Battling Through Time at the Robert Mills House

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This Friday,  the largest water balloon battle in Columbia will take place…with a historic twist at the Robert Mills House and Gardens. From the Revolutionary War, where more battles were fought in South Carolina than in any other state, to today’s modern conflicts, the list of important historical events is long. Countless factors have affected the tactics soldiers use in battle since our nation’s founding. Historic Columbia has organized a unique event to illustrate how battlefield tactics have changed over time.

Image Courtesy of The State Newspaper

Image Courtesy of The State Newspaper

Program participants will take part in three battles representing different time periods, each with an important connection to South Carolina. The “soldiers” will be led into battle by active-duty drill sergeants who will provide rudimentary training on each era’s tactics before leading teams into battle. For the Revolutionary War, individuals learn how muskets used during this time were inaccurate and slow to reload. This caused opponents to move closer to one another before shooting and the tactics often involved firing en masse for a better chance of hitting the enemy. Participants will line up shoulder to shoulder and may only throw their limited number of water balloons when the drill sergeant gives the order to fire.
We then fast forward to World War I, an important moment in Columbia’s history as Camp Jackson (now Fort Jackson) was founded during this war. For this battle, one team will go “over the top” and move across an open area on the grounds to attack another team that is entrenched behind hedges. The defending team will have many more water balloons than the attacking team. People will learn how machine guns, trenches and other technology gave defense a decisive advantage for most of the war. This is what led to the static trench warfare on the Western Front that gives us the familiar images we associate with this conflict.

Happy Hour Water Balloon Battle medium
The third and final battle to be fought represents the Vietnam-era and the elimination of clear battle lines that defined control of territory. In this battle, buckets filled with water balloons will be placed around the grounds and teams must fight for control of the “supply” points. The battle will likely devolve from well-planned strategies to small groups fighting for control of one or two buckets.
Books, lectures, maps and museum exhibits certainly provide more in-depth information about warfare in the past, but this event will draw participants who may not normally visit museums or consider themselves history buffs. Our goal for this event is to whet the appetite for folks who have a diverse range of education and careers to go out on their own and to learn more about the past. Over 1,700 water balloons will fly through the sky in three battles designed to educate the public on fighting techniques. Without making light of the real life experiences of soldiers in the past, this event engages the public in an active, outdoor educational setting during the famously hot summer days in Columbia.

CLICK HERE to find out more information and to register for this epic Happy Hour Water Balloon Battle. The 2016-2017 Happy Hour Series is generously sponsored by Land Bank Lofts.

This article was originally published by The Columbia Star.

 

 

 

 

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Preservation Advocacy Update | 1401 Assembly Street

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At the August 11 meeting of Columbia’s Design/Development Review Commission meeting, Historic Columbia expressed concerns regarding plans for a 15-story housing tower adjacent to the main branch of the Richland Library. HC’s interest in this project is the impact that the new construction will have on the historic building at 1401 Assembly Street.

1401 AssemblyThis building is one of a small number that remain as representatives of what was once Columbia’s thriving black business district. Its orientation on the corner lot served as a unique transition from Assembly to Washington streets. In 1916 it housed the Regal Drug Store – owned and operated by Columbian Charles Johnson; by 1919 the law office for Nathaniel J. Frederick, who was the principal of Howard School, editor of the independent AA newspaper the Southern indicator and the first AA lawyer admitted to the SC state bar occupied its second story; and it the 1980s the building served as a center for social and political discourse when it housed Stroy’s Barbershop.

The building has an important story to tell and it needs to be protected from demolition to do so. While HC prefers that the building remain in its current location in order to retain the original context, without landmark designation this is a request D/DRC is unwilling to consider as part of the project review.

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As a result Historic Columbia has been engaged in productive conversation to work with Clayco – the project developer, Richland Library and the City to relocate the building to a lot at the NW corner of Park and Washington streets. While this removes the building from the original location it does retain the context within the Black Business District, placing it among the few remaining structures.

 

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HC Plant Sales at the 2016 Gardening Symposium!

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Take a piece of the Gardening Symposium home with you! Use what you’ve learned at the Gardening Symposium by caring for a plant grown at the Historic Columbia gardens. Four different plants will be available for purchase at the 2016 Gardening Symposium: Chrysanthemum ‘Cathy’s Rust’ ($5), Brugmansia ‘Charles Grimaldi’ ($10), Mangave ‘Macho Mocha’ ($10), and Hemerocallis ‘Historic Columbia’ ($15). These plants will appeal to anyone and everyone with their variety of looks and behaviors.

Chrysanthemum ‘Cathy’s Rust’

Cathys RustFor those of you who love a flourishing fall garden, the Chrysanthemum ‘Cathy’s Rust’ is the plant for you. Garden mums are the unsung heroes of the fall garden. They are lush and bring eye-catching color to your garden. In late September or October, ‘Cathy’s Rust’ will produce loads of dark rust colored blooms with contrasting golden centers. These colors complement the changing leaves and colors of fall perfectly. Unlike the mass-produced greenhouse mums sold by big box stores, heirlooms mums will naturalize easily in most gardens. We recommend cutting back ‘Cathy’s Rust’ by at least one half in mid-summer for a more upright fall show.

Brugmansia ‘Charles Grimaldi’

brugmansia-charles-grimaldi-flowersIf you’re a person that enjoys watching the evolution of plants throughout the seasons, you’ll love the Brugmansia ‘Charles Grimaldi.’ Brugmansia is also known as “angel’s trumpet” for their golden, bell-like blossoms. This tropical-looking plant is a perennial South American member of the tomato family. These herbaceous stunners will die down to the ground in our winters, only to re-emerge in April. Brugmansia ‘Charles Grimaldi’ will grow to a height of five to six feet by August and begin to produce loads of pendant, fragrant, light orange flowers over a foot long!

Mangave ‘Macho Mocha’

Mangave-Macho-MochaFor those that enjoy the beauty of evergreen, the Mangave ‘Macho Mocha’ is the perfect addition to your garden. This nearly indestructible perennial sports large garnet spots on otherwise blueish-green succulent leaves. Mangaves are the result of an intergeneric cross between the related genera Agave and Manfreda. The result is stunning foliage and improved hardiness. Be sure to provide excellent drainage for maximum performance.

 

Hemerocallis ‘Historic Columbia’

YellowIf you want your garden filled with beautiful flowers, consider the Hemerocallis ‘Historic Columbia.’ Day lilies are known and bred for their beautiful flowers. They are also one of the most dependable performers in the Southern garden, tolerating harsher conditions than many other perennials. ‘Historic Columbia’ displays light yellow flowers with an extended bloom period. ‘Historic Columbia’ was a seedling found and named by Robert Kennedy (of Camden) in 1981. (Photo of similar variety.)

 

 

 

 

In addition to these plants propagated from the Historic Columbia gardens, the symposium will also feature products from Roses Unlimited, Rodger’s Heirlooms, Heathwood Hall, Paradise Plants Plus, and Mill Creek Greenhouses. A heirloom seed swap will take place during and after the workshops and will include seeds from Seed Saver’s Exchange, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, and the Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants. The Gift Shop at Robert Mills will offer books by the presenters as well as unique gardening items, including pressed herbarium specimens collected from Historic Columbia gardens and prepared at USC’s A.C. Moore Herbarium.

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The Herbemont at HC

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Guest blog by 2016 Garden Symposium keynote speaker, Dr. David Shields.

herbemont_dessinWhen Lief Erickson made landfall on the Western Hemisphere it was so overrun with Native grapes he called the country Vinland. When colonists from Spain, France, and England tried to transport their home grapes—the Vitis vinefera—they planted them in a territory occupied by a host of Native grapes, all of them loathe to surrender land to interlopers. The pathogens, that had developed to insure that only the strongest strains of Natives survived, attacked the cabernets, the pinot noirs, the reislings, and the Muscats. For two hundred years people attempted to plant French, German, and Italian grapes in American soil, and for 200 years they died. Black rot, brown rot, mildew, Phylloxera, Pierce’s disease would take them all in a year or two. Until that moment just after the turn of the 19th century when vignerons decided to cross a resistant Native variety with a tasty European variety to create a hybrid.

Nicholas Herbemont, a native of the Champagne in France and the first instructor of French in the College of South Carolina, would be the first to embrace hybrid grapes in the creation of fine wine. He would only be driven to this conclusion after witnessing over 120 Vitis vinefera varieties that he had imported in 1811 wither and die in the Carolina sun. The hybrid grape that he embraced was a cross between a Native borquiniana and a European vinefera, and had the refined flavor of the latter and the disease resistance of the Native. It was a fat brown grape, succulent and saccharine, that reminded him of the Sercial Madeira grape. Georgians called it the Warren grape. But because Nicholas Herbemont created the first annually available fine quality vintage wine from it in the 1820s, it came to be called after him.

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Herbemont was one of the six grapes upon which the American grape industry was founded—the others were the Catawba, the Concord, the Norton, the Delaware, and the Isabella—none of them straight vineferas. Texas and Missouri became major centers of Herbemont wine production until the early 1870s when nearly every Herbemont grape vine in the United States was dug up and shipped to Europe, because it resisted the depredations of the phylloxera mite. The Herbemont grape saved the French noble vintages, but did so at the sacrifice of its central place in the ranks of American wine. A fine table grape and a historic wine grape, Herbemont is the signature grape of Southern viticulture. It is more classic and refined in taste than the Muscadine, more rich than later hybrids such as the Chambourcin, and more versatile than the Catawba or the Isabella. Historically is was made into a fortified Madeira-like wine, a light white wine, and a rose. It was often paired at meals with another local hybrid of the summer grape (Vitis vinefera) and a Vitis vinefera named the Lenoir. In Texas the pairing of these grapes in vineyards remains to the present day.

[Historic Columbia is proud to announce the homecoming of the Herbemont! HC Horticulturist Keith Mearns, pictured here, is preparing to propagate the historic grape in our gardens. Special thanks to Justin Scheiner at Texas A&M for sending us cuttings.] 

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To learn more about horticulture and the history of Southern gardens, join us April 8 & 9 for Historic Columbia’s 2016 Gardening Symposium “Redefining the Southern Garden: Past, Present & Future.” Early registration for this event ends March 25th so please Register Today!

CLICK HERE to view more photos of the Herbemont at HC!

 

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Easement Work on Main Street

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easementsOne way that Historic Columbia actively engages in local preservation efforts is through our Historic Easement Program. A preservation easement is a legal agreement between the owner of a historic property and a qualified preservation organization, whereby the owner gives up certain development rights in exchange for certain financial benefits. Historic Columbia holds preservation façade easements on several important historic buildings in downtown Columbia, including the Arcade Mall and the Habenicht Building (among others) on Main Street, the First National Bank on Washington Street, and the Powell Furniture Building on Sumter Street.

Most historic property owners that enter into a covenant do so because they have an appreciation for the historical or cultural significance of that building or landscape, but they also know that donating an easement to a charitable organization can help them realize a benefit on their Federal income tax, and they may also seek to use the donation as a platform for taking advantage of Federal Historic Rehabilitation Tax Incentives. These benefits have been key to realizing many of the renovation and restoration projects along the Main Street corridor and elsewhere throughout Columbia.

We’ve collected some more of the Main Street easement photographs here.

Historic Columbia’s acceptance of an easement means that it agrees to “manage and enforce, [the] preservation and conservation easement in gross and in perpetuity.” To that end, Historic Columbia staff conducts annual inspections of the properties and — should the owners decide to perform exterior improvements — passes judgment on exterior design and renovation decisions. Historic Columbia’s easement portfolio continues to grow as we continue to create closer and better relationships within the development community.

It is important to point out that there is a much larger benefit involved in the conservation easement — that is, the benefit to the general public. The idea is that, a covenanted property, be it a sharecropper shack in rural South Carolina or Yosemite National Park, is worth protecting for everyone, because it is the kind of place from which “the general public will yield a significant public benefit.”

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Free Times Responds to Wilson Controversy

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Following the national media coverage of the controversy surrounding Woodrow Wilson’s legacy, Rodney Welch recently visited the Woodrow Wilson Family Home and spoke with Historic Columbia staff about how this unique museum addresses these dynamic and difficult conversations. This article originally appeared in the December 23, 2015 issue of Free Times

Wilson and Howe Families

As U.S. Reconsiders Woodrow Wilson, Columbia Leads the Way

Nationally and locally, Woodrow Wilson’s past has been catching up to him.

Last month, students at Wilson’s alma mater, Princeton University, staged a sit-in at the president’s office and demanded Wilson’s name be removed from all campus buildings.

Here in Columbia, the divided legacy of the 28th president has been a topic of conversation ever since the newly renovated Woodrow Wilson Family Home at 1705 Hampton St. reopened in February of 2014.

Although long known as a champion of liberal reform who led the country during World War I, Wilson was also the president who re-introduced segregation into federal offices in Washington, D.C., treated black leaders with contempt, and screened D.W. Griffith’s racist epic The Birth of a Nation in the White House.

Far from avoiding the issue of Wilson’s racial views, exhibits in Columbia’s Woodrow Wilson Family Home tackle them upfront, partly because it’s unavoidable. This is the home where Wilson lived from 1870 to 1874, from the ages of 14 to 18, when a defeated South was still licking its wounds.

“One of the key things we want to do here is we want to talk about Reconstruction,” says John Sherrer, cultural resources director at Historic Columbia, which manages the home. “We want to be able to create the scenario of ‘This is Columbia and this is South Carolina after the Civil War.’”

For Jennifer Taylor, who wrote the docent script and is currently writing her Ph.D. thesis on the home, the willingness of the museum staff to approach sensitive topics makes it rare.

“The way that they’re talking about race and political power, those are important subjects that aren’t generally covered in these spaces,” she says.

“I think we actually are unique among the Wilson sites in the way that we interpret this Wilson house,” says Historic Columbia Executive Director Robin Waites.

The Columbia home is one of four Wilson museums in the country. There’s also the presidential library in Staunton, Virginia, a boyhood home in Augusta — where the family lived before moving to Columbia — and the retirement home in Washington, D.C.

“Looking at communications from folks in D.C. and folks in Augusta, they certainly now are saying that Wilson was a complex guy, but it’s not something that they talk about necessarily at the historic sites, whereas we do that at this site,” Waites says. “So I’m not sure that there is, honestly, the expectation out there that a house that deals with Wilson would do this.”

Throughout the house, displays contrast Wilson’s placid domestic world with the political corruption and terrorism going on in the streets of Columbia.

In video presentations, Wilson is assessed by speakers as diverse as biographer A. Scott Berg and hop-hop artist DJ Spooky.

Historic Columbia co-hosted a screening of the latter’s film Rebirth of a Nation — a remixed, rescored and re-narrated version which examines Griffith’s compositional techniques and ideology — in January at the Nickelodeon Theatre.

“What we try to do here is look at the myths surrounding Reconstruction and break those down and tease those apart and put human faces on a lot of the events,” says Fielding Freed, Director of Historic House Museums with Historic Columbia. “As our guests go around the house, they’re starting to get a real idea that this was about human beings really renegotiating the majority of what was taken for granted for so many years and so [much] American life and that was slavery, and that’s no longer part of the social fabric of the country.”

Jasper Lawson of Massachusetts, who grew up in Columbia and graduated from the University of South Carolina, stopped by the home during a visit to his 50th reunion at C.A. Johnson High School.

“It’s a lot more informative than when I was a 14-year-old teenager popping in here,” he said. “Now I say, well, Wilson is not an exceptional president in terms of his racial views or anything like that. He’s no exception.”

For Lawson’s partner, Jay Landers, Wilson’s views were likely a matter of his environment.

“How you’re brought up is how you’re brought up,” he said. “He’s no different. We will be criticized in 20 or 30 years for what we’re doing now.”

He didn’t have to look far for a contemporary example.

“We experience that all the time, being an interracial married couple,” he said. “We’ve been married for 11 years, coming from Massachusetts, which was the first one with same sex marriage — we get to experience it. And there are places in today’s world where we won’t go right now.”

 

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The Impact of Columbia on Woodrow Wilson

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[The following was written by our Executive Director, Robin Waites, and published in The State on December 14, 2015 as an Opinion Extra. Richland and Lexington County residents are invited to take a guided tour of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home for only $1 on Sunday, Dec. 20.]

Recent student protests at Princeton regarding President Woodrow Wilson may seem far removed from Columbia, but Wilson’s views on race are part of our everyday conversations at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home.   Since reopening the historic site in February 2014, Richland County and Historic Columbia have operated the museum as a place that explores the Reconstruction era, considers its impact on Wilson, and promotes open dialogue on all aspects of Wilson’s Presidency.

Woodrow Wilson Family Home

 

The Wilson’s moved to their home at the corner of Hampton and Henderson streets in 1871 when the future President was 14 years old.  This was in the middle of the Reconstruction era, a tumultuous period between the conclusion of the Civil War and the beginning of legally sanctioned segregation across the South.  Race, inextricably interwoven into politics and power, was central to the experience of Blacks and Whites in Columbia in 1871.  Racial matters structured lives in ways codified by law and negotiated through generations-old social customs. It was within this context that a white, privileged southern teenager began to form his impressions of the world and grow intellectually.

Woodrow Wilson is considered a successful, two-term President, who led America to victory in the First World War.  He is perhaps best known for laying the groundwork for the League of Nations, a precursor to the United Nations.  He is often held out as one of America’s most effective Presidents.   But, missing from the usual narrative on Wilson’s legacy is a discussion of his domestic policies, particularly those involving racial segregation.

Wilson campaigned in 1912 on a platform of racial inclusion, but went in the opposite direction once in office.  His actions to re-segregate federal offices that had been at least partially integrated took racial reconciliation backwards.  His association with public figures who championed legal segregation of the races sent a message to white and black alike that he eschewed policies that would bring about more equal treatment of blacks and whites.

The mindset behind these policies had its foundation within the very era in which Wilson grew into an adult in Columbia. Exhibits and guides at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home tackle these challenging issues and discuss the structural segregation in the post-Civil War era, as well as political terrorism carried out against blacks by the Red Shirts, and the apparent endorsement of Birth of a Nation in 1915 by then President Wilson.  Discussion of these issues has long been avoided but needs to be addressed in today’s world if we are going to be honest in our assessment of history and how it has shaped the world we live in today.

As the country is engaged in dynamic and difficult conversations about race and specifically the legacy of Woodrow Wilson, Historic Columbia offers a unique environment to consider how this national leader’s experiences and opinions shaped his later actions.   More broadly, in opening the door to discussion about our complex past, we all may thoughtfully shape our shared future.

Robin Waites is the Executive Director of Historic Columbia, which manages the Woodrow Wilson Family Home.  Waites oversaw the multi-year rehabilitation and re-interpretation of the site, which is the only museum of Reconstruction in the country.

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CJHI Events Continue: Happy Hour, Brisket, and Concerts!

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Happy Hour on Main Street!

Jewish Merchants, Past and Present, in the Commercial District

Gather your friends and join us for Historic Columbia’s next installment of its popular, monthly Happy Hour program on Friday, November 20, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

This month features a newly-developed guided walking tour highlighting Columbia’s Jewish heritage and explores how Jewish merchants, past and present, have shaped the downtown district. Enjoy these fascinating stories along with drinks and light appetizers, included with admission.

The happy hour begins with drinks in front of Michael’s on Main Street, and then travels down Lady Street before crossing over Assembly Street to end at The Big Apple on Hampton Street for more drinks and light appetizers.

CJHI Main Street Collage-01

 

This is one of the first of many public events that are part of the Columbia Jewish Heritage Initiative. The long-term project—in partnership with Columbia’s Jewish Community Center and Jewish Federation, the College of Charleston’s Jewish Heritage Collection, Richland County Public Library, and Jewish Historical Society of South Carolina—aims to record oral histories, and to collect photographs, historic documents, and Jewish memorabilia, while promoting awareness of the longevity and tenacity of Jewish life in the capital city. The initiative is made possible by the ongoing support of the Central Carolina Community Foundation and the Humanities Council of South Carolina, and the City of Columbia.

Historic Columbia’s Happy Hour program takes place every 3rd Friday of the month. Please check our event calendar for each month’s location and to reserve your spot. Attendees must be 21 years of age or older. $15 for HC members. $20 for non-members.

Also stay tuned for other events featuring Historic Columbia and the Columbia Jewish Heritage Initiative.  A few highlights include:

 

7th Annual Bubbie’s Brisket and Bakery

November 22, 2015  11am – 3pm  |  Beth Shalom Synagogue

5827 N. Trenholm Rd.

803.782.2500

Come enjoy homemade, kosher delectable foods prepared under Bubbie’s direction right in the Beth Shalom kitchen.  This Jewish Food Extravaganza will help sponsor many of the activities for the Synagogue, as well as some community projects like Harvest Hope Food Bank, and Bubbie’s personal favorite, the Tuesday with Friends program.

Share Memories of your Bubbie !

Representatives from the Columbia Jewish Heritage Initiative will be on hand to collect stories and photos of your Bubbie!  Staff from Historic Columbia will have photo scanners and audio recorders so that you can share memories, recipes and stories of your grandmother (all materials will be scanned and returned immediately).  Images and stories may be included in a multi-discipline project, which will document as well as provide access to and awareness of local Jewish history.

 

A Private Salon Concert with Solomon Eichner

December 2, 2015

6:30 pm Reception

7:00 pm Concert

Equally at home with solo, chamber and concerto performances, Solomon Eichner has established himself as an exciting versatile young artist. This past summer Solomon traveled to Italy to participate as a full scholarship recipient in the Perugia Music Festival.  In addition to solo performances in the famous Salla Notari Hall, Solomon performed the Grieg Piano Concerto with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Universidad de Alicante under the baton of Israeli Conductor Uriel Segal. Before Italy, Solomon participated at the prestigious PianoFest in the Hamptons, NY as a full-scholarship recipient studying with world-renowned pianists Paul Schenly, Orion Weiss and Kathryn Brown. Solomon performed for sold out audiences at the Avram Theater Rachmaninoff’s 3rd Piano Concerto, also at St. Lukes Episcopal Church, among other venues.

This is a rare chance to see this rising star in an intimate house concert setting.

Please RSVP by November 30 to reservations@historiccolumbia.org

803.252.1770 ext 23

Space is Limited!

$75 / $50 members of TPS & YAD

For more information about the concert, click HERE.

 

 

 

 

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Chicora College Yearbook Memories

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For sisters Elizabeth (McElveen) Yountz, Robin (McElveen) Ragans, and Dale (McElveen) Jaeger, a recent visit to the Hampton-Preston Mansion was an exciting opportunity to see Chicora College, the Alma Mater of their grandmother Sarah Cornelia Cockfield. “It was a real thrill to see her in the annuals and see the ‘dorm’ room that she experienced,” said Elizabeth (Cornee) Yountz.  Cockfield, who grew up in Johnsonville near Lake City, graduated from Chicora in 1918. Historic Columbia was pleased to offer the sisters access to our collection of Chicora College yearbooks which contain many photographs of their grandmother that they had not seen before.

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The  Presbyterian College for Women merged with Greenville’s Chicora College to form Chicora College for Women in 1915.  The school remained on Blanding Street at the Hampton-Preston property until 1930.

 

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’1000 Year Flood’ brings Columbia, Mississippi to the aid of Columbia, South Carolina

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For immediate release: October 8, 2015

Two cities that share a name, a historical tie, and a set of classmates, will come full circle this week: sharing relief from natural disaster. The citizens of Columbia, Mississippi have answered the call for aid posted to social media.

The Columbia MS for Columbia SC relief effort is targeted specifically:

1) to assist Columbia SC area hospital operations burdened due to the flood event,and

2) to support Columbia, SC hospital staff and patient families who have been displaced and are in need. Tnovsa is conducting this relief effort with the cooperation of the South Carolina Hospital Association, Palmetto Health, Providence Hospitals, the Dorn VA Medical Center and Moncrief Army Hospital.

Historical Ties

According to the Lamar County Mississippi Genealogy and History Network, Columbia, Mississippi, located in Marion County, was named for Columbia, South Carolina, the city from which many of its early settlers had migrated.  It changed its original name from Lott’s Bluff when it incorporated to Columbia on June 25, 1819, “in memory of a district and town back in South Carolina”.

Columbia SC / Columbia MS Relief Backstory

As New Year’s Eve 2015 neared, Columbia, South Carolina resident Catherine Fleming Bruce saw a post from College classmate Danon Vest Jones, describing the devastation in Columbia, Mississippi after an EF3 tornado left 5 dead and 50 injured a few days before Christmas. Danon was assisting area relief efforts and had turned to social media. In response, Catherine created the Facebook page ‘Columbia SC for Columbia MS: tornado relief’, took to local media to share the news , and challenged residents of the ‘Famously Hot’ City’ to help.

Nine months later, it is Columbia, South Carolina that is in dire need, struck by a massive ‘1000 year’ flood that has taken lives, destroyed homes, and damaged roads and bridges. Flooding that warranted a federal disaster declaration; flooding that is still unfolding.

After a city-wide water shutoff on October 4th and news that hospitals might have to evacuate patients, Bruce returned to the original FB page, inviting the people of Columbia Mississippi to help.

The Columbia, Mississippi response was immediate. In a few days, the plea for help from its new ‘sister city’ had been shared more than 18,000 times. Columbia Strong, the organization that led the tornado relief effort in Mississippi, is making a major commitment. The City of Columbia, Mississippi has declared October 10th and 11th “Days of Giving for Columbia, South Carolina!”, and will collect clean specific relief items and water to meet the drinking and cooking needs of hospitals in the Midlands.

A truck bearing aid from Columbia, Mississippi is set to arrive at the Charles R. Drew Wellness Center, 2101 Walker Solomon Way in Columbia, South Carolina at 2:00 pm on Tuesday, October 13th, welcomed by hospital and local officials.

Jeremy Robbins of Columbia, Mississippi reports: “We have organized relief efforts for our sister city, Columbia, SC. They were among the first to respond to our needs after the December 23rd tornado so unfortunately, in this short time, we shall return the kindness. “

Contact information:

For information about the Columbia, Mississippi relief efforts for Columbia, South Carolina contact Mrs. Danon Vest at 601-906-8483.

For information about the Columbia SC for Columbia MS effort in January 2015, and the current outreach to Columbia, Mississippi for help with flood relief targeting Columbia South Carolina hospitals, contact Catherine Fleming Bruce, 803-521-2057.

For information about the Columbia, Mississippi relief efforts to Columbia, South Carolina Hospitals, contact Regina Brown, Palmetto Health, at 803-296-2961 or via cell 803-237-6548.

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