Modjeska Monteith Simkins House

2025 Marion St., Columbia, South Carolina


Modjeska Monteith Simkins House, Left Oblique

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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The Modjeska Monteith Simkins house is significant for its association with the life and work of Modjeska Monteith Simkins, a leader in African American public health reform and the civil rights movement in South Carolina from 1931 to her death in 1992 and for its association with the civil rights movement. Although the property is over ninety years old, it achieved exceptional significance within the last fifty years as the home and work place of Simkins during the period of significance from 1932 to 1965. Throughout her career, Simkins used the house as a residence, lodging for civil rights associates, an office, and a meeting place. Guests of Simkins, including Thurgood Marshall, stayed in her house when hotels in the city were closed to African Americans. The house also became the target of a shooting by those opposed to the work of Simkins and other civil rights leaders. The house is a one-and-one-half-story, wood frame, vernacular dwelling with an L-shaped plan, side gabled roof, and a front porch. Although oral tradition indicates a date of construction as early as the 1850s, the house and the smaller similar structure behind it were probably built between 1895 and 1919. Listed in the National Register March 25, 1994. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 25, 1994
Reference number
NR name
Simkins, Modjeska Monteith, House
Architectural style
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival
Area of significance
Ethnic Heritage - Black
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
B - Person; A - Event
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Periods of significance
1950-1974; 1925-1949
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 2

Update Log 

  • October 16, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Imported Photo
  • October 16, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller