Columbia’s rivers are not only beautiful and provide great recreational fun, but they are also flowing with history. Today we will jump into the story of a river that we don’t talk about often but provided resources to communities long ago.
The river got its name from the Wateree Tribe and the settlements date back to the late 1560s. Records show that the group lived along the river in the 1700s near what is currently Kershaw County.
The word Wateree is believed to be from the Catawba language andtranslates to wateran — meaning “to float on the water.”
Fast forward to the Revolutionary War (think mid-1770s), when the river was used to transport goods, including wheat, tobacco, indigo, and cotton,and people on ferries.
Ferry boats grew quickly in popularity for transportation to neighboring regions. This included the Simmons Ferry 1763that connectedColumbia to the Sumter areaabout 45 miles away.
The road leading to the ferry was originally a Catawba path. Today, a 25-mile marker sign can still be spotted on the north side of a dirt road, which runs parallel to Garners Ferry Road — but we will come back to this.
In 1783, the same ferry changed its name to Brisbane, due to new ownership when the government handed it to Adam Fowler Brisbane. Brisbane was a magistrate in Richland County and was in control of the ferry until his death in 1799.
Later in 1818, the ferry changed names again to Garners Ferry (sounds familiar, right?), which was operated until the early 1920s when a bridge was built across the river. The bridge remains today as a portion of what we now know as Garners Ferry Road.
Coronavirus ○ The COMET will begin offering free COVID-19 vaccines on Mon., May 3, after partnering with Health Force, LLC. Both the Moderna and the Johnson & Johnson vaccinations will be available at The COMET Central hub(at the corner of Laurel + Sumter streets). Appointments are not required; however, reservations can be made here. (ABC Columbia) ○ Richland Countyhas added a language support tool to help non-English speaking residents, who lost income due to the coronavirus, apply for financial assistance. The county’s website now has a language selection icon in the upper right corner and offers English, French, Korean, and Spanish options. 🖥️ (MidlandsBiz)
Watch ○ The Kentucky Derby is this Sat., May 1, and you might see a familiar logo on the horse Hot Rod Charlie. The horse has been sporting the Gamecock logo on his wrap, typically worn after a workout, due to a connection with the owner + the parents of the late Jake Panus and their son’s passion for attending UofSC. 🏇(The State)
Ranked ○ No. 5. The rankingChapin High School received in the recent US News and World Reports list of the best public high schools in South Carolina. Eleven schools in the Midlands made the top 50 list, which you can view here. (The State)
WaterCooler ○ Yesterday, South Carolina cornerback Jaycee Hornwas selected in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers. Horn was the No. 8 overall pick and the first defensive player to be selected. (247 Sports)
ComingSoon ○ Pet Supplies Plus is openinga new location at the corner of Clemson and Hardscrabble roads (2108 Clemson Rd.) on May 7. This family-owned pet store has 4 other locations in the Midlands and offers grooming services in addition to supplies. 🐾 (Cola Daily)
UofSC ○ UofSC Provost Bill Tate, the university’s No. 2 administrator,has been selected as 1 of 3 finalists to become the next president of LSU. Tate arrived in Columbia in July and is the college’s first Black provost. He was also a finalist in 2019 to become president at UofSC. (The Post and Courier)
Announced ○ Attorney General Alan Wilson + the South Carolina Human Trafficking Task Force announced the launch of the SC Highway Heroes Campaign — a new initiative to help prevent human trafficking. The campaign will offer 100,000 commercially licensed drivers a free online training called Truckers Against Trafficking. (MidlandsBiz)
Number ○ $1 million+. The amount that SC Works is awarding to South Carolina’s 12 local workforce development areas to help build + retain employees with training. The program will provide funding for training for eligible businesses + nonprofits on topics such as new technology, expansion, and organizational changes.(CRBR) ○ 50. That’show many years Lexington Medical Center has been serving the community. Denise Connolly has worked at the hospital since she was a 22-year-old nursing student — read about the changes she’s seen here. 🏥 Ⓟ
Edu ○Create Opportunity’sfirst cohort is now enrolled at Midlands Technical College. The new initiative was created to provide access + opportunities for individuals to become professional software engineers. After the 6-week program, individuals will participate in a 2-year paid apprenticeship. Learn more here.(Soda City BizWire)
Arts ○Family Connection of South Carolinawill open the annual LOOK! photography exhibit in the Upstairs Gallery at the Koger Center of the Arts on Aug. 22. The exhibit will feature 50+ professional South Carolina photographers + photos of families with a child with a disability or specialized healthcare need. (Soda City BizWire)
Inbox ○ Next week, COLAtoday is switching over to a new mailing platform that will allow us to serve you better. Due to this transition, you might see us in your inbox a little later than usual on Mon., May 3 — but we’ll be back bright and early at 6 a.m. on Tuesday. Want to spread the love? Now’s a great time to remind your friends to subscribe to our daily newsletter.
Shop ○ What if we told you you can get non-toxic cleaning supplies *and* oat milk delivered to your front door? Thrive Market shoppers can find all their favorite brandsand have them delivered — plus,an extra25% off their first order + free joining gift. 📦 Ⓟ
Travel ○ Itching for a weekend getaway? Dollar Flight Club has your back. This smart platform analyzes flight data for you, finding the best deals for your trip. Think: Hawaii from $109 or Austin from $68 roundtrip. Try it for $1 if you sign up in the next 48 hours. 🛫Ⓟ
FeaturedJob ○ We’re Hiring.Our cities are known as great places to live, work, and play..our office is, too.6AM City is hiring a Sales Development Rep to support the sales process by generating qualified leads for the Sales Team. Ⓟ
Click the button below for local resources regarding the coronavirus.
Yes, South Carolina is getting a new state park,which will be the first new addition in nearly 15 years. The Black River Water Trail & Park Network will be located along the Black River in Williamsburg + Georgetown counties (approx. 2.5 hours away from Cola).
The property is owned by public and private partners, and once complete, the park will connect 70 miles of riverfront. Planning should be concluded in December 2021, and construction is expected to take a few years, which you can follow along with the progress here.
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Dish ○ Everything Egg Roll at Craft and Draft| Fri., Apr. 30 | 5-8 p.m. | Craft and Draft | Price of purchase | A first time food truck visit to Craft and Draft means your dinner plans are all rolled up.
Saturday ○ Rosewood Crawfish Festival| Sat., May 1 | 11 a.m.-7 p.m. | State Fairgrounds | $10 | Let the good times roll with 10,000 pounds of fresh crawfish, live music, arts, and more. ○ Cola Women’s Market | Sat., May 1 | 6:30-8 p.m. | Loveland Coffee | $20 | A night of community, food, drinks, giveaways, and local women-owned businesses. ○ The aMAYzing Mural Contest| Sat., May 1 | 10 a.m.-6 p.m. | Heroes & Dragons | Free | Local artists compete in a live mural painting demonstration to raise money for the Make-A-Wish foundation. 🎨 ○ Bierkeller on Tour: West Columbia Riverwalk| Sat., May 1 | 12-7 p.m. | West Columbia River Walk | Price of purchase | Relax with a beer + a brat. 🌭 ○ Pickin’ and Piggin’ BBQ Cook-off| Sat., May 1 | 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. | Saluda Shoals Park | $15 | Sample more than 20 of South Carolina’s best BBQ chefs’ creations. 🐖 ○ Beer Yoga | Columbia Craft| Sat., May 1 | 11 a.m.-12 p.m. | Columbia Craft | $10 | Flow through beginner yoga with a cold beer in your hand. 🍻
Sunday ○ Brett Stafford Smith @ Steel Hands Brewing| Sun., May 2 | 1 p.m. | Steel Hands Brewery | Free | Enjoy country music on the lawn with a beer in your hand. 🍻 ○ Mad Hatter’s Art Party| Sun., May 2 | 11 a.m.-5 p.m. | Robert Mills House and Gardens | Free | Alice & Wonderland themed outdoor art party with wine, snacks + a crazy hat competition. 👒
FeaturedEvent ○ Kendra Scott Grand Opening | Sat., May 1-Sun., May 2 | 12 p.m.-3 p.m. | 4840 Forest Dr., Ste. 6-A | Free, RSVP here | Free rosé, a flower truck, and jewelry. Say less. Ⓟ ○ Midlands Gives Day | Tues., May 4 | 6 a.m.-11:59 p.m. | Virtual | $10+ | Want to make a difference in your community? Check out the 8th annual Midlands Gives Day. Ⓟ
Disclaimer: It is up to readers’ discretion to determine whether they feel comfortable participating in any mentioned events based on COVID-19 protocols and precautions. If you have questions, please contact the event’s organizers directly.