Published on January 12th, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Impressions of Chimneyville Explores Devastation of Burning of Columbia

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Historic Columbia has unveiled its newest exhibit, Impressions of Chimneyville: Columbia’s Civil War Destruction, at the Gallery at City Hall. On display through March 31, this free exhibit is show as part of the citywide commemoration of the 150th Anniversary of the Burning of Columbia, Feb. 17-18, 1865.

In February 1865, one-third of South Carolina’s capital city lay in ruin, the product of a series of fires that accompanied its brief occupation by Union soldiers. Some citizens came to identify their hometown by the remnants of buildings that dotted its skyline: chimneys. Columbia’s physical transformation during the course of one night would influence the city’s growth for generations, and it is shown through historical images and descriptions in this exhibit.

“Thanks to the photographer’s lens and the artist’s pencil there remains a visual account of this defining moment in Columbia’s past,” said Director of Cultural Resources John Sherrer. “These images are a remarkable asset, particularly when combined with written accounts of the event.”

Historic Columbia will hold an opening reception in conjunction with the first First Thursday of 2015 on Thursday, Feb. 5 from 6 to 8 p.m. The Gallery at City Hall, located on the first floor of Columbia’s City Hall at 1737 Main St., is open weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

Historic Columbia is one of nearly 30 organizations comprising Columbia Commemorates, a multi-disciplinary coalition formed to plan and implement the citywide commemoration of the Burning of Columbia. For a full list of events and exhibits planned for the commemoration, visit

About Historic Columbia:

In November 1961, a small group of individuals intent on saving the Ainsley Hall House from demolition officially incorporated as the Historic Columbia Foundation. Over the next five decades the organization, which was founded on the premise of preservation and education, would take on the stewardship of seven historic properties in Richland County. Today, the organization serves as a model for local preservation efforts and interpretation of local history. Visit or find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube for more details.


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