2408 Marion Street
Former Residence of Mayor Lester Bates
An astute insurance businessman and resident of Cottontown from 1943 until his death in 1988, Lester Lee Bates, Sr. served Columbia as an elected official during years of considerable growth. His first office was that of city councilman from 1944 to 1952. Six years later, in 1958, Bates was elected mayor, a position he retained until 1970. Highlights of Bates’ time in office included Fort Jackson’s incorporation into the city limits; the peaceful integration of Columbia’s lunch counters during the Civil Rights movement; and the state capital twice receiving All-America City designation.