Above: The city of Columbia, South Carolina (as seen from West Columbia) prior to its burning by Union Troops in 1865

What is HistorySoft?

As a way to share and inspire the love of local history, the idea of HistorySoft was born in 2010. As a liability protection for electronic devices used in a Museum indoor location positioning system (invented by David Brinkman), HistorySoft LLC was created in May of 2011. For two years, HistorySoft operated with no income. During that time, 4 free smartphone applications were created for the South Carolina history along Columbia South Carolina’s Three Rivers Greenway (see a front page story about this app in The State Newspaper and a Columbia Rotary Club Presentation), the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum (the oldest Military Museum in SC), South Carolina Historical Markers in the Midlands (See ABC Columbia interview), and Under Lake Murray (see a 2013 story about this application The Lake Murray Magazine). Free applications were also created for Columbia’s Riverbanks Zoo and the Greenville Zoo. All costs for these projects were covered by the creator, David Brinkman. Not a single cent was accepted as income.

During this time, Brinkman, and his wife (Odess) also purchased a property in Cayce, SC which they, and local historians like Dean Hunt and Leo Redmond, believed might be the area of the old town of Granby (see the 2010 front page story about this in The State Newspaper). In the late 17th century, Granby and Charleston were the primary trade cities in South Carolina. Due to Yellow fever and the creation of Columbia, SC (in 1788), Granby slowly disappeared. In February of 1865, part of General Sherman’s Right wing camped at what Sherman called “Old Granby”. After the Civil War, Granby was soon forgotten and the area became mostly farmland.

The Brinkman’s and a group of dedicated volunteers started an archaeological dig on the Brinkman Cayce property in May of 2012. Working almost 20 hours a week for the remainder of 2012, the team uncovered over 4000 artifacts (see the artifacts on the Finding Granby web site), most of which, are from the Granby period (see another front page story about this from The State Newspaper which was carried in dozens of newspapers across the US). Historical archival research (also done by these volunteers) pin-pointed this spot as the primary business block of Granby. The success of the “Finding Granby Project” overwhelmed the team and it became apparent that the project would require funding to properly present the amazing finds as a museum exhibit for all to enjoy.  2015 update: The Granby dig  has now found over 12,000 artifacts and archaeological features from the town of Granby as well as items from the first European Indian Trader, Thomas Brown. The Granby team also completed extensive research to determine the location of the British fort: Fort Congaree II. Under the direction of the South Carolina State Archaeologist, Dr. Jonathan Leader, the Granby team, USC student archaeologists, and Explorers Club members, dug a site throughout the summer of 2014 and located the fort. (see another front page story about this from The State Newspaper)

The next step for HistorySoft:

Besides the continuation of the Granby and Fort Congaree II digs (expected to go through 2015), the evolution of the HistorySoft GPS enabled smartphone apps (for the Three Rivers Greenway, the Midlands Historical Markers, and Under Lake Murray) led to the challenging task of creating a tour app for the 2012 World’s most desired destination (Charleston, SC) and probably the most historic city in America. David Brinkman’s long time fascination with stereoscopic photography and the history of Charleston had spawned a book project in 2010. With the trend toward digital content, Brinkman made the decision to move his “Old and New Dimensions of Charleston” to, not only a digital format, but also to a mobile/smartphone GPS enabled app. With this project, HistorySoft moves to a role of income generator for the “Finding Granby Project” (which we hope will pay for a museum display and carbon dating of several key finds) as well a stimulus for future history projects. Brinkman also hopes to fund the replacement of an incorrect historical marker which led to his interest in local history in 2005. This historical marker mistake ultimately led to Brinkman’s discovery of the long lost sites of the Broad River Confederate Bridge and General William Sherman’s Union Army pontoon crossing in 1865 just before the burning of Columbia. Brinkman’s Civil War Bridge story was another front page story of The State and was featured on the 2009 season finale of the nationally broadcast PBS History Detectives show. For this and the extensive research Brinkman completed on the historic river crossings in the Columbia area, he received the Historic Columbia Foundation's 2009 Helen Kohn Hennig award for historic preservation.

Beyond Charleston and Granby lies other projects like 3D “Old and New Dimensions” of St. Augustine, FL, as well as over a dozen other major US cities which Brinkman has already processed 100+ year-old stereoscopic images and historical marker data.

This is HistorySoft.

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