The 1920-era Annie Fisher house at 2911 Old Highway 63 South has been demolished, according to this Nov. 29, 2011 Columbia Daily Tribune article.
The house was a concrete reminder of black history. Annie Fisher built the house for a restaurant and catering service she operated. Born in 1867, Fisher had only a third-grade education, yet went on to build a thriving business.
As a Feb. 8, 1911 article from the University Missourian noted it a headline: ”Her Cooking Famed Throughout States.” The article continued: “Mrs. Annie Fisher, Columbia Negro, Serves for the Best of Society. Owns silverware for 250. Chipped Potatoes, Beaten Biscuits and Fruit Cake Renowned Dishes.”
This is the second Annie Fisher to fall to the wrecking ball. A 15-room home she built earlier at 608 East Park Avenue was torn down in the 1960s as a part of a 1960s urban renewal project, according to 2009 Columbia Housing Authority document.
Both homes fell to changes in Columbia. The first home was destroyed during the city’s attempt at urban renewal. This house has for years been sandwiched between large apartment buildings and flanked by storage units. The two-story, window-filled building is owned by Merle and Charlotte Smarr, and the Columbia Daily Tribune article states they may expand their storage unit operation.
The Historic Preservation Commission named the house to the Notable Properties list in 2009.
Yet, even if this home, too, is demolished, the story of Fisher’s success and life will remain with us.
You can still see the house on a Facebook page dedicated to the Annie Fisher House Project includes a video tour of the home as well as historical documents.
There’s also a YouTube video on City Scope: Annie Fisher, Cateress of Columbia, narrated by Bill Thompson notes the house has 81 windows. Thompson says she put so many windows because she wanted the people eating at her restaurant to be able to look out at the beauty of Columbia and Boone County.
The house has had many champions, most recently Sheila Kitchen Ruffin, who in 2010 founded the Annie Fisher Project to save the home.