Built between 1890 and 1895, this one-story cottage was home to Modjeska Monteith Simkins, considered "the matriarch of Civil Rights activists of South Carolina," from 1932 until her death on April 5, 1992.
Modjeska Monteith Simkins House
From a young age Modjeska Monteith Simkins practiced social activism. Her career involved working with local and national civil rights leaders and NAACP lawyers such as Thurgood Marshall, who met at her home. Simkins' efforts in the realm of education, public health and human rights led her to receive the Order of the Palmetto-the State of South Carolina's highest honor-before her death in 1992.
Today, her former residence continues to be a meeting space for people committed to improving the lives of the most underrepresented citizens in the community.
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Historic Columbia maintains a permanent collection of more than 6,500 historic artifacts spanning the 18th, 19th and early-20th centuries, including a growing collection of locally made or used textiles, decorative arts, fine art, tools, and historic images. Learn more
Columbia's Matriarch of Civil Rights
For more than sixty years, Modjeska Monteith Simkins used the wooden cottage at the corner of Elmwood and Marion St. as both a home and a headquarters. Known as the “matriarch of Civil Rights activists” in S.C., Modjeska Monteith Simkins led the charge for equality tirelessly her entire adult life...