Sharp Conclude task started off ‘on faith’ realized in heritage path commitment

Monta K. Ralph (1904–1959), known as “The Barbecue King,” owned Monta's Chicken and Rib Shack at 205 N. Fifth St.

Vicki Russell has fond memories of the initial conferences of the Sharp Conclude Heritage Committee in early 2015.

Russell, now vice-chair of the committee, remembers the laser-like concentrate the committee experienced on commemorating the Sharp Stop and its previous assortment of Black-owned companies. 

The committee realized aspect of its purpose in May possibly 2015, when the 1st historical marker was unveiled downtown. Then, it was onto the subsequent stage of their mission — an total African American Heritage Trail in Columbia.

“We commenced this path job on faith,” Russell mentioned. 

The committee had no idea how big the challenge would expand or where the money would come from at the time.

Their faith was realized on Thursday the committee unveiled its remaining historical marker and held a virtual celebration and ribbon-chopping ceremony for the opening of a 2-mile path with 22 historic markers commemorating vital Black figures and institutions in Columbia.