared countless groups of young children.

The museum has an "Official" Story Chair (named Sammy) designed and donated by Storyteller Mike Miller ( for the benefit of children and storytellers.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Columbia Mills Building" (pdf). National Register of Historic Places - Nomination and Inventory. Retrieved 10 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Columbia Mills Building, Richland County (Gervais St. on the Congaree River, Columbia)". National Register Properties in South Carolina. South Carolina Department of Archives and History. Retrieved 19 August 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

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