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Where recreation meets history: Sesquicentennial State Park

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Just off Two Notch Road, about 8 miles from downtown Columbia, is Sesquicentennial State Park, a unit of the South Carolina Park System. In addition to the usual things you will find in a park, like boats, a lake and a campground, there is also a significant piece of history. The park was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. (CCC)

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The CCC was a depression-era program that provided jobs to thousands of unemployed men in South Carolina. For that work, the men received housing, meals and $30 a month. The CCC, which operated under the auspices of the War Department, had a major hand in establishing the South Carolina State Park System, the first park being Myrtle Beach State Park which opened in 1936. The CCC was disbanded in 1942.

Sesquicentennial State Park opened in 1939-40, according to Park Manager Daniel Gambrell. According to Gambrell, there are several picnic shelters, a boathouse and white stone markers that were constructed by the CCC. These structures are so marked . The park’s name comes from its opening in conjunction with the Sesquicentennial of the City of Columbia in 1936.

The park offers a 30 acre lake, a campground and several picnic shelters as well as open picnic tables. Boats are available for rent on an hourly or daily basis. A log cabin, moved from another part of Columbia in the 1960s, also stands in the park. A nominal fee is charged for entrance to the park.

So escape the hustle and bustle of downtown Columbia and get a dose of history with your recreation, visit Sesquicentennial State Park!

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