History of Shandon
What is known today as Shandon was originally a high plateau of rolling farmland. The name Shandon came from R.S. DesPortes, who was interested in the property and equated it with the beauty of Shandon, Ireland. He also thought the name would be a complement to R. W. Shand, then president of the Columbia Land and Development Company, which began purchasing acreage in the area in 1890.
The area of today’s Shandon followed the same scheme as the original city with four-acre blocks and wide, tree-lined streets. In 1894, the circular extension of the streetcar track provided city residents with summertime outings and caused sales of lots to boom.
Incorporated as a town on March 8, 1904, a new streetcar line built in 1910 down King Street from Devine to what is now Rosewood Drive spurred a rapid spread of homes into the area. When annexed to Columbia in 1913, the intersection of Devine and Woodrow became the town center. The 1909 Schneider School and three handsome brick stores were all located there. By 1917, the Methodists, Baptists, Episcopalians, and Presbyterians had established churches in the growing community.
Every resident of Shandon belonged to the dues-free Community Club. This organization met on the first Monday of every month to foster a friendly community spirit, to beautify the environment, and to encourage civic pride. Touted as the healthiest suburb and finest place for children in the United States, Shandon continued to grow from rolling fields to become a small cohesive town.
The homes in Shandon originally followed the early 1900s popular Prairie style of Four-Square two-story dwellings. As the suburb grew, 1920s cottage and bungalow styles became prevalent. Many new homes were added in the 1930s and 1940s, accommodating Columbia’s growth and the reactivation and expansion of Fort Jackson. By the 1950s the area had become an “old community” because many residents had reached retirement age. But the proximity of the neighborhood to urban amenities had great appeal to young families who began to buy, renovate, and remodel the older homes in the 1960s.
Today Shandon is truly a vibrant, multi-generational community. This turn of events has brought about a renaissance. Schools, churches, and businesses are thriving, serving the neighborhood with a growing variety of stores and restaurants.
With the historically unique homes reflecting over 100 years of architectural heritage, sidewalks, and wide tree-lined streets, Shandon has become one of the most desirable residential areas in the City of Columbia. Parks located throughout the neighborhood provide pleasant spaces for recreation and relaxation. Convenient to Columbia’s businesses and cultural attractions, Shandon is a beautiful place to live.