This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at

Friday, July 02, 2010

Making a Family Historical Trip out of a Book Signing

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

I had a book signing in Columbia, SC, and while there, we took a day trip into West Columbia where my grandfather, Lee Thomas Hudson, was born in 1912. My dad and aunt came with me and we had a lovely time seeking the exact location where my great-grandfather, Thomas Bennie Hudson, owned a cafe and lived above their shop. The building is still standing after more than 100 years and it has been renovated at 302 Spring St. It's the rose color building with the aqua awnings.

We walked through the new park along the Congaree River where my grandfather used to play as a boy. He learned to swim at the deep part where the Broad River joins the Congaree River. The locals call it the black hole because it is so deep. My grandfather used to tell us that it was as deep as the Jefferson Pilot building in Greensboro, NC. 

The photos are of my dad, Bennie Lee Hudson, and his sister, Judy Hudson, standing in front of the old renovated bridge that links Columbia, to West Columbia. My family lived in West Columbia. The large pile of stone in front of the bridge is what is left of the original bridge from the Civil War. The Confederates blew it up to delay Sherman of the Union Army from coming across. It only delayed them for a day. The Union built another bridge. 

We visited the Caycee Historical Museum where they had school annuals in the early 20th century. We found photos of my grandfather and his sister Alberta when they were in the 8th grade. These are the earliest photos I've ever seen of my grandfather. I only have hard photo copies, but will upload them as soon as I have them scanned.