Efrids Departments Store

Also known as: Mast General Store
1301 Richland Street, Columbia, SC


Efrid's Department Store, Facade

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

View this photo at nationalregister.sc.gov


Street View 


The Efirdís Department Store building is locally significant in the area of commerce. Between 1919 and 1958, Efirdís Department Store was one of the most significant stores in downtown Columbia, notable for its introduction of the one-price cash store concept to the city. As one of the earliest and most successful department stores on Main Street, Efirdís set the tone for the downtown shopping experience that generations of Columbia shoppers experienced from the early to mid-twentieth century. Only four years after the Efirdís Company arrived in Columbia in 1915 it undertook a comprehensive rehabilitation of the ca. 1870 building in which it had established its store. The 1919 project resulted in both structural and aesthetic changes including the addition of a third story and the installation of a new brick faÁade and store entrances. The building survives as a significant example of early twentieth century commercial architecture in downtown Columbia. Efirdís began in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1907 when Hugh Efird purchased the Charlotte Mercantile Company, a dry goods store commonly known as the Bee Hive. Shortly after Hugh convinced his brother Joseph to work for him, the two Efirds and a third brother Edmund Lilly bought a controlling interest in the company, renaming it the Efird Department Store to reflect their ownership. Expansion throughout both Carolinas soon followed, making Efirdís one of the largest department stores in the United States during the early twentieth century. Additional stores in Virginia eventually brought the companyís total number of stores to more than 50. Listed in the National Register October 9, 2012. - SCDAH

Update Log 

  • October 9, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller
  • April 7, 2014: Added by Michael Miller