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Forest Lake Park, Forest Lake Shopping Center (Trenholm Road & Forest Drive): 1970s   56 comments

Posted at 4:22 pm in closing

What does it mean to say a park is "closed"? Well, the land could be sold and built, there could be a fence to keep people out, or as in the case of Forest Lake Park, it could just have been abandoned by its owners, whoever they were.

Forest Lake Shopping Center is on the corner of Trenholm Road and Forest Drive, directly across Forest from Threnholm Plaza and has had its ups and downs. Originally, the center was anchored by Campbell's Drug Store which was directly on the corner. Down from Campbell's on the storefronts facing Forest were my longtime barbershop, a hardware store and a lot of shops I've completely forgotten. The hardware closed fairly early on (probably by 1970) and at some point a 7-11 moved into that row.

I don't remember much about the storefronts facing away from Forest except that there was a cloth shop at one time, and later some sort of clothing store where I was fitted for a suit once. Across the parking lot from Campbell's, was a small branch bank, denomination forgotten, where my mother often used the drive-through. Behind the bank was a creek, with a footbridge over it leading off into the adjoining neighboorhood.

The Campbell's block of stores was separated from another block by an access cut-through, and this other block was generally more important to us, as the main part of it (now Coplons) was a Colonial grocery store, my mother's favored place to buy groceries. I don't know exactly why this was, as even then, Columbia didn't lack for grocery stores, and there was an A&P right across the road in Trenholm Plaza. The thing I remember is that she was convinced that "Farm Charm" medium-sharp chedder was the only cheese worth buying (she convinced me as well) and "Farm Charm" was available only at Colonial or Big Star groceries. (There was a Big Star abuting the K-Mart on Fort Jackson Blvd). The block of stores with Colonial also held Forest Lake TV, where we had our sets repaired several times, and Sakura Japanese restaurant, which is still there, and must be the oldest Japanese restaurant in Columbia.

Colonial folded (I think) in the late 60s (leaving us to go over to Big Star for cheese..). I don't recall how long it was before Coplon's moved in, but I'm pretty sure it was there before they knocked down the whole Campbell's side of the shopping center (dispossessing my barbers) and put in the new First Citizens and Talbots there. The branch bank had closed by then, and its space is now taken over by a gallery/frame-shop with the outbuildings being sucessfully run by an enterprising garden store.

What does this have to do with the park? Well, my impression always was that the park was run by Colonial as a place for kids to go play while their mothers' shopped. (Yes, in those days, as long as it wasn't across a major road, you could send the kids out of sight to play!). When Colonial went under, the park stopped being maintained. Every now and then, there might be a minor repair, which I imagine the (mostly hard-luck by now) shops being dunned for, but in general there was nothing. The last major thing to happen was the carting off of the swingset, which had been swing-less for years.

Today, there are 3 fixtures. Here are two, the bench and the monkey bars:

Here's a closer look at the monkey bars:

I have a particularly vivid memory of these. Once, when my mother was shopping at Colonial, and my sister & I were playing in the park, I had one of those ideas that seems good at the time and decided that I could probably hang by my knees off of the bars across the top. As it turned out, I could. What I couldn't do, being little more athletic then than now, was get down again. After several increasingly anxious minutes of contemplating a drop onto the ground or the other bars, I sent my sister into Colonial to get my mother, who (the situation probably having been conveyed to her in a garbled manner to sound more alarming than it was) abandoned her cart and came racing around the corner. In the event, I had just figured out how to get down anyway...

Gills Creek forms the backdrop for the park, and I'm a bit surprised that no restaurant on either side of the creek has ever had a creek deck. It's rather peaceful and pleasant:

Here's Gills Creek on the other side of the bridge from the park:

Eightmile Branch forms the back boundry of Forest Lake Shopping Center and here's where it runs into Gills Creek:

Here is the park's third fixture, a merry-go-round:

Of course there is a drawback to having a park (or shopping center for that matter) bordered by creeks: Creeks rise.

Sometime back in the 90s, we had a 100 year flood in Forest Acres. At that point, a lot of Gamewell Drive was under water with parts of Sylvan Drive innundated as well. Given its position at the confluence of Eightmile Branch & Gills Creek, a good bit of Forest Lake Shopping Center was under water (most of the Garden Center area) as was all of the park. One of the local stations, I believe it was WLTX, had a crew in the parking lot shooting footage of the flood. I had to tell them they were looking at a park (I think I got on TV, but I can't recall for sure). At that point, the merry-go-round was completely invisible under at least six inches of water. For some reason, I was walking around in my flip-flops, having parked my car a good ways off. I considered wading out to the merry-go-round to ride a turn around on it to give them a good visual, but decided I wasn't going to risk my feet on who knows what washed up detritus without something more substantial shielding them. I know I took some flood pictures myself, if I ever find them again, I'll get them digitized and post a few.

Anyway, if you want to sit on a bench, climb the monkey-bars, or take a spin on the merry-go-round Forest Lake Park is still there for now..

UPDATE 15 May 2010 -- Here's a pointless quicktime video of the merry-go-round in motion from 26 Aug 2009

And here's Forest Lake Park in the snow from 13 Feb 2010:

UPDATE 10 Feb 2011 -- In April 2010, someone cut down a honking big pine tree, and put the segments around the merry-go-round:

UPDATE 4 April 2013: Tragedy!

I'm guessing that with the continuing renovations at the old Dobbs House/Forest Lake Spirits/Carolina Paws building, somebody noticed the park and the merry-go-round and decided it was a huge liability issue. At any rate, both remaining park fixtures, the merry-go-round and an old park bench have been torn out and the park is now just an empty lot except for the ring of buried bricks around where the merry-go-round used to be:





















Here's two shots from my first and only TV interview at the park on 1 March 2011:



UPDATE 25 June 2017 -- Changed the merry-go-round video to a youtube embed rather than a hosted .mov file.

Written by ted on March 28th, 2008

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56 Responses to 'Forest Lake Park, Forest Lake Shopping Center (Trenholm Road & Forest Drive): 1970s'

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  1. Wow! This brings back memories! My folks used to run the restraunt that faced Forest Drive & was directly in front of the park. The name of the place was Steak 'n Egg Kitchen. My brother & I would play there for hours as kids & then later on would always stop in for a few minutes of play when the folks had been moved up to managing all 6 restraunts in the city of Columbia (they had to check in with each one every day). We were there pretty much daily back during the late 60's & thru-out the 70's. Still have fond memories of the place. I never really saw anyone else there when we were there, so we kind of thought of it as our own little playground. Don't know if it was just a matter of timing or not, but over the years, I don't think we shared it with more than 2 dozens kids ever! I drove by a few years back & was saddened to see it looking abandoned. I never knew the park actually had a name! I remember when Copelan's moved in... I remember that huge flood - we came back by to see it too :-) Of course, there had been lots of earlier little floods - I remember playing in the flooded park several times, as well as one time sitting on the back loading dock at the restraunt with my feet kicking back & forth in anger because the water was too deep & Mom wouldn't let me go play in the water! I was sad to see the building change into other businesses after the restraunt was closed by the corporate office. But the park was always a welcome site.... sad to hear that it has pretty much been abandoned for good. It was such a nice peaceful place - so pretty - a little bit of green tucked away amidst all the concrete that was kind of brusing to me as a kid.... Oh well...

    Lisa B.

    29 Mar 08 at 12:27 pm

  2. Well, I'll admit that I needed a name for the headline and figured that it was probably called "Forest Lake Park" because of the shopping center and the area. I don't know that for a fact.

    I remember the Steak n Egg kitchen, though I had completely forgotten about it until reading your comment! We didn't go there very often, but when we did, there was a desert I had to get. I think it was called "black bottom pie". After that closed, there was some other restaurant for a very short while about which I can recall very little other than it seemed to be a family operation, and they made their own potato chips ("home fries"). Currently it's a liquor store, I think. It would be nice if Forest Acres would take on the park, but they have at least two in the general area already.


    29 Mar 08 at 5:46 pm

  3. Thought I would mention that the "park"behind Coplon's is owned by Bruce Greenberg, owner of Coplon's. The City of Forest Acres Appearance Commission received a small grant from the Richland County Conservation Commission to design a greenway/nature trail along Eight Mile Branch starting at Trenholm Rd and running along Gills Creek below Forest Lake dam near the "park", then under the Forest Drive bridge, behind Trenholm Plaza and continuing through some beautiful pristine land that ends near Forest Ridge Lane. The "park" (about an acre in size) would include benches, small play structures, picnic tables, a shelter. The design was completed by Grimball Cotterill Architects this year. Now the Forest Acres Council must decide whether to implement the design.

    There are really no parks that serve the Lakeshore Drive/Forest Lake Place side of City of Forest Acres. Citadel Park and Idalia Park serve residents near Crayton School. Quinine Park (major improvements in the works) serves residents near Beltline and Forest Drive. But, there are really no green space/parks facilities on the Forest Lake Place side of Trenholm Rd.

    I believe we should express interest in getting a green trail/park implemented in this area. Grants from the Richland County Conservation Commission and/or the SCPRT 2008 Recreational Trails Program are potential funding sources. We just need to let members of Forest Acres Council know that the citizens are interested in this. If you wish to contact members of the Forest Acres City Council, you can get their contact information on the Forest Acres website: and click on City Council.


    7 Apr 08 at 3:26 pm

  4. Very interesting!


    7 Apr 08 at 3:45 pm

  5. Never even knew this existed and I grew up in Forest Acres. Thanks for the history.


    8 Apr 08 at 2:35 pm

  6. Well, it's not really visible from Forest Drive, so unless you were shopping back there, or driving the back road to Forest Lake Garden Center, you'd miss it..


    10 Apr 08 at 12:14 pm

  7. "Across the parking lot from Campbell’s, was a small branch bank, denomination forgotten, where my mother often used the drive-through."

    It was a branch of First Citizens Bank. Nice place, nice people.


    29 Jun 08 at 10:41 am

  8. I used to play in this park, on that very same carousel and monkey bars when I was very little, about 45 years ago(!) waiting for my mom or dad, who were across the drive getting their teeth fixed by Dr. Schmidt.

    After a check up Dr. Schmidt gave you a coupon for an ice cream cone at Campbell's Drug Store.


    21 Aug 08 at 9:27 am

  9. Speaking of Forest Lake Shopping Center, does anyone remember Dodds 5-10-25 cents store on the back side of Campbell's Drug Store on the corner. I use to ride my bike there on the weekends and after school when I was about 8 or 9 years old in the late 1960's. They had a great selection of toys! Also, in the mid 70's, next door to where Campbell's Drug Store there was a Majik Market convenient store.


    27 Sep 08 at 1:25 pm

  10. Was Dodd's at Forest Lake? I remember it as by Western Auto at Trenholm Plaza.

    The Majik Market started out as an actual, branded, "7-11": the place that started the whole concept and is not a player anymore. They had Icees, yum! Also, there was a hardware store on that side, down past the 7-11 and barber shop.


    27 Sep 08 at 1:34 pm

  11. The store you're thinking about next to Western Auto was Roses. It was A & P at the very end(now Publix), then Western Auto, and then Roses. I use to go in there 1969-71 to buy my Topps Football Card packs in with the stick of gum inside. Across on the other side of Trenholm Plaza was Piggly Wiggly, W.T. Grants(a store like Roses) and Liggett/Rexall Drug Store. Do you remember for a couple of years in that time frame, they had a fireworks show in the middle of the parking lot. I think it was around the Fourth of July. I think they did the same thing at Richland Mall parking lot


    27 Sep 08 at 2:41 pm

  12. Yeah, Roses, that's right! I did a closing on Ligget's though I don't have any pictures.

    The whole deal with having both A&P and Piggly Wiggly in one plaza was a bit odd. Having Publix and Fresh Market makes a bit more sense as their concepts overlap less (though there is still a good deal of overlap, of course).


    27 Sep 08 at 10:48 pm

  13. Midlands Shopping Center also had a grocery store at either end, a Colonial Store, later called Big Star, and an A&P.

    Richland Mall had a Colonial Store/Big Star, and a Winn Dixie.

    When I was very young, about 4, my mother would shop at the Trenholm Plaza A&P and drop me off at the front of the store in this sort of kids corral. It had low walls about 3 ft high with a little door. Inside were comics and coloring books and puzzles etc. Nice idea but can you imagine trying this today?

    I bought my first Beatles 45s at that Dodd's next to Campbells Drug Store.


    29 Sep 08 at 8:18 am

  14. oh man the majik market. We had a paper route delivering the Columbia Record in the afternoons and we would get an icee at the majik market afterward.

    MR Bill

    29 Sep 08 at 10:21 am

  15. I took tap lessons at the old Calbert/Brody dance school in the early 80's. My friends and I would often play in this park while waiting for our parents to pick us up from class.


    14 Oct 08 at 10:35 pm

  16. Found this while looking for the name of an ice cream parlor in Trenholm Plaza. Anyone remember? I do remember Garber Shoes back in the corner where radio shack was. and some little deli next to it where Chico's is. I remember staying home from school because I had TERRIBLE poison ivy, and my mom and I met a friend of hers there for lunch. (60's). And my mom always bought my shoes from Mr. Garber. I believe Dr. Salter, the dentist was also in Trenholm Plaza. We had our dentistry done there.
    Back at Forest Lake, The men's store was run by Mr. Bob Moore, a neighbor of ours. My paternal grandparents had a laundrymat in Forest lake shopping center, before moving across Trenholm in the late 50's. It was a norge village with the big Norge ball out front. Then my father opened Gillespie Cleaners which was there until about 1998 until it was sold to Burnette's cleaners.

    The branch bank was First Citizens, because the Cleaners always did their banking there, and I can still see my grandmother walking across trenholm to make the deposit. Also, I loved the seemingly 'secret' passageway that went out the back side of Campbells to the shops in back.

    Mary Gillespie Johnson

    29 Oct 08 at 1:39 pm

  17. The dairy in Trenholm plaza was "The Edisto Dairy" and was associated with Edisto milk. I think Edisto was bought out by Coble, but I can't remember if the ice cream store became Coble. At any rate, it was where Hooligans now is, I think. (Edisto used to deliver our milk -- if I got up early, I could run down to the corner and meet the milkman, and he would let me steer the truck the rest of the way to our house. Man, things were a lot better before "insurance" started running our lives!)

    I do remember the Threnholm Plaza deli in that we went there several times, and I pressed my mother for an explanation of exactly what a "delicatessen" was and was never quite sure even after the explanation what distinguished a deli from other food stores. I did not know the "Gerber" in Gerber Shoes was a local -- I always assumed it was a chain.


    29 Oct 08 at 3:21 pm

  18. Edisto Farms Dairy was the name of the company that ran the Ice Cream Palor at Trenholm Plaza. They featured "Golden Guersey (sp?) Milk" and had square milk cartons. They had two or three animated signs around Columbia featuring milk being poured into glasses and giant cows heads. In the late 60's-early 70s they were later bought out by Coburg Dairy of Charleston.

    Edisto made a whole range of dairy products, including cheeses and ice creams which you could by at the Trenholm Plaza location. Coburg did too for a while, but now I think they do only milk.

    BTW, what is probably confusing you about gerber shoes is that they featured "Pol Parrott Shoes," which I think was a franchise/license type deal as they had a large neon sign on their store advertising them.


    30 Oct 08 at 5:56 am

  19. My family first moved to Columbia about 1962, when I was four, and our first house was near North Trenholm Baptist Church. That first year my father liked to put us all in the car after church and drive around and explore Columbia.

    I have a very clear memory of my dad deciding to pull into Edisto Dairy for the first time and get us all ice cream, and he and my mother and my grandmother were all trying to figure out how to pronounce 'Edisto' before we went in. "ED-istow? ed-IS-toe? ee-DIE-stow? Eddy's-TOE?"


    30 Oct 08 at 10:16 am

  20. Yes, I remember the Edisto displays. Wasn't one somewhere near Midlands Tech, with an animated (twirling) ribbon of milk being poured into a glass?

    I'm very hazy here, but I thought that first they became or merged with "Coble" and then "Coble" merged with some Orangeburg outfit to become "Coburg"

    I definitely remember "Pol Parrot".


    30 Oct 08 at 11:29 am

  21. Yes, ted, I definitely remember the giant carton pouring the milk. It was a really cool illusion. It was on South Beltline near Richland Tech. (before it became Midlands).

    Not sure of the exact reason, but about everyone I knew had their first driving lessons with their dad in that big parking lot behind Richland Tech.


    30 Oct 08 at 12:04 pm

  22. Coble and Coburg were two seperate companies. Coble lasted until the 80s or 90s.

    There was another animated pouring milk carton on I-26 near Piney Grove Rd.


    31 Oct 08 at 9:38 am

  23. Edisto farms Dairy Plant was located on Superior Drive in Rosewood. It was owned by the Kapp and Guess families and was bought by Coberg dairy out of Charleston in the early 70’s. My father worked there and it was a cool place for a kid to visit. With the packaging process and the smell of ammonia for refrigeration always constant. I got to ride in the delivery trucks when they came through our neighborhood. Great ice cream because of the high milk fat content.


    12 Nov 08 at 8:44 pm

  24. Folks, I've created a post for Edisto here, so if you have any further comments about that, leave them there.


    13 Nov 08 at 2:05 pm

  25. Just finished reading everyone's post. Haven't been here lately so just catching up. Remembering FL shopping center, I do remember Campbell's and it later changed ownership. The name may have changed to Forest Lake Pharmacy. Dr. William Roof was the new owner and his sweet wife Willie used to run the lunch counter. Man, could she ever cook! I do remember the Majik Market and on the back side,behind the drugstore was Flowers by Brooks. Also, seem to remember a shop that sold wedding dresses. Maybe a frame shop back in there too. Across the way, where Sakura's is used to be a restaurant call Christo's. Really can't remember a lot about it. I remember having Rouladen there once but not sure if it was Christo's or something else. I remember the merry-go-round at the park too. My mother took all us kids there one day and the more we spun around on that thing, the worse I felt. We got home and she gave me some pepto bismol and I went and painted the bathroom floor pink. Yuck!
    Lisa B, if you come back to this page...Do you remember Naomi that worked at Steak and Egg? This would have been in the mid to late 70's.
    Across the street at Trenholm Plaza I well remember Western Auto, it was there that I learned there was no Santa. (hope no kids are reading this). As mentioned earlier, Liggett's had a good lunch counter too and the Plaza Deli was owned and run by Ben Sklar. I always got a hot pastrami on rye and a cream soda. Does anyone remember Gran Jewel? A large jewelry store sort of on the lines of Sam Solomon if I remember correctly. Yep, the good old days!


    10 Dec 08 at 3:46 pm

  26. Forest Lake Shopping Center was one of the first of it's kind and was built in the mid 1940's. My Father Samuel R. Preston was Secretary Treasuer, my Godfather, C.R. Dial was the general contractor (Southern States Construction)and Albert S. Thomas was the architect.My first job was picking up trash at the shopping center and remember when the pumps were installed to pump the flood water out. The pumps are still there at the bridge right there at Zoe's. The pump motors are in the round brick structure located in the park behind what used to The Dobbs House. The front facing Forest Drive, you had Forest Lake Pharmacy run by "Yank Roof" and they did have a great lunch counter. I especially remember the cornbread sticks. Next to pharmacy, the last thing I remember was The Happy Cooker, then you had the 7-11, Forest lake Men's Shop (Bob Moore). Next was the barber shop which eventually moved to Trenholm Plaza. Next you had the law offices of James Cooper then there was the office of Southern States Construction Co. Next you the liquor store run by Kieth Schmidt, I think Kieth Played pro ball for the Red Sox. Then you had Palmetto Hardware at the end of the front side. Does anyone remember the stairs down to the basement in the middle of the hardware store? Round the corner and down the two concrete ramps and at the bottom you had Jack Owen Photography at the corner. This corner was where I picked up my papers "The Record" that I delivered on a bicycle. You had the Colonial grocery next door in the other section run by Mr. Miller. In that section of the mall left of the colonial you had Christo's Roastbeef House which is now sakura.I still work with Jim Christos to this day at Saturn of Columbia. After Christo's Roastbeef house left you had a guy named Eric came in with a German restaurant, this is probably when Roy had his Rouladen. Then after the German restaurant "The Fabulous Mulah" ( the female wrestler) started a restaurant. On the end near the park was Forest lake TV run by Mr. Mullins. I can remember him coming to the house and changing the bulbs in the back of the tv. There was something between Sakura and Forest Lake TV, but I can't recall what it was. I believe it was a salon of some decription. Next to Jack Owen Photography on the back side of the center, there was Forest Lake Fabrics, run by the late L.A. Marsha. The last thing I remember next to that was a piano store, then you has an internal tarrace area that included a knitting store that sold yarn and a florist shop run by Brooks Brown. The florist later was sold to Luther and mary Jenkins. At the end was Dodds 5 & dime (sold fire crackers). Round the corner and up the steps and there was a hair salon to the left. This was also the back door to the pharmacy. Does anyone remember Mrs. Norvella in the First Citiens Bank? Did you know that before the bank was there, there was a bar there, very popular watering hole. Remember the Dairy Queen on Forest Drive, the Taylor's Garden Center where Forest Lake Fabrics is now. The Sunoco gas station where Ed Robinson's Cleaners is now. Golden Skillet Fried Chicken where Zoe's is now. I remember when Spring Valley Country Club was built and the maintenance shed for the golf course was located in the back corner of Lakeview circle behind the Forest Lake Dam. Mr. Metze, Bishop and Mr Padgent would run a truck from there to Spring Valley to cut the grass. They also maintained the shopping center. There was a junk yard back there and trash dump. The Forest Acres Police Department used to be Calhoun Life Insurance CO. How about the Direct gas station where Franks Carwash is now.I could go on forever!! Great site

    Rhea Preston

    10 Dec 08 at 7:34 pm

  27. Wow! Great comment, thanks.

    The flower shop was Flowers by Brooks, right? And the barber-shop didn't exactly move, but when the building was torn down, several (all?) of the barbers moved over to the already established "Bobby's" shop in Trenholm (which itself recently moved to Richland Mall.

    I saw someone working on the pumps last time I was at Zoe's. I had always assumed they were associated with either the City of Columbia or the City of Forest Acres.

    I don't recall the non-Sakura restaurants at all. "The Fabulous Mulah" one sounds like an interesting story!

    I don't remember the Direct station, but severl people commenting about Bell's do.

    I used to hide under the tables at the cloth shop while my mother looked through all the fabrics. The dye in the air always made my eyes water.

    I will have a post on Forest Lake Garden Center one day.


    10 Dec 08 at 10:27 pm

  28. A stray memory of Trenholm Plaza -- there was a small, crowded pet store on the south side that had a monkey for sale. He went unsold for years, I think because no one in their right mind would want a monkey for a pet, and he seemed to spend every waking moment facing the customers and masturbating as fast as only a monkey can. We boys would laugh ourselves silly every time some red-faced mom would drag her kids away from this spectacle while they asked what the monkey was doing. "Nothing - come on we're leaving!"


    11 Dec 08 at 9:11 am

  29. Bells Hamburgers was right there where Eckerd or Rite-aide and the mexican restaurant are now. Neat place, yellow neon lights, 4" tile exterior. Wish someone could produce a picture.
    What about the "Top Hat Bar" on Forest Drive, was located right in front of where Dalloz intersects with Forest Drive. Did anyone have a birthday party in the back room of Edisto Dairy? I had many, it is now Hooligan's. I do remeber that monkey in Trenholm Plaza.

    Rhea Preston

    11 Dec 08 at 10:11 am

  30. A lot of people mention the Hat place. I don't remember it at all, but eventually I'm going to have to do a post just so people can leave their comments about it.


    11 Dec 08 at 1:01 pm

  31. The "Hi Hatt Club" was located at 3830 Forest Drive. It was an early form of nightclub started in 1935. Was not real popular with the city founders, seems it was a whooa house.

    Rhea Preston

    11 Dec 08 at 3:17 pm

  32. Wow Rhea, you sure have a great memory. You wouldn't happen to have any pics of these places, would you? Yes, I remember now that "Sakuras" was a German restaurant but I can't remember the name either. And now that you mention it, I believe it was called "Moolah's" when Moolah had it. I totally forgot about that. Thanks for the help!


    21 Dec 08 at 8:18 pm

  33. Thanks for these great memories..I love it when things light up old files on my hard drive!!

    Dodd's was like the ultimate shopping experience for children. Much to my mother's chagrin many of her "beautiful" gifts came from there.

    The 7-11 was the ultimate ICEE spot!!! Icee's were the new thing and they carried two flavors--coke and cherry.

    My first ice cream float was at Liggett's, I can still feel the "layout" of the Piggly Wiggly...Grants/Roses were almost like one in the same and were on par with Target...

    In the far corner, there was a satellite shop of Ivey's department store....

    Down the street at Bell's was our favorite treat--hamburgers and hotdogs extraordinaire....
    The Steak and Egg was always too crowded for my mother to navigate our brood through...

    Never played at the playground and never realized there was a real Gills Creek...I lived on Gills Creek Road from K-7th grade...I do remember wanting to play at the playground but I don't know why my mother never stopped the car and let us play.

    Driving from Gills Creek to FL shopping center during the spring was breath taking with the azaelas, dogwoods and wisteria blooming everywhere and somewhere along the way there was a man who had a bunch of animals that were stuffed. I do not think he was a taxidermist...but we went to visit his collection as girl scouts.

    Thank you this has been was a great area and time to grow up in....


    25 Jan 09 at 4:33 pm

  34. Bill and Moe. those were the barbers. and they would play checkers all day long between customers. Bill probably gave me my first haircut - wow.

    And my grandfather used to trap squirrels over by Satchel Ford (man that sounds so country but it was in the '80s, so cut me some slack) and release them by the bridge over Gill's Creek.


    19 Feb 09 at 3:45 pm

  35. I think Moe gave me my first. Not sure about Bill, but Moe is still around. He stopped in to visit at Bobby's Barber Shop just before it moved from Trenholm Plaza, and he still looked exactly the same except for grayer. He remembered me too!


    19 Feb 09 at 6:29 pm

  36. haha Steve my neighbor traps squirrels all the time. He lets 'em go down at the Columbia riverwalk.

    Mr. Bill

    20 Feb 09 at 9:45 am

  37. Rhea

    Would that have been a lamp shop located next to Forest Lake TV?

    Terry Edwards

    21 Feb 09 at 1:33 am

  38. I believe you are correct. Can't remember the name.

    Rhea Preston

    27 Feb 09 at 6:42 pm

  39. Does anyone have any old pictures of the trenholm plaza area (70's, 80's) that they could scan & share? I would really love to see things the way they were again.


    24 Mar 09 at 1:27 am

  40. My favorite place to go to as a kid was that Rose's Trenholm Plaza. Does anyone rememeber the snack bar they had? They used to have ballons hanging across the bar that you could pick out. You would pop it and they all had prices (.25, .50, free!) inside them and that was how much you paid for their bannana splits. That was so exciting for a kid. What memories.


    30 Mar 09 at 8:46 pm

  41. I dont remember Edistos at TP Plaza, but I do remember it at the corner of North Main and Beltline..very good ice cream I must say! But that was back in the mid 60's that I remember that one. Coble milk used to deliver milk to us back on the Cayce side of town back in the early to mid 60's. My Mom still has one of the original brown glass bottles from back then just like new too.


    11 Apr 09 at 11:43 pm

  42. Thanks everyone for these memories. I lived off Trenholm Road from about 1970 to 1977. I remember the shopping center at Christmas had the most wonderdul decorations in the parking lot. As for the shoe store, I think I remember Buster Brown shoes being advertised. We bought beef at Piggly Wiggly and everything else at A &P. Every good report card led to a Barbie from Roses (the bargain-priced ones). I remember my dad taking us 3 kids to Western Auto and I did not like the rubber smell. I went to Hammond Academy and believe that our bus stop was across from Gillespie's. Wasn't there also a Richland County Library Branch right there? My mom bought seeds each spring from Taylors (dreaded trip for us kids). I think I recall our vet was located right around there. I have the vaguest of memories of a little bridge. As a kid who was 8 and younger, the area even then was magical. That was the days of HR Puffestuff and so many great things. Hey, can I add this: who can remember the Easter Egg hunts hosted by Mr. Nozeit at Richland County Mall (before it became fancy?) And the Baskin & Robbins in that area and that wonderful chocolate store with the caramel corn. I found this site trying to find something about Bell Camp--another wonderful childhood memory which I wish I had more information about. Thanks to all above for your cool recollections.


    29 Apr 09 at 5:27 pm

  43. Lisa,

    Eventually there willl be a big post on Bell Camp, but first I have to track down and scan all those negatives from 30 years and three moves ago. Keep checking!

    In the meantime, there is a mini post about Bell Camp in the comments here

    Some days you can still drive back in there, if the development gate is open.


    29 Apr 09 at 7:15 pm

  44. My dad was station at Fort Jackson during the late 50s and early 60s base housing for enlisted is where the current Wal marts is located. Does anyone remeber Tommy,s open air market? It was located on Percival rd amost at the corner of forest drive and Percival. The first thing I remeber was the owner Mr. tommy used to have one of those nickles that would be nailed on the counter so when he gave you back your change he would lay it on the counter it sure was funny watching folks try and get that nickle. When I first went to tommies all the floors were saw dust he later had cement pour I guess thats why they called it tommys open air market. PS he use to mak some of the best rice pudding in the world. There was also another lillte jip joint at that fork in the roads called the carraige house anyone remeber those. Ok you old folks do yawl remeber the Mr.knozist show that came on for kids huh huh. I keep hearing of the hi hat does anyone remeber spankys on forest dr?


    23 Feb 10 at 11:31 am

  45. Lester, I think this post is about Tommy's though I did not know the name, and this one is about the Carraige House (or what came after that anyway).


    23 Feb 10 at 11:52 am

  46. Back in the 1970s, Sam Daniel ran a tennis shop in Forest Lake Shopping Center called Lob & Volley. It was a couple of doors down from Campbell's on the Forest Drive-facing side of the center.


    27 Apr 10 at 10:56 am

  47. Here is a picture of my grandfather Curtis C. Gillespie at his cleaners in Forest Lake Shopping Center - in the very early days - I grew up in and around FLSC and look forward to posting some memories. My grandmother Mary Gillespie had a Norge Village on Trenholm across the street on Trenholm and my dad opened a dry cleaners Gillespie Cleaners next to that in the late 60's.

    Joel Gillespie

    4 Jun 10 at 11:12 pm

  48. Thanks Joel!

    I think I remember washing at the Norge Village with my mother from time to time when our washer was broke.


    5 Jun 10 at 2:34 am

  49. I remember all of these things! This is so wonderful because I spent a lot of time with my mom and dad shopping at Forest Lake Shopping Center AND Trenholm Plaza when I was growing up. We used to buy a lot of shoes at Garber's. A bit of trivia, for a long time they were one of the only places in Columbia where you could buy ice skates. I got a pair made by a company called Royal Canadian that I wore the two years I took skating lessons at the old Rockbridge Rink. I treasured those skates!

    And Dennis, I remember the monkey from the Trenholm pet store!!!!


    27 Aug 10 at 8:11 pm

  50. Forest Lake shopping center also had a beauty parlor on the breezeway between Campbells and the Piggly Wiggly -on thr right just at the top of the stairs. Near the fountain in the back was a toy store where - purchased Barbie shortly after she debuted_ we parked next an Edsel Ford on the way to the toy store


    17 Dec 10 at 7:31 pm

  51. This caught my eye: I never knew there was an ice skating rink in Columbia back in the day! Ted, do you have anything on the Rockbridge Rink?


    17 Dec 10 at 11:44 pm

  52. No. I guess it would be a good closing though it hadn't even occurred to me.

    I went there two or three times. Once in Scouts to try skating (or falling in my case) and couple of times for ice shows. My memory is that it was not open to the general public, but just to members of the Rockbridge Country Club except by special arrangement. The club is still there (off Rockbridge Road between Trenholm and the lake), but apparently the rink closed some years ago.


    18 Dec 10 at 2:00 am

  53. The Rockbridge Rink only closed in the early 2000's. I'm pretty sure you had to be a member of Rockbridge Club to skate there. Many kids I grew up with, including a younger cousin, took ice skating lessons. It was incredibly tiny. Nothing like the giant rink out toward Chapin.


    25 Mar 11 at 3:51 pm

  54. I grew up with very fond memories of Forest Lake Shopping Center and Trenholm Plaza. I came upon this site and enjoyed reading everyone's memories. I remember when the F.Lake Hair Salon was in the very special corner behind Campbell's Drugs. We had a nice covered walkway with nice benches coming down towards the 5 & !0. There was also a Knit Shop and Brown's Flower Shop there.

    What ashame such a wonderful shopping center was demolished as SandHills is set up like our dear Forest Lake Shopping Center and WE had covered walkways. Just like Richland Mall. Shopping areas are now, just like what we grew up with. Let's all stay in touch with the Forest Lake Park, as fast food places pop up over night.

    Carol Brooks

    11 Dec 12 at 12:49 am

  55. I remember the monkey someone spoke of also, I always felt sorry for him. I thought it was at Richland Mall until I read this site. I love all these memories.


    27 Jun 16 at 10:55 pm

  56. THAT was a park?! It looks like a concentration camp with a river of shit running through it. I need to have a talk with a bunch of you on the site. The stuff you all tell is amazing and unreal. I have so much to say and ask. I lived here all my life (I'm 46) outside of six years away for school. What happened here and to Columbia?! What happened to our society and civilization?! I feel like we are living in Planet of the Apes?! I'm holding back. Things seemed to be going so well from 1997-2019. I realize there are multiple issues and details but now I'm literally worried to death of all the things I perceive to be going on...I'm going to have to carry conversation on in some other ways in some other places. I will try to keep them pertaining to the accurate articles...but I mean really. I know and knew for many years now...ten? Fifteen? TWENTY?! That finding human beings that one could really meet and converse with seemed to be harder to do without going through the internet. I have levels of understanding and tolerance for this...for a while in life...those time periods. I get it and human nature and tech all now but...really. I really wish I knew more people who could give all this information and given it before now about this city. There are just things I don't understand. I suppose some of it obvious in terms of being capitalism which I totally support but, man, things have gotten weird and rough.


    14 May 24 at 1:34 am

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