April 4, 2016 - Columbia Canal, Columbia, South Carolina

 

Columbia Canal is a neat canal in the heart of Columbia, South Carolina. The land around the canal was transformed into a 167 acre park with a path for walkers and cyclists.

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I went to Columbia  in Nov. 2014 and the park area was beautiful and well used. From what I read, it's vastly different now because of a 1000 year flood that occurred in Oct. of 2015. Officials say repairs to the canal will take 2 years to complete. 

columbia canal

History:

The Columbia Canal was built by the State of South Carolina in 1824 using indentured Irishman. It provided an important link for the system of waterways that transported freight between the up country and Charleston. By the 1840's the railways made the waterways obsolete as a means of transportation.

During the Civil War, the Confederate government leased the canal to make gunpowder. 

State Museum

In 1888 the canal was redesigned as a industrial power source for industries like  Columbia Mill. Columbia Mill was the first textile mill in the world to generate it's power from outside the mill. That mill is now the State Museum.

In early October 2015, 16 inches of rain occurred in one day causing a levee to give way under the foundation of the mill's historic hydroelectric station. The canal still generates hydro electric power and is the main source of Columbia's water supply.

 

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