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Buena Vista (Site later Columbia Arsenal, then Columbia ((Military)) Academy)

West 7th St. and Academy Lane in Columbia

Built 1834


Dr. Williiam Junius Polk (1793-1860) married Mary Rebecca Long Polk (1797-1885) in 1818. Buena Vista means "good view" in Spanish. Dr. Polk was a member of the Maury Co. Polk family.


Their daughter Mary Jones Polk Branch(1830-1919) wed Col. Joseph Gerald Branch (1817-1867) in 1859 at Buena Vista. His uncle was Gov. Branch of Florida. Col. Branch's first wife was Ann Pillow Martin Branch (1829-1854) who died after 5 years of marriage. Col. Branch was a partner with his father-in-law in several plantationss in Arkansaw. Mary wrote Memoirs of Southern Woman: Within the Lines. In her book, she told that her husband was inspecting his land in Arkansas and was murdered. Mary sold the home and land to Sims and Mary Latta when they moved from Church House/ Barrow Houseon West 7th St. He later sold the farm and home to the U.S. government for an arsenal.


In 1888, a bill was passed to fund a military site on the property. The property became the Columbia Arsenal and is now Columbia Academy. In 1890, the home was razed and the Commandant's Quarters, later Assembly Hall was bult on the site of the former Buena Vista. See Church House/ Barrow House


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