West Columbia is located on the eastern border of Lexington County, just across the Congaree River from South Carolina’s capital city of Columbia.
In 1894 when West Columbia was originally chartered as a town, it was called Brookland. It was a popular residential area for employees of Columbia Mills, a textile plant located across the river on the east bank of the Congaree.
Ferries provided transportation back and forth to work, but as the number of mill workers increased, a wooden bridge was constructed to provide easier access to the mill and to services in Columbia. In 1927 the wooden bridge was replaced by today’s familiar Gervais Street bridge. The name of the town changed to West Columbia in 1936.