Firmly and proudly rooted in Columbia’s history

This land at the corner of Blanding and Pickens has been the site of several homes. Future President Woodrow Wilson lived briefly (1870-1871) in what had been C.R. Bryce’s antebellum mansion. That was replaced by the Thomas Hair House, which was here until it burned down in the 1970s. In 1980, the circa-1875 Heiss-Meehan-Guignard House was relocated from 1416 Hampton Street to this site.

1416 Hampton Street

The “new” house had had an illustrious past of its own by the time it got here. Starting in 1905 in its old location, it was the medical office of a Columbia legend: Dr. Jane Bruce Guignard. In those days, there were not many doctors named “Jane,” especially in South Carolina. She was a member of a prominent local family – she grew up in the house now known as “Still Hopes” – but she built a practice from scratch, working “with the desperately poor, both white and colored.” She became known as the lady who delivered a large share of the babies born in Columbia, at a time when they were usually born at home, often in shocking conditions.

“How many babies have I brought into the world?” she would ask half a century later, when profiled by The State newspaper’s Sunday magazine. “I don’t know. There were a lot before birth certificates were required.” After that, she delivered about a thousand.

But she did more than deliver babies. She was a family physician, at a time when the visiting doctor was practically a member of each family she cared for. As the magazine told it on May 25, 1952:

“The family’s idiosyncrasies of heart, weariness of eyes, predilection for catching cold, inability to take any form of morphine, finicky appetites, propensity to marry young and live to great age — are all at her fingertips, and not merely as statistics. She has lived through all the crises of life with these people. She knows the insides of their houses as well as their bodies, and has shared laughter as well as worry and heartache with them. To her they are not symptoms alone or even persons alone, but persons related to a family and a known environment.”

Remember that when you visit the Law Offices of Bryan Caskey. We are proud to practice in the rooms in which she once practiced her healing and life-affirming arts.

The State Magazine - May 25, 1952