Named for the sprawling “rich land” that supported hearty indigo and cotton plantations for generations, Richland County today is home to a diverse population of more than 390,000 residents.
The County was carved out of the Camden District in 1785 and flourished with rolling farmland as important trade routes were established along the Santee, Congaree and Saluda rivers. In 1786, the state capital was relocated from coastal Charleston to the geographic center of the state, and a new city was born. Once Columbia was established as the state capital and county seat, Richland County’s boundaries were formally incorporated on Dec. 18, 1799.
The balanced scale of justice and the South Carolina State House are featured on the Richland County seal, denoting the County’s significance as the headquarters of South Carolina State Legislature. During Gen. William T. Sherman’s burning of Columbia and surrounding areas in 1865, the State House was spared. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976.
From its agrarian roots to its establishment as the legislative hub of South Carolina, Richland County today boasts a vibrant military community at Fort Jackson, several acclaimed educational institutions, award-winning hospital systems, the South Carolina State Museum, a cutting-edge urban scene in downtown Columbia and a plethora of recreational activities, all nestled between its many rivers and lakes.
Richland County is more than just a great place to visit – it’s a great place to live, work and play.
Learn more about career opportunities. Read the latest Richland County news.
To read a brief history of Richland County, complete with vintage photographs, click here.