Columbia in Richland County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
This cottage, built before 1850, with alterations and additions throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, was the home of Celia Mann (1799-1867) and her husband Ben Delane, among the few free blacks living in Columbia in the two decades before the Civil War. Mann, born a slave in Charleston, earned or bought her freedom in the 1840s and moved to Columbia, where she worked as a midwife.
Three Baptist churches (First Calvary, Second Calvary, and Zion) trace their origins to services held in the basement of this house. After Mann’s death her daughter Agnes Jackson (d. 1907) lived here; descendants of Agnes Jackson’s second husband Bill Simons owned the house until 1960. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1973 and has been a museum since 1977.
Erected 2003 by First Calvary Baptist Church, Second Calvary Baptist Church, and Zion Baptist Church. (Marker Number 40-126.)
Location. 34° 0.704′ N, 81° 2.059′ W. Marker is in Columbia, South Carolina, in Richland County. Marker is on Ridgeland Street near Marion Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Columbia SC 29201, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. Ebenezer Lutheran Church (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); DeBruhl-Marshall House (about 500 feet away); Modjeska Simkins House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Ladson Presbyterian Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Richland Street (approx. 0.2 miles away); Beth Shalom Synagogue (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of Blanding House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of Columbia Male Academy (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Columbia.
Regarding Mann-Simons Cottage. The Mann-Simons Cottage, built ca. 1850, is an important site that illustrates a wide range of African American history. As the antebellum home of a substantial free black Columbia family, it is the prototype survivor of a cluster of houses belonging to a significant group in Columbia’s population before the Civil War. The cottage is a reminder that, during the antebellum period, free blacks lived and associated with the white community a great deal more than has heretofore been realized. Celia Mann, the earliest known owner of the house, was instrumental in establishing an early, post-Civil War, black church in the city. The First Calvary Baptist Church was organized in the Simons Cottage, with religious services held in the basement. Her daughter, Agnes Jackson, married Bill Simons,
National Register of Historic Places:
Mann-Simons Cottage (added 1973 - - #73001726)
♦ Also known as Simons Cottage;The Mann-Simons Cottage
♦ 1403 Richland St. , Columbia
♦ Historic Significance: Person, Event
♦ Historic Person: Simons, Bill
♦ Significant Year: 1875, 1850
♦ Area of Significance: Black, Social History, Performing Arts
♦ Period of Significance: 1875-1899, 1850-1874
♦ Owner: Local
♦ Historic Function: Domestic
♦ Historic Sub-function: Single Dwelling
Categories. • African Americans • Notable Buildings •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on February 26, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,058 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 28, 2010, by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.