Bull Street Timeline

A chronicle of the history and context of the South Carolina State Hospital at Bull Street from its conception to its recent development.

A group of three students from the class in charge of production of the Digitizing Bull Street website - Meg Southern, Robert Olguin, and Clara Bertagnolli - have developed this timeline as an expansive outline of the history of the Bull Street site, the buildings constructed on it, and the people important to it, along with local and national historic contexts.;xNLx;;xSTx;br;xETx;;xSTx;font color="#ffffff";xETx;View options for this interactive timeline can be accessed via the circular 3d button on the bottom left side and the circular wrench button on the bottom right side.;xSTx;/font;xETx;

1786-02-01 00:00:00

Columbia Founded

“The location of Columbia, South Carolina’s capital, was chosen in 1786 to resolve a conflict for control of the state between the rich, powerful planters of the Low Country and the more numerous Piedmont farmers of the Up Country. The political compromise was to locate the capital equidistant between the sections on the sand hills overlooking the confluence of the Saluda and Broad rivers where the Congaree is formed.” (Marion Lucas, Burning of Columbia, p.19)

1791-05-01 00:00:00

Columbia Becomes Capital

South Carolina's capital city shifted from Charleston to Columbia in 1791.

1812-01-01 19:22:00

Samuel Farrow

(1760-1824) Samuel Farrow gained prestige and recognition through his participation in the military, eventually rising to the rank of Colonel. From his military service and former occupation as a lawyer, Farrow decided to pursue politics and became a member of the House of representatives (1812-1816). Known as the "Father of the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum, Farrow was an essential component to the initiation and creation of the Asylum.

1812-01-01 19:22:00

William Crafts

Major William Crafts, a senator from Charleston County, spearheaded the legislation which authorized the construction of the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum and the School for the Deaf and Dumb.

1821-01-01 09:14:09

Robert Mills

(1781-1855) Born in Charleston, S.C., Robert Mills was an architect for many public buildings within the state of South Carolina. In addition, Mills was the architect for the first building of the Hospital. The building's cornerstone was laid on December 21, 1821 and was completed on December 18, 1827. His most recognizable design, however, was the Washington Monument which is located in Washington D.C.

1821-01-01 20:21:45

Dr. James B. Davis

Appointed in 1821, James Davis was a member of the Board of Commissioners that worked alongside Samuel Farrow and William Crafts in acquiring resources to purchase the land for the South Carolina Insane Asylum. Once construction started, the Board asked Davis to travel north and research other established Insane Asylums. After Davis came back and reported his findings, he was appointed as the first physician of the Asylum.

1821-12-20 00:00:00

Authorization Act

SC General Assembly passes act to begin construction for a lunatic asylum.

1821-12-20 00:00:00

Mills Building Constructed

The first building of the South Carolina Lunatic Asylum is constructed, designed by Robert Mills with brickwork by William Gray.

1821-12-20 00:00:00

"South Carolina Lunatic Asylum"

The hospital is established as the "South Carolina Lunatic Asylum."

1822-12-16 00:00:00

First Four Acres Purchased

Four acres are purchased within Columbia to accommodate 80 to 100 patients with room for expansion.

1835-01-01 20:21:45

Dr. Daniel Trezevant

Appointed in January 1835, Daniel Trezevant succeeded Dr. James Davis as the physician for the Lunatic Asylum. Trezevant also served as a member of the Board of Regents.

1836-01-01 10:53:52

Dr. John Waring Parker

John Parker became the first Superintendent of the Asylum in 1836, mainly because Daniel Trezevant, with the support of James Davis, realized the responsibilities of the Asylum were too large for the Head Physician to handle on their own. After stepping down as Superintendent, Parker became an assistant physician in 1876.

1838-07-12 11:01:45

Addition to Mills Buildling Completed

An addition is made to the Mills Building. Another matching addition is constructed later, in 1844.

1840-02-01 00:00:00

Park Construction Begins

Original construction of Sidney/Seaboard/Finlay Park. Constructed under the supervision of city councilman Algernon Sidney Johnston in the 1840s, the public park featured trees, paths, reflecting pools, benches, and a bandstand.

1844-10-10 10:23:17

Superintendents Form Association

The Association of Medical Superintendents of American Institutions for the Insane, also known as AMSAII, is organized.

1848-12-20 00:00:00

Forty Additional Acres Acquired

Additional forty acres acquired for the Insane Asylum.

1852-04-01 00:00:00

Palmetto Armory and Ironworks

William Glaze and James Boatwright established the Palmetto Armory in 1852. It became Palmetto Iron Works in 1854, and produced various firearms for the Confederacy during the Civil War.

1855-10-01 01:01:01

Babcock Building Constructed

The New Asylum building is constructed in five stages.

1857-01-01 20:58:48

George E. Walker

A native of Charleston, South Carolina, George Walker was the initial architect of the New Asylum in 1857. Following the framework of the Kirkbride plan, Walker developed and defined the plans for the the building’s construction, however, only was under contract to complete the South Wing of the New Asylum, finishing his work in 1858.

1859-01-01 03:24:24

Dorothea Dix

An advocate and national leader in promoting humane care for the mentally ill, Dorothea Dix made two visits to the South Carolina Insane Asylum. Dix first visit in 1852 was on her own accord and had no affiliation with the Asylum. In 1859, and as part of an effort to improve the Asylum’s conditions, the Board requested Dix participation in articulating suggestions to advance and modify the Asylum.

1861-04-12 00:00:00

Shots Fired on Fort Sumter

The Confederate Army fires on Fort Sumter in Charleston, starting the Civil War.

1863-01-01 00:00:00

Emancipation Proclamation

President Abraham Lincoln sets forth the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing all enslaved people in the United States.

1864-01-01 00:00:00

Camp Asylum Occupies Hospital Campus

A camp is constructed on the south end of the Lunatic Asylum campus, to be used as a prison camp for Union officers.

1865-01-31 15:30:16

Thirteenth Amendment Passed

Congress passes the Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, abolishing slavery in the United States.

1865-02-01 00:00:00

Columbia Burns

One third of the city burned as a result of conflict brought on by the occupation of Union troops.

1865-04-09 00:00:00

General Lee Surrenders

General Robert E. Lee surrenders the Confederate army to General Ulysses S. Grant of the Union Army, thus ending the Civil War.

1869-01-01 06:47:19

Dr. Joshua Fulton Ensor

Joshua Ensor became a superintendent of the Asylum in 1869. Ensor eventually resigned eight years later on December 31, 1877.

1875-03-01 00:00:00

Civil Rights Act of 1875

An act to guarantee equal public treatment of African-Americans; states react with Jim Crow Laws.

1878-01-01 06:24:04

Peter E. Griffin

Peter Griffin became an asylum superintendent in 1878 and resigned towards the end of 1890.

1879-01-16 15:30:16

Edison Invents the Lightbulb

Thomas Edison invents the first incandescent lightbulb, starting the popularization of electricity.

1879-12-20 00:00:00

The Wigg Farm

Additonal one hundred acres acquired.

1880-09-20 00:00:00

The Parker Farm

Additional fifty two and three quarters acquired.

1880-12-20 00:00:00

Cemetery Land Purchased

A half acre within Elmwood Cemetery is purchased for patient burials.

1883-05-15 00:00:00

The Black Place Acquired

Additional ninety eight acres acquired.

1884-09-11 00:00:00

Laundry Building Constructed

A laundry building is constructed behind the Babcock Building.

1887-10-12 09:16:58

Laundry Burns Down

The laundry building burns down, and a new one is constructed in its place.

1891-01-01 04:04:48

Dr. James Woods Babcock

Originally from Chester, South Carolina, Babcock graduated from Harvard University. Babcock pioneered research regarding Pellagra, which is a disease caused by malnutrition and deficient diets. In 1891, Babcock became the superintendent of the State Hospital, holding that position until 1914.

1896-01-01 23:13:48

"S.C. State Hospital for the Insane"

The institution's name changes to the "South Carolina State Hospital for the Insane."

1896-03-29 18:23:24

The Wallace Acquired

Additional one hundred and ten acres and four dwelling houses acquired.

1896-03-30 18:23:24

Payment for The Wallace Land

$27,003.00 paid for the recent acquisition of one hundred and ten acres and four dwelling houses.

1896-04-01 00:00:00

Columbia Streetcar Rails Extended

Main Street streetcar lines were extended north beyond modern Elmwood Avenue. It provided greater connectivity between the Hyatt Park and Eau Claire neighborhoods to downtown.

1896-05-14 07:57:12

Columbia's Orphanage Founded

Originally known as Epworth Orphanage, Epworth Children's Home provided care for Columbia's parentless children.

1896-05-18 00:00:00

Plessy v. Ferguson

The Supreme Court rules "separate but equal" to be constitutional.

1896-12-18 18:23:24

Murdock Land Acquired

Additional 3.52 acres acquired.

1896-12-20 18:23:24

Commercial Bank Property Acquired

Additional property of a house and lot facing Bull street acquired for $3,000.00

1896-12-30 00:24:11

New Road Constructed

Construction of a new road within the property connecting Bull Street to the old Asylum road.

1898-12-22 00:00:00

Parker Building Completed

The Parker Building is completed to house African-American patients.

1900-09-05 00:00:00

Bakery Constructed

A bakery building is constructed behind Babcock, across from the laundry building.

1902-04-01 00:00:00

Columbia Grows Beyond City Limits

Columbia gained its first suburban neighborhood in 1902, when architecturally distinctive cottages fronting Bull Street established the beginnings of Cottontown.

1902-12-20 16:26:34

The Jones Land Acquired

Additional three and a quarter acres acquired.

Bull Street Timeline

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