Throwback to school 📷

#TBT: UofSC’s historic Horseshoe.

One week in, school’s officially back in full swing at UofSC. But for all you alumni, history nerds or students who want to learn their campus’ roots – let’s go back to the start. ⏪ Happy #TBT.

Here’s some history of The Horseshoe at UofSC in photos 📷  with help from University Archivist Elizabeth West and Historic Columbia’s Katherine Allen – authors of On the Horseshoe.

1801 | As every good Gamecock knows, the University of South Carolina was founded in 1801 as South Carolina College (SCC).

1805 | SCC opened its doors to its Old Campus on the Horseshoe in 1805 (and its one + only building, Rutledge College) the same year it hosted a record-setting freshman class – nine students. Later, 11 more buildings joined Rutledge to form the original 12.

UofSC Horseshoe (South Carolina College at the time) in 1850 ⬇️

📷 : UofSC University Archives

The Old Campus District (containing the Horseshoe) was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

Rutledge College in 1875 ⬇️

📷 : UofSC University Archives

The Horseshoe today ⬇️

Photo by @rachellaurenjohnson


1827 | The iconic Maxcy Monument was designed by S.C.’s favorite architectural son, Robert Mills. What else did Mills design? Many, many things, but most famously, the Washington Monument.

Monumental deja vu: Jonathan Maxcy Monument in the 1800s ⬇️

📷 : UofSC University Archives

Maxcy Monument today ⬇️

📷 : UofSC University Archives


1835-1836 | The Horseshoe Wall was constructed – not to keep people out, but to keep students in (from sneaking off to visit Cola’s taverns, which was against the rules). It didn’t work – thus, Thirsty Thursday was born. But the wall *did* protect the Horseshoe from burning down during the Burning of Columbia in 1865.

1840 | The South Caroliniana Library was constructed; making it the oldest separate academic library building in the U.S. The reading room is supposedly modeled after an early reading room of the Library of Congress.

South Caroliniana Library in 2013 ⬇️

📷 : UofSC University Archives


1840s | The last remaining slave quarters on campus remain as a small brick building in the garden of the President’s House on the Horseshoe (others were demolished as campus expanded in the 1900s). Later this year, a historic marker will be placed in front of the building to memorialize the enslaved persons who lived + worked there.

Slave quarters in the 1840s ⬇️

📷 : UofSC University Archives

The building  in 1988 ⬇️

📷 : UofSC University Archives


Early 1900s | The first women’s dormitory was in one wing of DeSaussure College (built 1809) near the head of the Historic Horseshoe women students were admitted in 1895; but not allowed to live on campus until after WW1. (Fun(?) fact: Before it was a dorm, DeSaussure served as the med school – and human remains were found there in 2009.)

“Co-eds” (a.k.a. women) on the Horseshoe in 1898 ⬇️

📷 : UofSC University Archives

Co-eds in DeSausassure dorm in 1988 ⬇️


📷 : UofSC University Archives


1930s | McKissick Museum became an overflow library before it was converted to a museum in the 1970s, after TCoop expanded.

1940s | J. Rion McKissick (namesake of the museum) was the much-loved 19th President of UofSC from 1936-1944, the year he died – and students petitioned to allow him to be buried on the Horseshoe. It worked – his is the only grave on campus, in front of South Caroliniana Library.

McKissick on his bike and signature three-piece suit + felt hat in the 1940s ⬇️

📷 : UofSC University Archives



I love all this 19th century history and the old B+W photos – but I’d love to see some pics of hippies lounging on the Horseshoe in the 60s.

Do you have any? Post ‘em and tag us@COLAtoday or #COLAtoday – on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. It is #TBT, after all.