What Do These Bones Mean? | Artifact of the Month!

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Among the many bones recovered from the archaeological excavations at the Mann-Simons site were those belonging to three raccoons. What do they mean? Most simply, the bones mean there were at least three raccoons on site for some portion of their lives (or at least their deaths). But to know more we must first understand that the meaning of an object is not inherent in the object itself, but instead emerges from the context within which people and objects interact. Of course, when investigating the past it is impossible to observe these interactions—the primary context. Therefore, we must rely on secondary context: where an object was found in association with other objects and physical features.

Femura and vertebra from the buried raccoon.

Our raccoons came from two different contexts. The first was discovered in a small, roughly rectangular depression in a former planting space in the backyard, about three feet from a former building. No other artifacts were found in the depression. This raccoon was buried (if it had been a cat or dog, we might suggest the animal was a pet). The other two were discovered in a large circular pit also in the backyard. The pit contained 3,996 artifacts in addition to the two raccoons, artifacts ranging from bottles and nails to food remains and brick fragments. This was a trash pit and these raccoons were thrown away.

Mandibles from the two discarded raccoons.

These bones can be understood not only in relation to the family (who clearly disposed of them with no evidence of consumption), but larger society as well. The presence of raccoon remains in trash pits is not a rare phenomenon. Cats, rats, raccoons, dogs and other animals were routinely disposed of for population control and urban sanitation. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, these so-called ‘nuisance’ animals were often perceived as an important vector in the spread of disease in cities, and were even thought to be a possible cause of the national influenza outbreak in 1918. The disposal of three raccoons by the family could be viewed as a means of improving health conditions in Columbia.

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Historic Columbia Foundation Offers Guided Walking Tour of Old Shandon Neighborhood on Sunday, August 12 at 2 p.m.

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Do you know the history of Old Shandon in Columbia, South Carolina? Covering approximately 37 acres, this district features 42 buildings of architectural merit representative of housing styles and forms popular from 1893 through the 1940s. Early suburban life in this Columbia neighborhood proved a major attraction for inner-city professionals and their families as early as 1893. Life close todowntown amenities and work but within new homes situated on more spacious lots spoke to a more modern lifestyle that lured Columbia residents outside the city’s limits. With the extension of the trolley line in 1894 into Valley Park and along Devine and Maple streets in 1898, greater numbers of former downtown citizens established themselves within the new community.

On Sunday, August 12 at 2 p.m.; Historic Columbia Foundation is offering a guided walking tour highlighting the architecture and history of this historic neighborhood.  A free tour for Historic Columbia Foundation members, the cost is just $6 for non-member adults and $3 for non-member youth (17 and under).  Tickets can be purchased by calling 803.252.1770 ext. 24 or by email at reservations@historiccolumbia.org.  Walk-up registrations are also accepted – the tour will meet at the Wheatley Branch of Richland County Public Library (931 Woodrow Street).

More about Old Shandon:
In their 1895 map of Columbia and its suburbs, city engineers Niernsee & LaMotte indicated Shandon’s original boundaries as Woodrow, Wheat, and Harden streets and Carolina Avenue (now Santee Avenue). Today’s Old Shandon area covers those blocks of the suburb that lay northeast of Devine Street, in addition to the area southeast of Woodrow Street that became Maple Street.  In 2003, Old Shandon residents supported listing the portion of their neighborhood bounded by Woodrow, Cypress, Maple, Lee, and Preston streets within the National Register of Historic Places as the Old Shandon Historic District.

Historic Columbia Foundation posted a video of Geneva Johnson Maxberry reflecting on the sense of community in Old Shandon: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfP-_s4OVdc&feature=player_embedded.

About this month’s Second Sunday Stroll, Robin Waites, Executive Director of Historic Columbia Foundation says “View Columbia from a different lens as you retrace our shared past on a guided walking tour of Old Shandon.”  Members of the media are encouraged to contact Ashley Tucker, Marketing Coordinator, for historic photographs and questions about Old Shandon at 803.252.7742 ext 16 or atucker@historiccolumbia.org.

About Retrace: Connecting Communities Through History:
Historic Columbia Foundation invites you to retrace our shared past through its series of web tours, walking tours, mobile apps and wayside exhibits. Explore six virtual tours of Columbia’s historic neighborhoods (including Old Shandon) by clicking on the “Retrace” icon at http://www.historiccolumbia.org. Self-guided tour brochures are available in the Museum Shop, located at 1616 Blanding Street. Your story could be just around the corner.

About Historic Columbia Foundation:
In November 1961, a small group of individuals intent on saving the Ainsley Hall House from demolition, officially incorporated as the Historic Columbia Foundation. Over the next five decades the organization, which was founded on the premise of preservation and education, would take on the stewardship of seven historic properties in Richland County. Today, the organization serves as a model for local preservation efforts and interpretation of local history. The 50th Anniversary year of Historic Columbia Foundation (which officially began on November 13, 2011) will include a variety of community celebratory events. Visit http://www.historiccolumbia.org for details.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/histcolumbia
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/historiccolumbia
Web: http://www.historiccolumbia.org
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/discoverhistory

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Celebrate Columbia’s First Aviator and America’s Lost Hero at the Paul Redfern Symposium, Saturday, August 25 from 9 am – 3 pm

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Historic Columbia Foundation in partnership with members of the Paul Rinaldo Redfern Aviation Society will celebrate the 85th Anniversary of Paul Redfern’s Historic attempt to fly non-stop from North America to South America on Saturday, August 25 at from 9 am – 3 pm at Dreher High School, 3319 Millwood Ave.

Members of the Paul Rinaldo Redfern Aviation Society, who have cataloged Redfern’s many achievements, will celebrate his memory during the Symposium, which includes special guest speakers and presenters, including distinguished historians and Redfern descendants. Admission also includes lunch, a missing man fly-over, two historic marker dedications and a Redfern Sites Bus Tour. The celebration will take place at Dreher High School on the grounds where Redfern got his start.

Paul Refern, a South Carolina native and 1923 graduate of Columbia High School, disappeared on August 25,1927, as he attempted to be the first person to fly from North America to South America.

Speakers and Presenters

  • Tom Savage, President of Paul Rinaldo Redfern Aviation SocietyRon Shelton, Coordinator of Young Eagles, Experimental Aircraft Association, South Carolina State Museum
  • Dr. Fritz Hamer, Curator of Published Materials Division, South Caroliniana Library, USC
  • Dr. Warner M. Montgomery, President of Columbia Star and Paul Redfern Biographer
  • Scott Swanson, nephew of Paul Redfern
  • Paul Redfern Jennings, nephew of Paul Redfern

Ceremonies

  • Lunch at Dreher High School
  • Toast to Paul Redfern at 12:46 pm (time of Redfern’s take-off)
  • Recital of poem written by Paul Redfern’s Mother
  • Missing Man Fly-over with period aircraft
  • Re-dedication of Redfern Plaque
  • Dedication of new Redfern Field Historic Marker

Afternoon Bus Tour

  • Bus tour of Redfern associated sites led by Dr. Warner Montgomery

Those interested in attending this celebration are encouraged to register through Sarah Blackwell 803.252.1770 x 33 or sblackwell@historiccolumbia.org.  Admission is $20 and includes entrance to the symposium, lunch and a bus tour. Activity tickets can also be purchases separately, $5 for entrance, $10 forlunch and $5 for bus tour. Please send payments to 1601 Richland Street Attn: Sarah Blackwell/ Redfern Day, Columbia, SC 29201.

Members of the media are encouraged to contact Ashley Tucker, Marketing Coordinator at 803.252.1770 ext 16 or atucker@historiccolumbia.org. Historic photographs are available.

About Historic Columbia Foundation:
In November 1961, a small group of individuals intent on saving the Ainsley Hall House from demolition officially incorporated as the Historic Columbia Foundation. Over the next five decades the organization, which was founded on the premise of preservation and education, would take on the stewardship of seven historic properties in Richland County. Today, the organization serves as a model for local preservation efforts and interpretation of local history. The 50th Anniversary year of Historic Columbia Foundation (which officially began on November 13, 2011) will include a variety of community celebratory events. Visit http://www.historiccolumbia.org for details.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/histcolumbia
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/historiccolumbia
Web: http://www.historiccolumbia.org
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/discoverhistory

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Historic Columbia Foundation Awarded IMLS Museums for America Federal Grant for Mann-Simons Project

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COLUMBIA, SC (July 17, 2012) – Historic Columbia Foundation was awarded a $141,047 federal grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services in support of the Mann-Simonscommunity engagement project. HCF was one of 152 projects from more than 450 applicants selected for funding and is the only IMLS Museums for American grant recipient in the state of South Carolina for this year.

This funding supports a partnership between Historic Columbia Foundation, the University of South Carolina, Richland School District One and the Columbia Housing Authority. Using the city-owned Mann-Simons Site, the Foundation will implement, review, and refine a series of youth and senior programs and activities and develop a multi-discipline, multi-generational educational outreach program.

The project will use local history as the catalyst to extend meaningful outreach programs to high school students and senior citizens and enable the foundation to build greater organizational capacity for community engagement.

The Mann-Simons site, located at 1403 Marion Street, is one of seven historic properties managed by Historic Columbia Foundation and one of only a few sites in South Carolina once owned by freed African-Americans prior to the Civil War. This three-year project is slated to begin in September 2012.

Members of the media are encouraged to contact Ashley Tucker at 803.252.7742 ext 16 or atucker@historiccolumbia.org for more information.

About the Institute for Museum and Library Services:
Museums for America is the Institute’s largest grant program for museums, supporting projects and ongoing activities that build museums’ capacity to serve their communities. These grants strengthen a museum’s ability to serve the public more effectively by supporting high-priority activities that advance the institution’s mission and strategic goals. Funds can be used for a wide variety of projects, including research, planning, new programs, and activities that support the efforts of museums to upgrade and integrate new technologies.

About Historic Columbia Foundation:
In November 1961, a small group of individuals intent on saving the Ainsley Hall House from demolition, officially incorporated as the Historic Columbia Foundation. Over the next five decades the organization, which was founded on the premise ofpreservation and education, would take on the stewardship of seven historicproperties in Richland County. Today, the organization serves as a model for local preservation efforts and interpretation of local history. The 50th Anniversary year of Historic Columbia Foundation (which officially began onNovember 13, 2011) will include a variety of community celebratory events. Visit http://www.historiccolumbia.org for details.

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/histcolumbia
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/historiccolumbia
Web: http://www.historiccolumbia.org
Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/discoverhistory

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Historic Civil Rights site is praised — then razed | The State Newspaper Features Recently Demolished Historic Site

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On Saturday, July 21 a historic marker was placed at the Waverly Five and Dime store located at 2313 Gervais Street. Less than a week later the building was demolished by the First Nazareth Baptist Church, the current owners of the property. The State newspaper featured the story on the front page of Tuesday, July 31st paper. Read the article below or on thestate.com.

Civil rights pioneer George Elmore lost his Waverly 5-and-10 cent store in the late 1940s when he dared to put his name on a lawsuit ending South Carolina’s all-white primaries, a decision leading to economic reprisals and his financial ruin.

Now, the old brick storefront that sat at 2313 Gervais St. is lost again, this time reduced to a pile of rubble and a swift demolition Friday by the church next door, First Nazareth Baptist Church.

In an ironic twist, a historic marker was placed in front of the 1935 building a week earlier during a ceremony attended by city leaders, academics and church members, honoring Elmore and his contributions to the state’s civil rights history.

“There is a beautiful historical marker now standing in front of a pile of rubble,” Robin Waites, executive director of the Historic Columbia Foundation, said Monday. “I’m just furious.”

Cresswell Elmore, George Elmore’s son, said Monday he knew the building his father once rented was in bad shape. But he said he had pleaded with the church’s pastor, the Rev. Blakeney Scott, at the marker dedication to hold off on razing the building. Cresswell Elmore hoped the facade could be incorporated into the church’s plans for the property, which sits adjacent to the imposing church at Millwood Avenue and Gervais Street.

“We all spoke to him and we didn’t know he was in a hurry to destroy it,” said Cresswell Elmore, of New Bern, N.C. “I was just totally distraught.”

Efforts to reach Scott for comment were unsuccessful on Monday.

The church purchased the property in 2010 for $122,000. Plans for the property are unclear.

Waites said her organization had partnered with the African-American congregation to install the marker as part of the church’s 135th anniversary celebration and was working “toward some positive representation of that history.”

“Perhaps it is a little bit of naïveté on my part, but I arrived to do the marker on July 21 and there were demolition signs on the building,” she said. Waites said she quickly alerted civic leaders, including Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin, in hopes of staving off the destruction of a building that is part of Columbia’s historic Waverly community. But she learned at 6 p.m. Friday that the building was destroyed.

In an email, Benjamin said the demolition was a tragedy, saying the structure “stood as a monument to courage and commitment in the struggle for civil rights.”

“My only hope is that this loss will further highlight the need to preserve and protect our historic treasures and ensure that we never lose an irreplaceable piece of our shared history and culture like this again.”

One church member, M.L. Kohn, spent part of Monday salvaging bricks and other artifacts from the site.

“I thought maybe we had a change of mind about tearing it down,” Kohn said, “but it was something planned as part of progress.”

Elmore was an industrious entrepreneur, operating the popular Waverly dime store, two liquor stores and a taxi service. He also was active in the NAACP, which was working to end segregation and restore civil rights to the state’s African-Americans, including the right to vote.

In 1946, Elmore was approached by the civil rights organization to challenge the all-white Democratic primaries that were the vehicle for elected political leaders in the state. Democrats, who ran the state’s political machine, claimed the state’s primaries were private clubs, immune from constitutional scrutiny.

After attempting, unsuccessfully, to vote in the August 1946 Democratic primary, Elmore contested the white primary in a lawsuit filed Feb. 21, 1947, by the NAACP on his behalf, Elmore v. Rice.

On July 12, 1947, U.S. District Judge Waties Waring, who would later preside over the state’s signature school desegregation case, ruled in Elmore’s favor.

Almost immediately, Elmore began to suffer reprisals.

He lost his home nearby at 907 Tree St. when the bank called in the loan, but not before crosses were burned on the front lawn. White vendors refused to stock his shelves and his liquor licenses were revoked.

“He had to pay cash for everything after that time,” Cresswell Elmore recalled. Cash in a postwar economy was scarce, particularly for African-Americans. His wife, Laura, suffered a mental breakdown and was institutionalized. George Elmore died in 1959 at the age of 53.

Vennie Deas Moore, a cultural historian, said it’s often a battle to get people to understand the value of historic buildings that aren’t big and grand. Often, historic markers are erected at addresses where buildings significant to the city’s history used to stand.

University of South Carolina history professor Bobby Donaldson said he understands the tension that exists for urban congregations such as First Nazareth that want to expand their Christian missions.

He said the quick demolition of a building that had such a story to tell, particularly to young people, suggests that other structures around Columbia could be at risk.

“I know last week there was a lot of concern about that building being saved — and then you turn your head and it was gone,” Donaldson said.

The Historic Columbia Foundation has a list of dozens of unprotected landmarks.

Lawyer and preservation advocate Steve Morrison said the building’s loss was especially poignant given assaults on the right to vote that Elmore worked so hard to attain.

Morrison said he’s hoping the demolition will spin into an effort to identify and protect buildings associated with the Civil Rights era. “We don’t want a community full of empty buildings that are museums,” he said, “but we want a community full of the life of the past, as well as the present.”

Cresswell Elmore said the loss has prompted family members to consider a way to preserve their Tree Street home as a memorial to their father’s sacrifice, a move that Kohn and others support.

Lonnie Randolph, who lives in Waverly, said the loss of the Elmore store is nothing new.

“The history of people of color has no significance in this state,” he said. “Look at our schools. Look at what happened to Booker T. Washington (High School). That’s just one of many examples of what happens to our institutions as time moves on.”

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Preservation Matters: Columbia, SC | Rehabilitated Historic Structure Becomes Incubator for Scholarship

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For almost two decades the modest three-room building at 2025 ½ Marion Street stood vacant. A curiosity for some passersby who pondered its past, it was a target of derision for others skeptical of its future. Outside, a cockeyed chimney seemed an ominous portent of structural problems that might lie beneath the peeling paint of clapboards and tired windows. Inside, the wood-frame cottage’s flaking plaster and well-trod floorboards belied the site’s rich association with South Carolina’s pre-eminent civil and human rights activist, Modjeska Monteith Simkins. Her home, immediately to the east, had undergone renovation in 1997. To what vital use—a use that also would preserve the important physical layers of history embedded within its walls—could this building be placed?

This question and another that followed immediately thereafter—what would Modjeska Simkins have wanted? — lay at the heart of innumerable discussions. Historic Columbia Foundation staff and multiple stakeholders, especially persons who worked with Mrs. Simkins in her quest to correct civil injustice, arrived at a compelling answer – the structure should become a live-work unit for a scholar-in-residence program whose participants would engage in research befitting their namesake’s ideals and interests.

The decision made, Historic Columbia Foundation sought to assemble the necessary funding from a host of sources. Partnerships included BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, which purchased and then donated the Simkins property to the City of Columbia in 2007. Congressman Jim Clyburn, impressed with the building’s potential, spearheaded an effort to receive funding from the now-discontinued Save America’s Treasures program. [Previously, in 2009, Historic Columbia Foundation received funding from this federal grant for the structural stabilization and exterior restoration of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home.] Ultimately, his efforts yielded $150,000, which the Foundation was able to match through further sources, including a $25,000 grant from the Richland County Conservation Commission.

Under the direction of The Boudreaux Group, Willm Construction of Columbia performed eight months’ worth of rehabilitation work in compliance with Department of the Interior Standards for the work on historic building, which transformed the once-run-down cottage into a comprehensively updated facility while retaining its historic integrity. Highlights of the work include a reconstructed front porch, based on a photograph taken in April 1960; new heating, ventilation and air conditioning and plumbing systems; an interior paint scheme based on a scientific paint analysis; and exterior lighting and a double-loop wire fence in keeping with the building’s period of significance (1934-1966).

Monday, June 11th, marked the much-anticipated arrival of Historic Columbia Foundation’s first Modjeska Simkins Scholar-in-Residence – Yale doctoral candidate Caitlin Verboon. With her dissertation research experienced sponsored by Steve and Gail Morrison in honor of Candy Y. Waites, this Chapel Hill native will be in Columbia until late September investigating the Reconstruction era (1865-1877), particularly how relationships between black and white; northern and southern, urban and rural folks shaped life Columbia physical and social landscapes to become a New South city during the later 19th century. Caitlin’s findings, coupled with research that Historic Columbia Foundation staff members are conducting simultaneously, will inform the future interpretation of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home, which this fall will be undergoing Phase IIB of its multi-year rehabilitation. A physical link to this often under discussed time period, the Wilson Home connects the antebellum and Civil War eras represented at the Hampton-Preston Mansion with the Jim Crow and Civil Rights eras represented at the Mann-Simons Site and the Modjeska Simkins House, respectively.

It is fitting that this ground-breaking scholar-in-residence program debuts during Historic Columbia Foundation’s 50thanniversary year. Building upon the last five decades of work, Foundation staff anxiously awaits the new opportunities that this research and the live-work facility will afford the organization in the coming years.

A Diamond in the Rough | Pre-rehabilitation

Used for storage since the later years of Modjeska Simkins’ life, the three-room building was rented to David and Pearline (Pauline?) Boynton from 1946 until 1961, according to Columbia City Directories. From 1961 through 1964, the structure was listed as vacant; it may have been used to accommodate out-of-town Civil Rights activists whom Simkins would have hosted during an era in which hotels and motels where segregated.

A Glimpse at the Past | April 1960 | Image courtesy South Caroliniana Library

Joseph Winter, housing inspector for the Columbia Urban Rehabilitation Commission, photographed the Simkins family’s rear building on 20 April 1960 during surveys conducted for urban renewal proceedings. His image depicted the property with its porch and what appears to be a condemnation notice on the building’s rear ell. 

Preparing for the Future, Respecting the Past | Rehabilitation in progress

No stone ultimately was left unturned at the property, where Foundation staff, architects and contractors ensured that while the building was being improved to accommodate contemporary needs the preservation of important historic facets remained intact. Particularly interesting was plaster repair using traditional construction methods, performed by members of Dillon Construction.

Beauty is more than Skin Deep | Post-rehabilitation

While for years drawing the scorn of some passersby due to its deteriorated state, 2025 ½ Marion Street today is testament to the power of breathing new life into old buildings. Following its comprehensive overhaul the former late 19th-century cottage will serve scores of scholars who will call Columbia their temporary home during their months of research.

Caitlin Verboon | The Inaugural Modjeska Simkins Scholar-in-Residence

Historic Columbia Foundation is thankful to benefit from Caitlin’s talent this summer. Her research will lend itself well to future plans the organization has for interpreting the Woodrow Wilson Family Home, South Carolina’s only presidential site and an important physical link to the tumultuous Reconstruction era.

Ways to Get Involved:

1. Become a member of Historic Columbia Foundation.
 For as little as $35 (individual), your membership cost helps Historic Columbia Foundation in our local preservation and education efforts. Learn more…

2. Visit our historic house museums and gardens, including the Mann-Simons Site, Hampton-Preston Mansion, Seibels Garden, Robert Mills House & Garden, Woodrow Wilson Family Home (open the first Tuesday of the month for hard hat tours). Learn more…

3. Donate to Historic Columbia Foundation in honor of our 50th Anniversary. In an effort to save the Robert Mills House from demolition 265 visionary individuals, families and businesses each contributed $1,000 (equivalent to a $7,341 gift in 2011!) to Historic Columbia Foundation between 1961 and 1964. As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Historic Columbia Foundation, our Board of Trustees invites you to continue the legacy of the 265 founding leaders by being among the first 265 donors to make a contribution to our 2011 – 2012 Anniversary Campaign. Your gift may serve as a memorial or honorarium and may be directed to benefit our special projects, endowment or general operation fund as noticed in 50th Anniversary donation form here.

4. Become a fan of Historic Columbia Foundation and Preservation Matters on Facebook.(Facebook.com/HistoricColumbia andFacebook.com/PreservationMatters)  and/or follow us on Twitter (@histcolumbia). Your likes, comments and retweets help us spread the word about our organization.

5. Volunteer for Historic Columbia Foundation. By volunteering for Historic Columbia Foundation, you meet new people, visit historic sites, and discover the culture and lifestyles of South Carolina’s capital city and Richland County. Spend as little as six hours per month, or volunteer each week with us fulfilling our mission to nurture, support, and protect the historical and cultural heritage of Columbia and its environs through programs of advocacy, education, and preservation. Learn more about becoming a volunteer (and the many volunteer benefits) here.

6. Spread the word about our 50th Anniversary by posting a link to this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, and/or your website.

7. Encourage your employer to support Historic Columbia Foundation. Much like the 1,000 visionary donors in 1961, sustaining the efforts of Historic Columbia Foundation for the next 50 years will require donations not only from individuals and families, but also from local businesses. You can learn more about our business partners here. Contact Wendi Spratt in our development office at 803.252.7742 ext. 12 orwspratt@historiccolumbia.org.

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An Action-Packed Year for Historic Columbia Foundation’s 34th Annual Jubilee: Festival of Heritage

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COLUMBIA, SC (July 10, 2011) – Celebrating the rich cultural heritage and entrepreneurial spirit of one African-American family – who lived and worked on the same property for more than 140 years –Historic Columbia Foundation presents the 34th annual Jubilee: Festival of Heritage. This free, family-friendly event will be held on the grounds of the historic Mann-Simons Site, 1403 Richland Street (at Marion) on Saturday, August 18 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Families and friends across the Midlands have been convening at Jubilee for decades to celebrate African-American heritage in a fun, festive environment. “Every year, my mom & I plan well in advance to attend Jubilee together,” notes local young professional, Jernell Simmons. “It’s our ‘thing’!”

More than 3,000 guests attended the festival in 2011, which features a variety of activities including hands-on demonstrations, an array of musical entertainment, and vendors with African-influenced and traditional merchandise. This year, multi-generational crowds will enjoy the following:

*Live musical entertainment from headliner Frankie’s Blues Mission based in Atlanta, GA, the famously hot saxophonist Dante Lewis and Band and other performances ranging from gospel to R&B.

Other onstage activities include a children’s drumming workshop by the world traveling Nimbaya! drumming group, Natural Hair Demonstration and Fashion Expos.

*Free and Discounted Tours!
Tour the Mann-Simons Site ($1 admission), take the celebrated bus tour, “Home places, work places, resting places: African-American Heritage Sites Tour” ($2), and be one of the first visitors to tour the Modjeska Simkins property since the Dependency Building was completed (free).  This free tour will offer a behind-the-scenes look at the one-story Columbia cottage, once home to Modjeska Monteith Simkins, considered “the matriarch of Civil Rights activists of South Carolina.”

*Don’t miss the Debut of the Outdoor Museum featuring Five Ghost Structures – NEW
The Mann-Simons Site once housed a legendary lunch counter, grocery store and rental residences in addition to the cottage currently at the site. The new free Mann-Simons Outdoor Museum, featuring “Ghost Structures” or metal frames of buildings that once stood on the site, will debut at this year’s festival.

*Street Fair
An assortment of exhibitors, vendors, and purveyors of tasty food and drink will be on hand as well. Marion Street between Richland and Calhoun will be blocked off for this vibrant fair!

Applications for vendors are being accepted until August 10th. In honor of the Foundation’s 50th Anniversary, Vendor fees will be 50% off this year. For more information on the 2012 Jubilee: Festival of Heritage and for applications please visit www.HistoricColumbia.org or call 803.252.1770, ext. 26.

Members of the media are encouraged to contact Ashley Tucker at 803.252.7742 ext. 16 or atucker@historiccolumbia.org. High resolution photos of this last year’s Jubilee: Festival of Heritage  are available for immediate download on the Foundation’s Flickr account.  Click on the Jubilee image set, then click on the desired image thumbnail to enlarge.  Right-click the enlarged image and follow the instructions to download the full-size image.

About Historic Columbia Foundation:
In November 1961, a small group of individuals intent on saving the Ainsley Hall House from demolition, officially incorporated as the Historic Columbia Foundation. Over the next five decades the organization, which was founded on the premise of preservation and education, would take on the stewardship of seven historic properties in Richland County. Today, the organization serves as a model for local preservation efforts and interpretation of local history. The 50th Anniversary year of Historic Columbia Foundation (which officially began on November 13, 2011) will include a variety of community celebratory events. Visit http://www.historiccolumbia.org for details.

About Jubilee on the Historic Columbia website: http://historiccolumbia.org/site/calendar/2012/08/18/events/jubilee-festival-of-heritage

Facebook Event Invite: http://www.facebook.com/events/361026673929561/

Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/HistoricColumbia

Twitter: http://twitter.com/histcolumbia

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Collection Item of the Month | Jo Jo flask from the South Carolina Dispensary

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As the Foundation continues it’s 50th Anniversary Year, we want to give you a closer look into our collection.

Historic Columbia Foundation maintains a permanent collection of more than 6,500 historic artifacts.  The collections span the 18th, 19th and early 20th centuries and form the basis of interpretation at our historic houses.  Objects vary in composition, size and value with major categories in the permanent collection including textiles, decorative arts, fine arts, tools and historic images.  A portion of collection items are viewable here.

Take a look at this month’s featured Collection Item, the Jo Jo Flask, early 1900s. This piece will be on display at the Robert Mills House in a new exhibit opening at the end of July. Stay tuned for more information on the new exhibit!

Nick-named “Ben Tillman’s Baby” by his critics, the South Carolina Dispensary was founded by Governor Ben Tillman in 1893 and was located in Edgefield, South Carolina. This was the first and only attempt by any state to control the production and sale of all forms of liquor; the experiment lasted from 1893 until 1907 state-wide and as late as 1916 in some counties. From 1898 to 1907, the building that currently houses the Publix grocery store, 501 Gervias Street, was used as a liquor-bottling warehouse for the South Carolina Dispensary.

The bottles used by the Dispensary were available in four different sizes and came with varying logos. One of the more common bottles was called the “Jo Jo flask”. The most recognizable logos are the Palmetto tree and the Dispensary’s monogram- an interlocking “S”, “C”, and “D”. Featuring a similar interlocking “SC”, the University of South Carolina baseball team’s new logo bears a “strike”-ing resemblance to the SC Dispensary’s iconic monogram.

If you wish to donate historic artifacts from your personal collection to Historic Columbia Foundation, please contact John Sherrer, Director of Cultural Resources at jsherrer@historiccolumbia.org or 803.252.1770 ext. 28.

HCF’s Historic House Museums feature a variety of collection pieces. To learn more about visiting, click here.

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Have You Visited The SC State Museum's Titanic Exhibit? Special Discount for HCF Members in July!

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The South Carolina State Museum is offering a special discount to Historic Columbia Foundation Members this July! Get out of the famously hot summer heat and enjoy the new Titanic Exhibition this month with a special $3 off coupon. Be prepared to show your Membership Card when redeeming this discount. 

As you enter this feature exhibit, take on the identity of a real life first, second or third class passenger. Learn where they are from, where they are going and why they boarded the Titanic. At the end of the exhibit, find out if you survived the tragedy known as one of the greatest disasters in modern memory. The exhibit, open until September 16, features close to 200 artifacts and a “real-life” iceberg. Learn all about passenger life onboard the ship, read the many ice warnings the Titanic received (and ignored), and find out why they say “the Titanic was boomed from the beginning”.

Learn more about becoming a member of Historic Columbia Foundation here. Memberships start at just $35 and include free admission to our historic house museums, special discounts on programs and events and more!

Big thanks to the SC State Museum for extending this special discount to Historic Columbia Foundation Members! Learn more about the South Carolina State Museum on their website, Facebook Page and Twitter Feed.

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