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The South Carolina State Farmers' Market, Bluff Road: Summer 2010   7 comments

Posted at 10:57 pm in Uncategorized

Growing up, the State Farmers' Market on Bluff Road was a place we certainly knew about, but visited very seldom. We seemed to get there only the fall, primarily in pecan season, and in my memories from the 1960s, the place already seemed to belong to another, earlier era.

With its seeming miles of sheds, noisy ancient looking refrigeration equipment, and ramshackle storefronts that could have been tropic river trading posts in any old movie, it almost justified Al Stewart's later lyric:

On a morning from a Bogart movie
In a country where they turn back time
You go strolling through the crowd like Peter Lorre Contemplating a crime..

Of course, we weren't contemplating a crime, but I wouldn't have been at all surprised to see a black and white Sidney Greenstreet around any corner.

Later, of course, as with many childhood memories, I found that you can't go home again, and when I visited the place a few times in the 80s, it simply seemed run-down.

The day I took these pictures, 28 August 2009, was the first time I had been there in probably 20 years, and it still had not changed much, although by that point, the fate of the place had been sealed, with USC to get the property and the new market location out on the Charleston Highway already under construction.

I did drive out to the new place recently, and I'm afraid to report that while it looks nice enough, it doesn't have any romance at all that I can see. Hopefully it does to *today's* six year olds.

Written by ted on January 10th, 2012

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7 Responses to 'The South Carolina State Farmers' Market, Bluff Road: Summer 2010'

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  1. Perfect example of 'they tore down paradise and put up a parking lot.'

    Spent a lot of time here as a kid; we got most of our fruits and veggies from the SFM when it was warm, which was most of the time in sunny SC. Yeah, it looked run down, but that was part of the charm.

    As a kid, all our Christmas trees came from here, and even after I got married, my wife and I usually got our trees here until we succumbed to the convenience of an artifical tree.

    It was sad to see it go, the when the tail of USC wags, sadly, the dog of Columbia gets wagged as well.

    Never have been to the new market and probably never will. It isn't nearly as convenient as the old market was.


    11 Jan 12 at 7:37 am

  2. Lived in Charlotte in the late 1970's and enjoyed visiting and purchasing produce from the wholesale vendors and farmers.

    Sad , they tore down something that had meaning and replaced it with yet another " newer , better " at the edge of town.

    Won't be going to the new Market .


    26 Mar 14 at 4:27 pm

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    17 Jul 14 at 8:50 am

  4. I grew up on the old farmers market. My family had a business there for over 40 years. I loved getting up early in the morning and going to work with my grandfather. I really think they could have made this into a very unique attraction for Columbia. The location was right across from the stadium. It needed a lot of work, was run down but had charm and history. Columbia dropped the ball on this and it’s gone forever. Was a special place to me.

    Brad Marchant

    26 Sep 18 at 8:00 pm

  5. We stopped by the Farmers Market to get some fresh peaches last month on a Saturday and there were only about a dozen vendors and even fewer shoppers there. Pretty sad compared to the activity that used to take place on Bluff Road.

    Joe Shlabotnik

    27 Sep 18 at 5:07 am

  6. Like everything else in that original area of the Farmers Market, USC has just about taken over that entire side of town. They've already taken over across the Gervais Bridge and Harden St., and the original location of the FM..and just a matter of time before the Kline Family sells out to USC. I miss how it used to be over in that area across from the Stadium.


    28 Sep 18 at 6:48 pm

  7. Folks, plans for a new Bluff Road Farmer's Market is in the works...


    8 Jul 22 at 12:56 pm

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