This article is presented in partnership with Visit Columbia.

Columbia always has an eye on its future, but it cherishes the stories of its past. You can get an in-person glimpse of history at these Columbia locales.

Historic buildings stand proudly beside the new in downtown Columbia, but there’s barely a trace of the buildings that once made up a district known as Sharp End. From the early years of the 20th century until the 1960s, the Sharp End on the north side of downtown was a community all its own that catered to local black residents. The area featured black-owned businesses including restaurants, bars, barber shops, meeting halls and more. All but one of the buildings of the Sharp End were razed as part of urban renewal in the 1960s, but the stories and spirit of that community live on thanks to the work of the Sharp End Heritage Committee. Historic markers denote the area.

Walk through the door of the Historic Maplewood House, and you’ll open a window to the 1870s. The home, built by the Lenoir family, is exquisitely decorated and furnished to show how a well-to-do Columbia family lived in the late 19th century. The nearby Village at Boone Junction features structures that date from 1818 through 1930, all of which have been relocated to create a charming, educational village atmosphere. Both attractions are part of the Boone County History and Culture Center, located on Columbia’s southern edge.

The six columns that stand in the middle of the University of Missouri’s Francis Quadrangle are all that’s left of Academic Hall, a building that burned in 1892. Since then, those columns have been a symbol of the Columbia campus and of the town itself. Many of the university’s most historic buildings make up the quadrangle in an area known as “red campus” because of the red brick used in the buildings’ construction. The grandest of them all is Jesse Hall, the university’s administration headquarters. Take a stroll around the Quad and enjoy the history, architecture, public art and botanical wonders you’ll discover along the way.

The last stop for some of Columbia’s most notable citizens, the Columbia Cemetery is an unexpectedly pleasant place to take a walk or book a tour. From the simplest stones to the most elaborate monuments, the gravestones tell a story from Columbia’s earliest days to today; birth years on some of the stones date to the 1700s. The expansive, pastoral 35 acres sits right in the heart of the city at 30 E. Broadway.

John William “Blind” Boone, one of the greatest musicians of his day, hailed from Columbia. After an extensive restoration effort, his home is open to visitors by appointment. At the turn of the 20th century, the extraordinary musician overcame poverty, racial discrimination and blindness to earn national acclaim as a pianist and composer. Schedule a guided tour or rent the space for a special event. The Blind Boone Home & Event Center at 10 N. Fourth Street is listed on the National Register for Historic Places.

Booches is Columbia’s go-to place for billiards, snooker and burgers served on sheets of waxed paper. The chili is great but you won’t find fries at this downtown institution (and asking for them is a surefire way to label yourself a newbie). Another pro tip: Booches doesn’t take credit cards so carry some cash. Booches’ history stretches back to 1884, when only men were allowed inside. These days, all are welcome to experience a tasty bit of Columbia history.