The origins of the Forest Hills neighborhood date back to 1859 when Wade Hampton III, later a Confederate general and S.C. governor, purchased 100 acres outside the City of Columbia. He built a country home on the west side of present day Westminster Drive. A stone pillar commemorates the home site, then known as Diamond Hill, on the island at the intersection of Westminster and Stratford Road. The home was destroyed by Union troops in 1865.
Benjamin L. Abney, a prominent Columbia lawyer and counsel for the South Carolina division of Southern Railway, purchased 80 acres from the Hampton estate in 1903, plus an adjacent 10 acres, and renamed the area Abney Park. The Georgian Revival style home he built still stands at 1400 Westminster Drive.
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