In the area that was to become Columbia The Congarees, frontier fort was built on the west bank of the Congaree River. The colonial government established a ferry system to connect the fort with the growing settlements on the east bank in 1754. It was chosen as the new state capital in 1786. Columbia, South Carolina finally became a chartered city in 1854.
During the Civil War on February 17, 1865, a great deal of the city was destroyed by fire while it was under the occupation of Union troops. After reconstruction, in the first few years of the 20th century, Columbia emerged as a regional textile and manufacturing center. In 1917 the city was selected as the site of Camp Jackson, a U.S. military installation. Columbia continued to grow and flourish and became a city with many museums.
In the 1990s and early 2000s, there was a revitalization of the Columbia downtown area. The Congaree Vista district became home to art galleries, shops, and restaurants. The Colonial Life Arena opened in 2002 as a venue for big-name concerts and shows and the Colonial Metropolitan Convention Center opened in 2004 and in 2007 the new convention center hotel opened its doors.