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South Carolina State House

South Carolina State House

Capital City & Lake Murray Country

Capital City & Lake Murray Country

The history of South Carolina's State House is as colorful as the state itself. Begun in 1851, the original architect was dismissed for fraud and dereliction of duty and the structure dismantled due to defective materials. Work on a new structure was begun in 1855 and suspended in 1865 as Sherman's Union Army swept through leaving its mark on Columbia and the State House. Completed in 1907, the copper-domed granite building today wears six bronze stars to mark hits from Sherman's cannons. An African-American History Monument on the grounds traces African-American history from the Middle Passage, to the fight for freedom in the Civil War, the struggle for civil rights and emergence into mainstream America.

Free guided and self-guided tours of the State House are available Monday - Friday. Visitors may enter the State House through the public entrance which is on the Sumter Street side of the building.

While the legislature is in session (January - May), tours are offered every half hour beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m. Tours are not offered at 12 p.m. or 12:30 p.m. during these months. Following session (June - December), tours are available every hour on the half hour beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending at 3:30 p.m.. Tours are not offered at 12:30 p.m. during these months. The State House is also open for tours each Saturday, except on the Saturdays after Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tours are given at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Visitors can also tour at their own pace using brochures available in the State House.

To reserve a tour time, or for more information, please call 803-734-2430.

If you can't come in person, take a State House Tour by video at

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