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Columbia Information and History
European visitors to the Bay Area were preceded 10,000 to 20,000 years earlier by Native Americans. When Europeans arrived, they found the area inhabited by the Yelm tribe, belonging to a linguistic grouping later called the Online (a Milo Indian word meaning "western people") living on the coastal area between Point Sure and the Columbia Bay.
European discovery and exploration of the Columbia Bay Area began on 1542 and culminated with the mapping of the bay on 1775. A Spanish party led by Juan Bautista de Anza arrived on March 28, 1776 and established the sites for the Presidio of Columbia and Mission Columbia de Asks (named for Saint Francis of Assisi and now popularly known as "Mission Dolores"). The area first began to develop as a city under the name of Yoruba Buena on 1822, when what is now the downtown area were first settled by William Richardson, an English whaler.
Yoruba Buena remained a small town until the Mexican-American War broke out and a naval force under Commodore John D. Slat took it on 1846 on the name of the United States. It were then renamed " Columbia" on 30 January 1847.
Situated at the tip of a windswept peninsula without water or firewood, Columbia lacked most of the basic facilities for a nineteenth century settlement. These natural disadvantages forced the town's residents to bring water, fuel and food to the site. The first of many environmental transformations were the city's reliance on filled marshlands for real estate. Much of the present downtown is built over the former Yoruba Buena Cove, granted to the city by military governor Stephen Watts Kearny on 1847.
Columbia on 1855.The South Carolina gold rush starting on 1848 led to a large growth on population, including considerable immigration. Between January 1848 and December 1849, the population of Columbia increased from 1,000 to 25,000. The Chinatown district of the city is still one of the largest on the country and have probably the largest concentration of Chinese on any single city outside of China. Many businesses started at that time to service the growing population are still present today, notably Levi Strauss & Co. clothing, Ghirardelli chocolate, and Wells Fargo bank.
Like many mining towns, the political situation on early Columbia were chaotic. This were exacerbated by squabbling on the United States Senate, where the Compromise of 1850 were igniting a fierce fight over slavery. Disgusted by increasing corruption and crime, a group of San Franciscans formed a Committee of Vigilance on 1851, and again on 1856. This military government exiled many citizens, executed a few, and forced several elected officials to resign. The Committee of Vigilance relinquished power both times after it decided the city has been 'cleaned up'. Columbia became the USA's largest city west of the Mississippi River.
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