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Missouri, Columbia, African-American Heritage Trail Historical Markers

A 2-mile walking trail in central Columbia with dozens of historical markers highlighting Columbia’s black community. Centered around the Sharp End, the black business district that thrived until 1950s urban renewal projects destroyed much of Columbia’s vibrant black community, leaving only fading memories which the markers serve to recall.
 
3rd Street Market, Blue & White Café, and the Harvey House Marker image, Touch for more information
By Devry Becker Jones (CC0), March 21, 2021
3rd Street Market, Blue & White Café, and the Harvey House Marker
1 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — 3rd Street Market, Blue & White Café, and the Harvey House
From the 1930s through the 1960s, the two buildings located on the west side of 3rd Street between Pendleton & Switzler were a hub for family and commerce in Columbia's black community. A one-story, brick building housed the 3rd Street Market . . . Map (db m169472) HM
2 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — African American Heritage Trail
Alvan B. Coleman (1897-1968) owned Coleman Coal and Salvage, Tiger Theater, Tiger Lounge and other real estate. His father, James B. Coleman, was principal at Douglass School; his mother Julia taught there. Until Urban Renewal, the family home . . . Map (db m169469) HM
3 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — African-American Heritage Trail
McKinney Building — Built in 1917 by Columbia black businessman Fred McKinney, the two-story building housed various businesses at street level. When completed, the building was heralded as "well finished" and praised for being among the first . . . Map (db m169431) HM
4 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — African-American Heritage Trail
In the 1950s, businessman Alvan B. Coleman, with partners Edward and Ellis Tibbs, owned and operated the Tiger Theater at 109. N. Fifth Street. It was a theater for blacks by day and a nightclub at night. Their liquor store was in an adjacent . . . Map (db m169436) HM
5 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — African-American Heritage Trail
Fifth Street Christian Church, founded as Second Christian Church, Disciples of Christ in 1861, is considered the first black church in the city. The first permanent church opened in 1879 at Seventh and Ash streets. With more than 200 . . . Map (db m169442) HM
6 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — African-American Heritage Trail
Nora Stewart School opened in 1933 as the Negro Nursery School at 401 Park Ave. J.B. Coleman, an educator, owned the house and knew working parents needed a place for their children during the day. The school moved to the St. Paul AME Church and . . . Map (db m169444) HM
7 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — African-American Heritage Trail
Gravesites for blacks were initially segregated in the south-central end of Columbia Cemetery near its intersection of Boone Road and Todd Drive. Blacks buried in this section include famed ragtime pianist and composer J.W. "Blind" Boone and . . . Map (db m169446) HM
8 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — African-American Heritage Trail
Trubie's Market, 115 N. Garth, was owned by Trubie (Edwards) Smith from the early 1940s to the mid-1960s. it was one of few neighborhood markets serving blacks and one of the few women-owned businesses in the city then. "Ms. Trubie," who was . . . Map (db m169462) HM
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9 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — African-American Heritage Trail
Doby Flats—Stephen Doby, born on a S. Carolina plantation in 1854, came to Columbia about 1915. He built/owned Doby Flats (residential buildings) nearby and other houses. Wiggins Medical Clinic—Doby's daughter Ruth, a legendary teacher at . . . Map (db m169465) HM
10 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — African-American Heritage Trail
Henry Kirklin (1858-1938) was a prize-winning internationally acclaimed horticulturalist. Born a slave in Columbia, he was freed at age 5. At age 14, he worked at Joseph B. Douglass' nursery, learning from European gardeners. Later, as a . . . Map (db m169474) HM
11 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — African-American Heritage Trailhead
The African-American Heritage Trail commemorates Columbia's blacks, their enterprises and churches from the city's first 200 years. The Trail honors people who overcame enormous odds to achieve outstanding legacies, some receiving national and . . . Map (db m169420) HM
12 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — Annie Fisher's HouseAfrican-American Heritage Trail
Annie Fisher (1867-1938) was heralded nationally for her business success. One of 11 children born in present-day Columbia to former slaves Robert and Charlotte Knowles, Annie worked as a child rocking cradles for white families. She learned to . . . Map (db m169473) HM
13 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — Douglass Park and Pool, Russell ChapelAfrican-American Heritage Trail
A city park in the black community was included in the official City of Columbia plans as early as 1935. For years, families had enjoyed outdoor summer activities at Douglass School, including baseball, softball, dances and picnics. Support for a . . . Map (db m169471) HM
14 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — Lest We Forget: Lynching at the Stewart Road Bridge
Near this place James T. Scott, a Black janitor in the medical school at MU, was killed on April 29th, 1923. A mob brought Mr. Scott to the bridge, placed a noose around his neck, and pushed him over the railing while hundreds of spectators watched. . . . Map (db m169415) HM
15 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — Sharp End
From the early 1900s to the 1960, the Sharp End business district was a city within a city for Columbia's black community. Stretching from Fifth to Sixth streets on both sides of Walnut Street. Sharp End was a robust business center with . . . Map (db m169437) HM
16 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — The John William "Blind" Boone Home and the Second Missionary Baptist Church
During the early 20th century, the buildings at 4th and Broadway provided space where faith, music, and community converged. At 10 North 4th Street stands the home (c. 1890) of John William "Blind" Boone, a composer and concert pianist. His manager, . . . Map (db m169432) HM
17 Missouri, Boone County, Columbia — Tibbs BuildingAfrican American Heritage Trail
Tibbs Building — Built about 1940 at 17/19 Fifth St., the building housed Vess Bottling Co. Around 1960, Urban Renewal began displacing numerous black-owned businesses nearby. One of few to escape demolition, the building was purchased in 1962 . . . Map (db m169435) HM
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Apr. 23, 2024