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Pay a visit to the USC horseshoe

The Jonathan Maxcy Monument stands at the center of the USC Horseshoe. Maxcy was the first president of South Carolina College. Maxcy is buried in the graveyard at the First Presbyterian Church
The Jonathan Maxcy Monument stands at the center of the USC Horseshoe. Maxcy was the first president of South Carolina College. Maxcy is buried in the graveyard at the First Presbyterian Church
photo by author

The Horseshoe is the original campus of the University of South Carolina and, of course, the oldest. Composed of several buildings on both sides of a common, the Horseshoe is home to several campus landmarks. Notably, the President’s House, theMcKissick Museum,McCutchen House and the South Caroliniana Library.

In the center of the Horseshoe stands the Maxcy Monument. The monument was built in 1827 with $873 raised by the Clariosophic society. It honors the Rev. Jonathan Maxcy, the first president of South Carolina College (predecessor to the University) from 1805-1820.

The McKissick Museum is at the head of the Horseshoe and serves as the University Museum and also houses the University Visitor Center. There are both permanent and special exhibits. There is no admission charge.

McCutchen House is a restaurant operated by the University School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Management. An excellent buffet is served Tuesday-Friday during the academic year. A lighter menu is served during the summer.

The South Caroliniana Library is the University’s Research and Special Collections Library. Housed in a building designed by Robert Mills, it also houses several collections of papers of famous South Carolinians, notably, former Governor James Byrnes, among others.

The President’s House serves as the residence of the President of the University. It also hosted the visit of Pope (now Saint) John Paul II on his visit to Columbia in 1987. On that occasion, His Holiness said,

"It is wonderful to be young.

It is wonderful to be young and a student.

It is wonderful to be young and a student at the University of South Carolina.”

This quotation is inscribed on a plaque in the garden in front of the house.

The Horseshoe is an excellent place to soak up some of the history of our state’s flagship university. It is a pleasant oasis in downtown Columbia.

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