Southwest Corner of Heyward Street & South Waccamaw Avenue
New Opportunities for Investment
Advertisements in The State newspaper reveal developers' efforts to draw Columbians to the area south of the city's center. Early companies settled Rose Hill in several stages; Herbert Ebenezer Wells and William T. Rowland of Wells-Rowland Realty sold the first lots in the northwest portion of the neighborhood. Later, in 1918, W. D. Melton sold parcels south of Wells-Rowland. Holly Realty Company, for whom Hollywood was named, began to develop the community west of Rose Hill the following decade. A host of realty companies participated in the development of the Rose Hill and Hollywood neighborhoods. These businesses often competed with companies developing Columbia's other first-generation or inner-ring suburbs.
Wells-Rowland Realty Company
In 1913, cotton executive Herbert Ebenezer Wells and William T. Rowland, a businessman from Sumter, South Carolina, chartered the Wells-Rowland Realty Company, which became one of two entities primarily responsible for the first stage of lot sales in Rose Hill.Advertisements within The State newspaper boasted that Rowland could complete a home in less than one month and indicated that 'only the best class of citizens' would soon be purchasing land within Rose Hill. Another classified described one parcel as 'Nice Lot roomy home, dandy location, on streetcar line, paved, best street, suburb of Columbia.' Oral history suggests that this new development was a little too far from the city center, however, as some early residents declared their hesitancy to live 'in the country.' Later, Wells-Rowland Realty advertisements sought to counter these concerns by promoting Rose Hill on the basis of reliable transportation. 'A car line to Rose Hill in the immediate future is a practical certainty,' one declared because 'it is now being put into Wales Garden, only a few steps away.'
Hyatt Land and Investment Company
Hyatt Land and Investment Company also participated in the early development of Rose Hill, selling lots in the area bound north by Heyward Street, west by Gregg Street, east by Edisto Avenue, and south by property owned by the Stork family. Because the lots were so small — most were only 20 feet wide—many investors purchased multiple lots.
The Palmetto Realty Company
The Palmetto Realty Company was chartered in 1921, a full six years after Wells-Rowland and Hyatt had launched the development of Rose Hill. Palmetto Realty, however, reportedly built a number of homes in Rose Hill as well as in the area north of Lower (Heyward) Street, Whales Garden. Mallard R. Bagnal teamed up with W.P. Etchenson and J. Frank Bailey to establish the realty company. At the time, Bagnal and Bailey also owned and operated a lumber and building materials company (that appears to have been located, at one time, off Elmwood Avenue). By 1923, Bagnal and Bailey appear to have dissolved, but Palmetto Realty Company remained intact under the direction of J. F. Bailey.
The Holly Realty Company
The area south of the city limits was once property owned by the Stork family. Martin Stork, one of Columbia's first florists/greenhouse owners and son to the land's original owner, Abram Stork, Sr., sold the entire area that became Hollywood to the United Realty Company, which granted lot deeds to the Holly Realty Company. R.L. Hollowell and J. Frank Bailey, who was also a builder and involved in the Palmetto Realty Company, owned Holly Realty, the primary developer of Hollywood. Apparently, Holly Realty coordinated lot sales and in many instances, commissioned the architect and the construction of the house.
Next100 Block of South Waccamaw Avenue