Joseph Walker bought the property in 1925 as a site for residential development and established Forest Hills. The New York City suburb of the same name inspired the name. Mr. Walker’s sister-in-law named the roads for English counties. As a planned subdivision, prospective home builders were required to submit plans to Forest Hills, Inc. for approval. “The high hills were zoned for two-story houses and those in the lower section were one and one-half story or bungalows.” The established boundaries of the neighborhood are Forest Drive, Glenwood Road, Gervais Street, and Manning Avenue.
Today, Forest Hills remains a unique in-town, residential neighborhood of about 285 homes. It is distinguished by its rolling hills with abundant pine and oak trees and well-kept, handsome houses and grounds that make it an oasis amid the urban surroundings. Its proximity to the cultural, business and higher education centers in Columbia make it highly desirable as a place to live. Several families are 2nd and 3rd generation residents, choosing to remain or return to their place of origin. It has been and continues to be home to many of Columbia’s most distinguished citizens.
Source: Heath, J. Cantey, Jr. “Smiling Peace May Bring Prosperity: A History of the Forest Hills Neighborhood of Columbia, South Carolina.” Institute for Southern Studies, University of South Carolina, 1985.