What’s Happening at HC This February?

Posted on by

Celebrate the Reopening of the
Woodrow Wilson Family Home!

Join Historic Columbia as we celebrate the reopening of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home at a party fit for a president, inspired by the year the house was saved from the wrecking ball – 1928. Pull out your flapper fringe, top hats and tails, and get ready to party like a president!

Party Like a President
Friday, February 7 | 7 – 10 pm
Woodrow Wilson Family Home
1705 Hampton Street

Purchase your tickets today!

  • Historic Columbia Members: $100
  • Non-Members: $125
  • Woodrow Wilson Society Membership + 2 party tickets + 2 tickets to the private donor reception at 6 pm: $450

Woodrow Wilson Family Home Opening Weekend Kicks Off February 15

After eight years of research, rehabilitation and restoration, South Carolina’s presidential site, the Woodrow Wilson Family Home, will reopen to the public on Presidents Day Weekend.

Join us for our Opening Day Festival on Saturday, February 15 on the grounds of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home. Starting with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 9:30 am, the house will be open for tours from 10 am to 4 pm. We’ll have tours of the grounds and gardens every half hour, food trucks, live music, crafts, shopping and a visit from President Wilson himself!

On Sunday, February 16, the house will be open for tours from 1 to 5 pm. Garden tours will start every half hour, and we will have shopping onsite as well as crafts for the kids. Admission to the grounds is free; house tour prices are listed below.

Though Historic Columbia properties are usually closed on Mondays, the Woodrow Wilson Family Home will be open for tours on February 17 to celebrate Presidents Day. The house and gardens will be open for tours from 10 am to 4 pm, with the last tour beginning at 3 pm, and we’ll have crafts for the kids and shopping!

Admission to our opening day festival is free, and tours are free for members, $8 for adults and $5 for youth. There will not be advance tickets for this event; admission may be purchased at the door. For more information, please contact Historic Columbia at 803.252.1770 x 33 or sblackwell@historiccolumbia.org.

The restoration of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home would not have been possible without the support of Richland County, the Department of the Interior’s Save America’s Treasures grant program, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Humanities Council SC, Columbia Garden Club, NBSC, Southeastern Freight Lines, AgFirst, Childs & Halligan, the Lucy Hampton Bostick Charitable Trust, Keenan Energy Company, The Osceola Foundation and many private donors.

Woodrow Wilson Family Home Opening Weekend
Saturday, February 15 – Monday, February 17
Tours: Free for HC members | $8 adults | $5 youth
Festival admission: Free

We Want You to Volunteer for Historic Columbia!

Looking for a way to meet new people, visit historic sites and discover the culture and lifestyles of Columbia and Richland County? Volunteer for Historic Columbia! Join us at 10 am on Monday, February 10 at the Seibels House for the first session of our new volunteer training to get your start with HC.

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. Training consists of five weekly general introductory sessions, and you will receive additional training as you choose your role within HC. There are many ways to get involved and follow your interests– our volunteers work in the gardens, lead tours, do research, help care for our collections and complete administrative tasks.

As a Historic Columbia volunteer, you will:

  • Receive a 15% discount on purchases at the Gift Shop at Robert Mills.
  • Enjoy complimentary admission to our historic house museums for yourself and members of your immediate family.
  • Attend special Historic Columbia functions for free or at reduced rates.
  • Receive a free subscription to Historically Speaking, Historic Columbia’s quarterly newsletter.
  • Tour and visit other historic sites during monthly volunteer meetings and presentations.
  • Plus, make new friends and share experiences with others who have similar passions!

Are you already a volunteer? Invite your friends to join you! For more information on how to volunteer, contact Ann at 803.252.1770 x 24 or aposner@historiccolumbia.org.

New Volunteer Training
Mondays, February 10 – March 17 | 10 am
Seibels House, 1601 Richland Street

Tour the Camp Asylum Dig Site Starting February 14

Join SCIAA’s Dr. Chester DePratter and his team for a tour of the Camp Asylum archaeological dig site on the Bull Street campus. Offered on Fridays from February 14 through April 25 at 11 am and 1 pm, each one hour tour will give you an inside look at Dr. DePratter’s efforts to discover what life was like at Camp Asylum, a Civil War prison camp built for the incarceration of Union Soldiers from December 1864 to February 1865. Please note that there will not be any tours on April 4.

Tour admission is $10, and all attendees will be required to submit a release form to attend this tour. We will send the form to you after you register. You may register for this tour by phone at 803.252.1770 x 23 or online at historiccolumbia.org.

Camp Asylum Dig Site Tours
Fridays, February 14 – April 25 | 11 am & 1 pm
$10 admission

Enter The Palladium Society’s 16th Annual
Chili Cook-Off!

Test your chili-cooking prowess against the Midlands’ best at The Palladium Society’s 16th Annual Chili Cook-Off on March 1!

Share your chili recipe with more than 500 of Columbia’s finest chili-tasters from 5 – 8 pm on Saturday, March 1 in the Ellison Building at the State Fairgrounds. Hosted by The Palladium Society, the Chili Cook-Off features a variety of chili recipes judged by local celebrities, as well as live music and prizes for the winners.

Visit our website to register! Download and complete our entry form before the deadline on Tuesday, February 25. The $20 entry fee covers one chili entry, plus two tickets (cook and one guest – a value of $60) to this famously hot event.

Not a cook? Come to the Chili Cook-Off as a taster and sample all the local recipes. Admission includes all you can eat and drink chili, wine and beer, and all proceeds from this event benefit Historic Columbia.

Get your tickets online, by phone at 803.252.7742 x 11 or by email at akinard@historiccolumbia.org.

The Palladium Society’s 16th Annual Chili Cook-Off
Saturday, March 1 | 5 – 8 pm
Chili competition entry: $20
$15 Palladium members | $25 HC members | $30 Non-members
All tickets will be $30 at the door

Volunteer at the Happiest 5k on the Planet & Support Historic Columbia!

The Color Run is returning to Columbia on Saturday, March 1, and Historic Columbia is a charity partner! We need your help – The Color Run needs volunteers, and for every volunteer we recruit, HC gets a cash donation!

Volunteer shifts are available on at the check-in party on Friday, February 28 and the day of the race, Saturday, March 1. Shifts include working packet pick-up, tossing color on runners, handing out water, assisting with check-in, revving up the crowd at the finish festival and more! Want to run and volunteer? Sign up for a shift on Thursday or Friday, and use the coupon code “COLORHC” to save $5 when you register to run.

Signing up is easy: just click here, select your shift and fill out the registration form. Make sure you select us as your designated charity partner so your service helps HC. Sign up today!

Check out these upcoming events!

Read more →

What’s Happening at HC This January?

Posted on by

Party Like a President at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home on Feb. 7!

The reopening of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home: A Museum of Reconstruction in Columbia and Richland County is a little over a month away, and Historic Columbia has a way for you to get a sneak peek and help us celebrate before it officially opens!

Party Like a President at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home
Friday, February 7 | 7 pm
$100 HC members | $125 non-members

We think this freshly-rehabilitated landmark property is the cat’s meow, so we’re celebrating its reopening with a Roaring 20s-themed party in the gardens of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home. So pull out your flapper fringe, top hats and tails and get ready to party like a president!

Purchase your tickets online, by calling 803.252.1770 x 23 or by emailing reservations@historiccolumbia.org.

Part II of the Early Columbia Lecture Series Runs Through February 18!

Reserve your spot now- Part II of the Early Columbia Lecture Series kicks off January 7 and runs through February 18!

Part II, “The Capital City Rebuilds,” explores Columbia’s history as it rebuilds and recovers from the Civil War from 1865 to 1914. Dr. Warner Montgomery, author of Columbia Revisited, leads the series. Lectures are held from 6 to 7:30 pm at the Seibels House & Garden and will cover the following topics:

  • Jan. 7: The Civil War Refuge and Disaster
  • Jan. 14: Reconstruction and Healing
  • Jan. 21: Transportation: Rivers, Roads, Railroads
  • Optional Bus Tour: Sunday, Jan. 26
  • Feb. 4: Economic Development: Textiles & Agriculture
  • Feb. 11: Public Education
  • Feb. 18: Higher Education: Colleges & Universities

The lecture series is $50 for HC members, $60 for non-members, $35 for students or $10 per class or tour. Registration is not required but space may be limited and allowed according to availability. Registration forms are available at historiccolumbia.org.

Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis by mail, by emailing reservations@historiccolumbia.org, by calling 803.252.1770 x 23 or online.

Early Columbia Lecture Series
Tuesdays, January 7 – February 18 | 6 – 7:30 pm
HC members $50 | Non-members $60 | Students $35
Single lecture or tour $10

Take a Second Sunday Stroll through the Robert Mills District West!

This January, join us for our Second Sunday Stroll through the Robert Mills District West on January 12.

The guided walking tour will highlight the architecture and history of this historic neighborhood. Named after the nation’s first federal architect who designed the circa-1823 Robert Mills House and the circa-1828 Asylum, today’s Robert Mills District was listed in 1971 within the National Register of Historic Places as “Columbia Historic District II.” This district contains approximately 113 historic structures embodying more than three centuries of diverse residential and institutional architecture. The tour will meet at the Mann-Simons Site at 1403 Richland Street at 2 pm.

Walk-ins are welcome; to reserve tickets, call 803.252.1770 x 23 or email reservations@historiccolumbia.org.

Second Sunday Stroll | Robert Mills District West
Sunday, January 12 | 2 pm
Free for HC members | $8 adults | $5 youth

Save the Date: The Palladium Society’s 16th Annual Chili Cook-Off!

The Palladium Society’s 16th Annual Chili Cook-Off gets cooking on Saturday, March 1 at the Ellison Building at the State Fairgrounds.

The Cook-Off draws hundreds of chili-lovers every year, enjoying some of Columbia’s most creative recipes as they take in the sights, sounds and tastes of this signature event. Live music, beer and wine, and more than 20 varieties of chili are all included in the ticket price. Get your tickets online, by calling 803.252.7742 x 11 or by emailing akinard@historiccolumbia.org.

The Palladium Society’s 16th Annual Chili Cook-Off
Saturday, March 1 | 5 pm
Advance tickets: Palladium members $15, HC members $25 & Non-members $30
Door tickets: $30

Check out these upcoming events!

Read more →

March 2012 E-Newsletter

Posted on by

50th Anniversary Header

A bustling March full of activity is evident not only in our calendar of events but throughout our gardens, grounds and house museums at Historic Columbia Foundation. HCF staff, volunteers, members and visitors have the privilege of watching several HCF projects take shape throughout our historic sites!

The Hampton-Preston Garden project is coming to life as pathways are cleared and fountain work is underway. Phase IIA of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home rehabilitation has taken a significant step forward, and the completion of the Modjeska Simkins House rear building is drawing nigh. More details on these projects and many exciting programs (including the Great Columbia Quest and Contest and openings in our VIP tour of the Curtiss-Wright Hangar) are included in this month’s newsletter. Event proceeds benefit Historic Columbia Foundation. As always, thank you for your support.

Great Columbia Quest and Contest

Great Columbia Quest!Online registration is officially open for the much-anticipated Great Columbia Quest and Contest! Join us on Saturday, April 21 for this “Famously Hot” citywide scavenger hunt inspired by The Amazing Race as we explore Columbia’s history through the city’s significant sites!

Designed for ages 10 and up (but all ages are welcome to participate), teams of two will encounter challenges, visit historic sites and look for clues about the City’s past.

The goal: To earn as many points as possible during the three-hour time frame, competing for a variety of prizes (including a cash prize).

The challenge: To visit a variety of sites throughout Columbia’s downtown district to answer clues and overcome obstacles. Contestants will walk, bike or drive during the challenge.

The celebration: At the end of the three hours, contestants will join Historic Columbia Foundation at a finish line festival at the Hampton-Preston Mansion and Garden for drinks, snacks and prizes.

Online Registration Now Open!
Register your team at http://greatcolumbiaquest.eventbrite.com. Cost is $30 per team (includes two tickets and event t-shirts) for Historic Columbia Members and $40 per team for non-members. Prices will increase by $10 on April 1. Day-of registration will be available for $50 per team for Historic Columbia Members and $60 per team for non-members. Please arrive early for day-of registration.

Purchase tickets by April 1 to secure discounted rates at http://greatcolumbiaquest.eventbrite.com.


Photos courtesy Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau

Limited Openings! Behind-the-Scenes Tour of Curtiss-Wright Hangar
THIS Sunday, March 11 from 2 pm-4 pm

We have a few openings left for our exclusive behind-the-scenes tours of Sunday’s VIP tour of the Curtiss-Wright Hangar and The Hangars.

Curtis-Wright Hangar

Photo courtesy South Carolina Department of Archives and History

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the circa-1929 Curtiss-Wright Hangar, the first building erected at Owens Field, an historic site that represents the contributions of air transportation to Columbia and South Carolina. First used to house airplanes for passenger and airmail services, this landmark building was used later as space for the civilian flight training program and finally for general aircraft maintenance.

During the 1930s, Owens Field had the distinction of hosting many well-known aviators and personalities, including Amelia Earhart and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The tour will conclude at the Hangars Lofts, a former warehouse adapted into a unique residential experience by owner Joab Dick.

Registration/Cost Information:
HCF member rate- $8 / Family member rate- $25 / Non-member rate- $10
Tour held at the Owens Field Municipal Airport Hangar (1400 Jim Hamilton Boulevard).
Refreshments to be served. Details…

Hoop and Stick

Just for Families:
Spring Break and Summer Camps Announced
If you’re the parent of an 8-12 year old, Historic Columbia Foundation is offering Spring Break and Summer Camps sure to ignite a spirit of exploration in your child! Details below.

Spring Break Camp:
April 2-4, 9 am-12 pm

Do you have fond memories of playing pick-up-sticks or marbles as a child? Or perhaps spin top fun with friends? Children will engage these and other old fashion games during our Spring Break Camp at Historic Columbia Foundation. Children will also enjoy learning to write with quill and ink, make crafts, churn butter and much more. Snacks are provided. Camp cost is just $40 for members and $50 for non-members. Registration information…

Jump Back in Time! Time Travel Summer Camp
Offered in two sessions: June 25-29 OR July 9–13
New this year: Camp runs 9 am–4 pm
Jump back in time at Historic Columbia Foundation’s Summer Camp! Children ages 8-12 are invited to take an adventure in time as we explore what it was like to live in historic time periods. History will come to life through interactive games and time spent exploring the gardens, grounds and houses found in Columbia!

HistoricColumbiaSummerCampOn the first day of camp, kids will step back in time to 1786 – the year Columbia was founded. Time travels will continue each subsequent day when kids will find themselves immersed in a different time period through crafts, games, play and exploration.

Kids will enjoy indigo dying, learn to march like a Civil War soldier, make old fashion hardtack, learn how WWII soldiers spotted airplanes from the roof of the Robert Mills House, make a tie dye shirt and “shop” in the Museum Shop using reproduction ration cards from WWII. Each day will feature fun games and team activities related to past life in Columbia.

Camp cost is just $160 for members and $200 for non-members (Camp runs 5 days from 9 am – 4 pm each day). Registration information…

Screen shot 2012-03-06 at 2.56.07 PM

Early Columbia Lecture Series: Part II
Our Early Columbia Lecture Series continues! Part II kicks off on the evening of March 27, running through May 1. We have a few slots remaining if you’re interested in joining us. Reservations will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Part II will cover Columbia history as the capital city rebuilds (1865 – 1914).
Lectures are held from 6 pm – 7:30 pm at the Seibels House & Garden. Dates/topics below.

Mar 27: The Civil War Refuge and Disaster
Apr 3: Reconstruction and Healing
Apr 10: Transportation: Rivers, Roads, Railroads
Optional Bus Tour: Sunday, April 15, 2012 (SOLD OUT)
Apr 17: Economic Development: Textiles & Agriculture
Apr 24: Public Education
May 1: Higher Education: Colleges & Universities

Cost is $50 for members, $60 for guests, $35 for students OR $10 per class or tour, no registration needed but space may be limited and allowed according to availability. Download our print-friendly registration form…

Columbia Revisited will be used as the textbook for this series. If you would like to pre-purchase a copy, please let us know. The cost will be $26.95 for members of Historic Columbia Foundation and $29.95 for all other participants.

Old ShandonSecond Sunday Stroll of Old Shandon: Free for Members!
Sunday, March 11 at 2 pm

Join Historic Columbia Foundation during this month’s Second Sunday Stroll on Sunday, March 11 at 2 pm. We’ll be touring the Old Shandon neighborhood. This guided walking tour will highlight 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). Learn more…

A Call for Nominations:
Preservation Matters: 2012 Awards
Preservation Awards

Historic Columbia Foundation is delighted to announce the solicitation of nominations for the Preservation Matters: 2012 Awards. Help us recognize the commendable efforts of both Columbia’s citizens and their preservation projects by nominating those who meet the following criteria.

Award Categories are:
• Preservation/Restoration
• Adaptive Use
• New Construction in an Historic Context

Nominations should be limited to recent projects (completed in the last five years) and located in Columbia and Richland County. Only completed projects will be considered. Awards will be presented to recipients at the Preservation Matters: 2012 Awards Reception at 701 Whaley on the evening of May 24. Please provide as much information as possible on nominations and return to our office by Friday, March 30, 2012.

New Projects at Old Sites:
Capital Repairs Ensure the Future of Our Important Cultural Resources

WWFH Accessory Building
Phase IIA of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home rehabilitation (pictured above) has taken a significant step forward over the past two weeks, as workers have successfully completed the concrete foundation of the project’s accessory building. The footprint of the building is best appreciated from the vantage point of the second story rear porch of the Wilson House.

The Woodrow Wilson Family Home recently was opened for a special evening behind-the-scenes tour that included a tour of the Lorick House that stands immediately to its east. Seventy guests enjoyed an update on the progress at South Carolina’s only presidential site and Columbia’s greatest link to the Reconstruction era.

Hard hat tours are offered on the first Tuesday of each month. Details…

Hampton-Preston Garden Pathway

Garden work at the Hampton-Preston Mansion (pictured above) is moving along nicely with pathways, electrical and irrigation piping nearing completion. Test portions of the garden pathways have been installed and illustrate how improved the grounds will be upon the project’s completion by late March.

Students at Heyward Career and Technology Center have been busy working under the instruction of Mr. Whitaker and Mr. Sandels, who are overseeing their fabrication of structural steel ghost structures that will be installed at the Mann-Simons Site by May.

This unique addition to the landscape will allow visitors to the historic site to better understand the complex arrangement of buildings that the family owned from the late 19th century through 1970.

MMS Rear Building

The much-anticipated completion of the Modjeska Simkins House rear building (pictured left) is drawing nigh. This May Historic Columbia Foundation will debut a scholar-in-residence program that will benefit from the unique live-work unit set-up that the circa-1895 building offers.

Stay tuned for continued updates on these and other projects at Historic Columbia Foundation. Thank you for your support!

Dollar Sunday Admission: March 18, 1 pm – 5 pm

Residents of Richland and Lexington Counties are invited to take a guided tour of the Hampton-Preston Mansion (seen right) or the Mann-Simons Site for just $1/person! General admission prices apply for any house tours after the first. Purchase tickets at the Museum Shop at 1616 Blanding Street. 803-252-1770, ext. 24. Walk-ins welcome. Please present valid ID to receive discount.

Preservation Matters: Main Street
We’re sharing an excerpt from our latest “Preservaton Matters” blog post. This month’s article focuses on historic Main Street in Columbia, South Carolina.
Never miss a post by liking our “Preservation Matters” Facebook page.

“Like the pace and volume of the Congaree River that lies just blocks to its west, Columbia, South Carolina’s Main Street has seen its vitality ebb and flow over the 226 years since it was carved out of the Taylor family’s plantation lands. Perhaps no thoroughfare can boast as dynamic a history as the street once called Richardson.

Here fame and fortune have collided with infamy and destitution.Nowhere has war left more of its mark. Nowhere did Columbians more energetically meet the daunting task of replacing charred timbers and collapsed brick walls with handsome new commercial and governmental structures that ushered in a new era for the city’s commercial, social and architectural core. Their efforts and those of succeeding generations resulted in a dynamic cityscape that captured the imagination of Columbia residents and visitors for generations.

Main Street - Historic Photo

It was here that you came to work, shop, dine and be entertained. Today, Main Street is the beneficiary of considerable public and private investment that has led to streetscape improvements, the rehabilitation of historic structures and the construction of new buildings. Nowhere does the spirited past of yesteryear and the promising future of Main Street become more apparent than in three historic buildings – the Efird’s building, the former State/Fox Theater and the Brennen building. Within each structure lie the growing roots of a larger Renaissance whose full potential is well within grasp.

Strategically situated at the intersection of Main and Taylor streets, the historic Efird’s building has been a mainstay of Columbia’s downtown vitality since the immediate post-Civil War period. Heavily renovated in 1919 to better accommodate the Efird’s Department Store, this venerable property went on to become the home of Lourie’s, an upscale clothier that outfitted its customers with fine threads for over five decades.” Keep reading…

Pictured above: Throngs of people choke Main Street in 1876 at the end of the Reconstruction, the post-Civil War period in which many of today’s buildings where built.

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 www.historiccolumbia.org for details.

Read more →