The first sign of the Great Depression in South Carolina was the drastic drop in cotton prices. While the rest of the country was hit hard by the depression, those living in Columbia had an economic cushion of sorts, with one of the largest construction projects in S.C. history, the building of the Lake Murray Dam. The Lake Murray Dam became not only a major source for hydro-electric power, but also opened up numerous recreational opportunities.
President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” program changed Columbia. More dormitories, the new football stadium, and renewed Columbia’s capacity to handle farm produce. The Farmer’s Market was an important part of Columbia’s economy, and the “New Deal” helped rejuvenate Columbia farmers, who had been suffering during the depression.