Randolph Cemetery

Western terminus of Elmwood Ave., Columbia, South Carolina


Randolph Cemetery, Cemetery Overview

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

View this photo at nationalregister.sc.gov


Street View 


Randolph Cemetery is an African American cemetery in Columbia established by the Randolph Cemetery Association in 1872 and expanded in 1899. Named for Benjamin Franklin Randolph (d. 1868), an African American member of the South Carolina State Senate who was assassinated during Reconstruction, the cemetery reflects the political turmoil of the period when it was established. It is the final resting place of eight other African American leaders who served in the South Carolina Senate or House of Representatives during the era and contains the graves of numerous other leaders of Columbia’s late nineteenth and early twentieth century African American community. Randolph Cemetery is also a fine example of a late nineteenth century and early twentieth century vernacular cemetery, for its markers and landscape illustrate the burial customs of Columbia’s African American community during this period. Gravemarker types and materials are varied. Manufactured gravemarkers include aluminum mortuary markers, bronze or stone tablets, granite or marble obelisks, brick crypts, granite headstones and footstones, ledgers, and table-top stones. Homemade gravemarkers include such elements as concrete blocks, ceramic bathroom tiles, piles of bricks, and concrete tablets crudely inscribed or marked with marking pens or stick-on mailbox letters. Many graves are within enclosures such as low brick walls, wrought iron fences, short white picket fences, or white metal garden fences. Some gravemarkers have been lost to vandalism or neglect. Listed in the National Register January 20, 1995. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on January 20, 1995
Reference number
Areas of significance
Ethnic Heritage - Black; Politics/Government
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Periods of significance
1850-1874; 1875-1899; 1900-1924; 1925-1949
Significant years
1872; 1899

Update Log 

  • October 17, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Imported Photo
  • October 17, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller