Nearly hidden between apartment buildings is a piece of Black history — the home of Annie Fisher, an early African-American entrepreneur.
Located at 2911 Old Highway 63 South, this home is threatened with demolition, but that would erase a piece of history few know about. The house was named to the Columbia Notable Properties list in 2009, but that may not be enough to save it. The home is surrounded by commercial properties including apartment buildings.
Annie Fisher built this house in 1920, according to an article about her in the February/March 2009 issue of Columbia Home & Lifestyle. Fisher’s accomplishments are outlined in the articles, “Lost Black Neighborhoods,” and “My Favorite Things: Verna Harris-Laboy.”
According to these articles, Fisher’s first home was a 15-room on Park Avenue near downtown, which was torn down in the 1960s.
She moved to the house on Old Highway 63, which also housed her restaurant. Fisher, the articles note, “was world-renowned for her beaten biscuit recipe, which won her a first-place award at the 1904 World’s Fair.” She had a catering business which she used to pay for the Park Avenue home and then later the Highway 63 home.
Harris-Laboy, one of the articles notes, researched Fisher and often dresses up as her for presentations at local schools. Fisher, the article states, was born in 1867 and only received a third-grade education. “Fisher also had china and silverware to accommodate 1,000 people (she rented her supplies out when she wasn’t serving a party) and a mail-order business. Her courage and business acumen would be extraordinary at any time but are particularly remarkable for a black woman of her time and place,” notes one of the articles.