South Carolina

Douglas Cemetery – Columbia, South Carolina

South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Richland County Photos  |  Douglas Cemetery

Ruins from an old cemetery rest quietly in a Columbia neighborhood. A rustic sign identifies the roadside burial site as the Douglass Cemetery (officially known as Douglas Cemetery). The cemetery was established in 1908 as a nine-acre African-American graveyard by the Metropolitan Development Company, and records show that plots were drawn to maximize usable space with little regard to visitors or landscaping. It was developed on the original site of the State Fair. In 1914 Metropolitan Development defaulted on its mortgage, and the land – less the 131 cemetery lots it sold from 1908 though 1914 – was sold to the treasurer of Metropolitan Development who in turn sold it to the Douglas Realty Company in 1915.

Douglass Cemetery Sign

Michael Mascari of Blythewood, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Despite this transaction, the property once again faced foreclosure and was back on the market by the end of that year. It was sold to the Douglass Memorial Cemetery Company in 1918. The extra –s on the name was a typo from a 1918 document; the official name uses just one –s. The cemetery continued to change hands over the years until it was sold to Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery in 1950, which in turn sold a tract to Park Street Pentecostal Holiness Church – originally called Riverside Pentecostal Holiness Church – in 1954 for five dollars. It appears the church built on top of existing burial sites with no effort to relocate them. The church also developed the Bernard Circle neighborhood during this period, also likely on top of African-American graves. Later that year the remaining five acres of land still owned by Hillcrest was also sold to the church, but this time the existing cemetery plots were excluded in the sale. The church then sold the five acres to a businessman in 1955, neglecting to except the burial sites in the sale.

Douglass Cemetery Columbia

Michael Mascari of Blythewood, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The property continued to change hands until half of the five acres was donated to the Catholic Archdiocese of Charleston. The remaining half was bought by the City of Columbia in 1988, which the city then traded with Carolina Wrecking, Inc. and bought back in 2008. Also in the late 1980s, the city acquired the Bernard Circle houses, which were subsequently demolished so as to relocate rail lines for the CSX Railroad. Today the cemetery property is held by six owners, including the City of Columbia, CSX Railroad, the Archdiocese of Charleston, and the Church of Christ, which eventually bought the church property from Park Street Pentecostal Holiness.

Douglass Cemetery

Michael Mascari of Blythewood, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Though the original property was converted into a burial ground for local black residents, the cemetery was always controlled by white entities, including bankers and developers. Another nearby African-American cemetery, Randolph Cemetery, offered more affordable plots than Douglas; however, that cemetery was primarily used by black professionals and tradesmen. Despite the higher cost of Douglas Cemetery, those buried within it were poorer. Unsurprisingly, fewer plots were bought in Douglas Cemetery at the onset of the Great Depression. Yet over 1,000 people were buried at Douglas Cemetery during its operational years.

Douglass Cemetery Ruins

Michael Mascari of Blythewood, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Today around four acres of the original nine are intact, though the acreage is in poor condition. The most intact portion is that owned by the Archdiocese. The last known burial at Douglas Cemetery occurred in 1979.

Douglas Cemetery Info

Address: Beaufort Street, Columbia, SC 29201
GPS Coordinates: 34.018138,-81.049145

Douglas Cemetery Map

Douglas Cemetery – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Douglas Cemetery, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!


The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!

One Comment about Douglas Cemetery

Amir BeyNo Gravatar says:
January 23rd, 2017 at 9:44 am

I would like to visit Douglas Cemetery while I am in the Columbia area during February 20-23rd. My great grandmother Nancy Suber and two of her sons, Isaiah and Clarence Suber are also buried there. She passed away in 1934, Clarence in 1925, and Isaiah near the time his mother passed away.

Douglas Cemetery - Related Entries

Lindler Home

Palmer School seen from the front
Palmer School

Thomas Sumter Burial Site

Williamston Mineral Park Sign

Moses Rogers Grave Marker

Augustin Wilson Marker

Richardson Cemetery

Douglas Cemetery

Williamsburg Cemetery


Join Us on Facebook
Our 5 Goals
Our Contributors
Add Info
Add Pictures
Search for Pictures
Missing Landmarks


Abbeville ACE Basin Aiken Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Banks Barns & Farms Barnwell Batesburg-Leesville Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Cordesville Courthouses Darlington Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Elloree Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Fountain Inn Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historical Photos Historic Houses Honea Path Hopkins Huger Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Johns Island Johnsonville Johnston Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lake Marion Lakes Lancaster Landrum Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Manning Marion McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mount Carmel Mount Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Pacolet Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Pinopolis Plantations Port Royal Post Offices Ravenel Restaurants Ridge Spring Ridgeway Rivers Roadside Oddities Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Sunset Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Waterfalls Water Towers West Columbia Westminster Winnsboro Yemassee York