The town (or village) called Columbia was founded in 1793 in Tyrell County, North Carolina, which had been set up in 1729 by the English. Columbia was called Elizabethtown at the time of its founding.
The town is located on the banks of the Scuppernong River, which flows into Albemarle Sound. The population of Columbia as reported in the 2000 census was 819, and just more than half the residents identified themselves as African-American. The town sits on just 1.2 km² of land.
The Scuppernong River gave its name to a native American grape. The scuppernong grape grew wild in eastern North Carolina when the first Europeans arrived in the early 1500s, and it was first cultivated around Columbia, N.C. Its juice can be made into a sweet, "foxy" wine.
Wikipedia says that the oldest living cultivated grape vine in the world is a scuppernong plant growing on Roanoke Island, not far east. There is at least one winery in Columbia.
I had driven past Columbia on innumerable occasions over the past 40 years, but this was the first time I ever stopped to have a look around. The town was neat and clean — I imagine it has been spiffed up considerably over the past 10 years or so, with the construction of the new wide roadway leading to Raleigh, the state capital and a major population center. It's a stopping-off point for people on their way to Nags Head and other Outer Banks resorts.
I always enjoy seeing the old wooden church buildings in North Carolina towns like Columbia. I don't really know how old such buildings are, but I imagine that they date back to about 100 years ago.
Larger North Carolina towns and cities have churches built of stone and brick, but in small towns the churches are almost always built of wood and are usually painted white. There is no local stone along the sandy N.C. coast, and there's no clay for brick-making either. Wood is plentiful, and most of the houses are wooden structures too. So I wonder why it is that most downtown buildings are built out of brick?