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Columbia Housing Salutes Black History - T.S. Martin


Black History TS Martin

Columbia Housing is proud to celebrate Black History month by highlighting notable figures that impacted our organization and community.

Thomas Sinkler Martin

1911 - 1993

Martin was born in 1911 in Charleston. He received his bachelor degree from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte and a master's degree from the University of Michigan before returning to teach in Columbia, South Carolina, where he lived on Barhamville Road. Martin distinguished himself among students and adults alike with his innovative methods of teaching and coaching, which included creating his own tennis courts for Booker T. Washington by mashing red clay with trash cans, and instructing students in Jewish folk dances and gymnastics.

Martin worked assiduously to improve the physical education and health of young African Americans in segregated Columbia, founding a health and fitness program in city elementary schools and acting as director of the Richland County Red Cross and the Columbia Area Mental Health and Community Care. T.S. Martin Park, located north of Barhamville Road and W.A. Perry Middle School, was created in 1980 and named in honor of Martin's commitment and service to the black youth of Columbia. Martin was perhaps best known for his highly successful tenure as director of Drew Pool, where he led the boys and girls Drew Park Pool Sharks to multiple championships.

Columbia Housing opened the T.S. Martin community in August, 2002.The land where the T.S Martin community was built was donated by the City of Columbia, and is located off Germany Street in Downtown Columbia. The community consists of 35 single-family homes, all with three bedrooms. The community was built during Phase i of the HOPE VI grant receved for the revitalization of Saxon Homes.

Columbia Housing celebrates its 90th Anniversary in 2024. We currently serve over 16,000 individuals and families in the CIty of Columbia, Richland County and the City of Cayce.

Special thanks to Historic Columbia for their work to capture the early history of Columbia Housing