Elmwood Park is a residential neighborhood in the heart of downtown Columbia, South Carolina. It contains one of the largest collections of homes built during the early 1900's that are still remaining in the capital city. Located in the heart of Columbia, South Carolina, Elmwood Park combines charm with the convenience and excitement of downtown living. The neighborhood retains its feeling of life from Columbia's past. Streets are lined with century old trees that visitors and neighbors enjoy while strolling by beautifully restored homes and gardens.
Originally the site of the Old State Fair Grounds until 1903, the area was on the northern border of the original four square miles of the City of Columbia. The land from Park Street, west to Wayne Street was used for the fair fair grounds and a race track and was owned by W.A. Clark, Charles Logan and the South Carolina Mechanical and Agricultural Society.
After the state fair moved to its present location, W.A. Clark sold 24 acres to the Richland Real Estate Company on Sept. 28, 1903, for subdivision and the sale of lots. This property extended from Park St. to Lincoln and included a piece between Lincoln and Gadsden from Chester to Confederate. This original subdivision was named "Elmwood" as designated on a plat map filed on Sept. 9, 1903, and the first lot was sold to Annie Elizabeth Boozer on January 2, 1904.
On November 29, 1903, Charles Logan died. As part of his last will and testament, he bequeathed four acres of land on the north side of Elmwood Avenue, between Lincoln and Gadsden Streets to the City of Columbia to be used as a site for a school. The title would transfer upon the death of his wife, Louisa Logan.
On May 11, 1905, Louisa sold the remainder of property behind the designated school acreage, between Lincoln and Gadsden Streets to Robert Lancaster of the Richland Real Estate Company. This tract contained the old race track. A plat of these lots by E.N. Chisholm was designated "Elmwood Park", and was filed on March 15, 1905. Advertised as "The Great Event", these lots were offered to the public at a "Grand Auction Sale" on May 11-13, 1905. It is this auction date that is generally recognized as the establishment of Elmwood Park.
In 1908, the South Carolina Mechanical and Agricultural Society began selling its property, referred to as the "Old State Fair Grounds", located to the west of Gadsden Street. The first sale of 5 1/4 acres was to R.C. Shand Engineering Company on March 23, 1908 and was later designated as Shand Builders Supply. The remainder of the land was purchased by G.A. Guignard between 1909 and 1910 and was subdivided into lots as seen on a plat recorded as "Extension of Elmwood" in May of 1909.
As the neighborhood quickly grew, the residents petitioned the City of Columbia for annexation. An election was held on December 10, 1907. The vote in the neighborhood occurred at the home of John B.Rodgers, 2230 Lincoln Street. During the City Council meeting of December 16, 1907, the results were announced and the territory was duly declared a part of the City of Columbia. The vote in the city was 54 for and 5 against; in the territory, 27 for and seven against. With this election, Elmwood Park was the first "suburb" annexed into the city and the first expansion of the city's territory beyond its original four square miles.
Elmwood Park Neighborhood Association
The Elmwood Park Neighborhood Association was organized on October 4, 1977 at a meeting held at the Park Street Baptist Church. Founding members of the neighborhood association were Elliot Houser, Sr., Thomas Mosley, Roy Lynch, Mack Brown and Rev. H.A. Hinton.