Columbia’s historical markers: The Figure 8

The Figure 8 historical marker in Columbia, SC | Photo via COLAtoday team

Last month, we asked what local historical marker you wanted to learn about next and out of 266 votes we had a close count with 38% selecting the Figure 8. 

The number 8 has a long history in South Carolina dating back to when there were 8 Lords Proprietors for the Carolinas. 

The Lords Proprietors were the 8 Englishmen selected by King Charles II to have joint ownership of the land referred to as the Carolina. Although the king retained full sovereignty, he permitted the Lords extensive powers in 1663.

They had the power and control to establish civil structures, collect taxes, and maintain order. However, they were not able to successfully keep the area well in order and worked to separate the area in hopes to improve the conditions so they wouldn’t have to return the land to the crown.  

In 1719, South Carolina was designated as a royal colony + ended the power for all but Proprietors of the former Carolina. 

There were also 8 rulers of England’s American colonies during the time when the colonies were first being settled, pre Revolutionary War from 1663-1776. 

Years down the road, after the Colonists won their independence from England, South Carolina was the eighth state to join the United States

The historical marker is located near the fountain in the Governor’s Mansion Mall off Richland Street. The fountain was designed in 8 parts to solidify the significance with the number 8. 

The fountain is made into 8 segments | Photo via COLAtoday team

Is it a coincidence that the number 8 can also be spotted in these common South Carolina staples? You be the judge. 

    • There are typically 7-8 stripes on the state fish — the striped bass
    • Typical Pimento cheese recipes, like this Pawley’s Island recipe, call for 8 ounces of red peppers. 
    • South Carolina Highway 8 is a major highway in the Upstate that is now ~44 miles long. 
    • Peaches were officially introduced as the state fruit in 1984. 
    • University of South Carolina was founded in 1801.
    • George Rogers was UofSC’s first Heisman winning football player who wore the number 38 and won the Heisman Trophy in 1980.


Table of Contents