A new historical marker will commemorate the former Columbia Hospital’s unit for Black patients and nursing students at the corner of Harden and Washington streets.
The marker will be unveiled on Saturday during a 10 a.m. ceremony featuring Richland County Council Chair Paul Livingston and the Columbia Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association of Black Nurses.
The School of Nursing for Black Students began in 1935, with its first, 10-person class graduating in 1938, according to the association’s website. From 1938 to 1965, Columbia Hospital, which became Palmetto Health Richland, graduated 401 nurses before closing in 1966.
An expanded version of the segregated hospital wing was built in 1943 at the northwest corner of Harden and Lady streets, according to a Richland County news release. In 1941, a three-story dormitory for Black nurses was built at Laurens and Washington streets.
The parking lot and parking garage for the County’s Administration Building now occupy those spaces.
The Columbia Hospital School of Nursing Alumnae Association of Black Nurses, organized in 1941, is sponsoring the historical marker. The association also sponsors the Blanche Lipsey White Scholarship for nursing students and plays host to reunions.p