Jewish Merchant Project
For more than 300 years Jewish people have made their homes in South Carolina. Welcomed as traders and merchants, they settled first in Charleston, Georgetown, and Beaufort, but soon looked beyond the port cities for opportunities to sell goods and set up shop. Today, few of the founding families remain behind the counter, but the pioneering generations live on in the memories of their descendants. Launched in 2016 by the Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina and Historic Columbia, the Jewish Merchant Project aims to document these stories through a statewide survey, an online map showing the locations of stores, illustrated narratives, and a traveling exhibition.
Click below to learn about the more than 600 stores documented thus far. To share information about a store or family that should be added to the interactive map, please contact Eric Friendly.
In Partnership With
Archival Processing and Digitization
Opening of Berry’s on Main at Richland Mall, 1961. (The State Newspaper Photograph Archive, Richland Library)
Ralph and Shirley Sarlin at their store in Liberty, SC, 1974. (Reprinted from JHSSC Magazine, Fall 2016)
Goldberg’s Men’s Store in Charleston, SC, 1953. (Special Collections, College of Charleston Libraries)
Reach Out to the Research Team
Historic Columbia supports all members of our community through project-based partnerships with tangible deliverables. Have an idea but not sure what comes next? Get in touch with a member of our team today!