2112 Barhamville Road2112 Barhamville Road
T. S. Martin House
Thomas S. Martin was a well-known figure in Columbia’s African American community and education system until his death in 1993. He lived at 2112 Barhamville Road and taught science and physical education at his alma mater Booker T. Washington High School, the fierce athletic rival of C.A. Johnson High. Martin was perhaps best known for his highly successful tenure as director of Drew Pool, where he led the boys and girls Drew Park Pool Sharks to multiple championships.
Martin was born in 1911 in Charleston. He received his bachelor degree from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan before returning to teach in Columbia, South Carolina, where he lived on Barhamville Road. Martin continued the legacy of his teacher parents, along with his sister Ethel Bolden, who served for many years as a librarian and educator in Columbia’s African American schools. Martin distinguished himself among students and adults alike with his innovative methods of teaching and coaching, which included creating his own tennis courts for Booker T. Washington by mashing red clay with trash cans, and instructing students in Jewish folk dances and gymnastics. Martin worked assiduously to improve the physical education and health of young African Americans in segregated Columbia, founding a health and fitness program in city elementary schools and acting as director of the Richland County Red Cross and the Columbia Area Mental Health and Community Care. T.S. Martin Park, located north of Barhamville Road and W.A. Perry Middle School, was created in 1980 and named in honor of Martin's commitment and service to the black youth of Columbia.