Northwest Corner of Lincoln and Hampton Streets
By 1869, Columbia featured South Carolina's first and, for the next 50 years only, public school for African Americans. Partially funded by the Freedmen’s Bureau and named for the Bureau’s first commissioner, Oliver O. Howard, the two-story, wood-framed building initially accommodated students of all grades. Among its first teachers were South Carolina State Normal school graduates Celia Dial Saxon and Clarissa Minnie Thompson, who were both born enslaved in Columbia. After the founding of Booker T. Washington School in 1916, Howard became a grammar school for grades K-8. Nathaniel J. Frederick served as the institution’s principal for almost 20 years before becoming the city’s only licensed African American lawyer in 1913. This building closed in 1924 after a new Howard School was built a few blocks away. Today this one-acre property is used as the parking lot for the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce.