Karli & Ben at the Robert Mills House & Gardens

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We are pleased to share Karli and Ben’s enchanted ceremony at the Robert Mills House and Gardens with you.

The couple chose to host their intimate ceremony indoors, at the Robert Mills Carriage House. As thunder rolled overhead, the couple and their guests gathered together to celebrate the spirit of love and adventure.

The wedding had a refined bohemian ambiance with the bride donning a custom crown of greenery for her walk down the aisle. Not to be outshined—Ben’s bright floral-printed tie lent additional playfulness to the ceremony.

The reception was held under a tent on the back lawn with an open-air dance floor adjacent. Even rain couldn’t dampen the spirits of the wedding party who chose to dance in the storm.

The grounds were given an additional aura of romance by lighting installations provided by Ambient Media. Rope lights hung from the trees to create an atmosphere of enchantment on the lawn of the Robert Mills House and Gardens.

To top it all off, the couple processed through a tunnel of sparklers at the end of the night. Their last kiss was truly a scene for the history books.

Congratulations, Karli and Ben!

Wedding Planner Alisha Millwood

Rentals Something Borrowed

Photographer Jessi Nichols 

Catering Hudson’s

Full Bar Service Ed’s Bartending

Margarita Machine Famously Frozen

Lighting Ambient Media

DJ Services Best Carolina DJ  (Mike Siomacco)

Hair 193 Hair

Make-up – Melanie Thompson

 

Karlie and Ben’s beautiful wedding at the Robert Mills House was also featured in the Budget Savvy Bride!

To rent any of our historic properties, or for more information, please contact our rental department or call at 803.252.7742 x 11.

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Ayala & Boyer Wedding at the Seibels House

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Karen Ayala and Chris Boyer
May 6th, 2017
Seibels House and Gardens

We are excited to feature Karen and Chris’s stunning Seibels House and Gardens wedding for our first blog post in our new Historically Ever After series!

Every detail in Karen and Chris’s day was thought through to create a simple and clean but dramatically elegant aesthetic to their day. They used the lush backdrop of Seibels House and Gardens as a perfect canvas for a gorgeous palette of cream, greenery and neutral yet modern colors. Karen designed her unique bouquet of white orchids spilling from an elephant ear leaf and Chris’s corresponding boutonniere, which stood out against the deep blue suits and dresses of the wedding party. Karen’s ethereal veil was the perfect complement to her structured bouquet and the smooth, flowing lines of her dress. The emotion of the day was clear, from the sweet looks exchanged between father, daughter, and brother as she walked down the aisle, to the couple’s clear joy after their ceremony!

Congratulations Karen and Chris – we wish you a lifetime of love and happiness!

Thank you to all the vendors who made this day special!
Cake: Sugarability, LLC.
Catering: Southern Gourmet Catering
Bartending: Ed’s Bartending
DJ: Nice Entertainment
Event Rental Company: Ruth’s House
Florist: FiftyFlowers
Wedding Dress: Amsale from Nitsa’s Apparel
Bridesmaids Dresses: Atom Attire on Etsy
Tux/Suits: The Black Tux
Wedding Coordinator: Brittany Buckner
Videographer: Hayden Media Co.
Photographer: Brennan Booker Photography
Rehearsal Dinner: Spotted Salamander
Wedding Layout Design, Floral Designer, Invitation & Stationery, Snapchat Filter: Karen Boyer

 

To rent any of our properties, or for more information, please email our rental department or call at 803.252.7742 x 11.

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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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Celebrate the Holidays with Historic Columbia!

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Holiday Banner 950x350The holiday season is nearly upon us, and Historic Columbia is pulling out all the stops. Starting Friday, Nov. 22, view a variety of holiday decorations and traditions in the Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion and Mann-Simons Site. Guides will provide stories of holidays past in Columbia and discuss how families decorated and entertained during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Holiday house tours are free for HC members, $5 for youth and $8 for adults, and tours run through Jan. 5 with special events and programs happening along the way:

Family Day: Historic Holidays. Saturday, Dec. 7 at 10 a.m. Enjoy the holidays in the decorated Robert Mills House and learn about the history of several holiday traditions while enjoying holiday crafts and activities as a family. Family Day is free for HC members, $6 for the first child and $3 for each additional child.

Choir Showcase & $1 Tours. Saturday, Dec. 7 at noon. Local elementary schools will provide musical entertainment in front of the Robert Mills House for the community. This event is free and open to the public, and HC invites you to enjoy special $1 Holiday House Tours during the event.

Candlelight Tours & Carriage Rides. Friday, Dec. 20 at 5:30 p.m. Visit the decorated halls of our historic house museums on a guided candlelight tour. Enjoy musical entertainment and children’s activities while celebrating the holidays with HC. Before or after your house tour, enjoy a carriage ride through the Robert Mills historic district. Carriage rides are $5 per person, and tours are $8 for adults, $5 for youth and free for HC members.

Breakfast with Santa. Saturday, Dec. 21 at 8 a.m. Enjoy a continental breakfast in our cozy Carriage House while listening to seasonal music. After breakfast, take a festive tour through Hampton-Preston Mansion, see a Victorian Christmas tree and make a holiday craft. Don’t forget to get a picture with HC’s Victorian Santa Claus! Admission is $10 for HC member adults, $2 for HC member youth, $12 for non-member adults and $3 for non-member youth ages 4 to 12 and free for kids 3 and under.

For more information on these events or to reserve your spot, please call 803.252.1770 ext. 23 or email reservations@historiccolumbia.org.

Events aren’t the only way to celebrate with HC this season. Give a one-of-a-kind present and support Historic Columbia by shopping at the Gift Shop at Robert Mills; visit our website to find more about upcoming sales and events.

Thinking about renting a Historic Columbia property for your holiday party? Schedule your event by Nov. 30 and save 15 percent. For more information, contact Amy Kinard at akinard@historiccolumbia.org, and learn more about the properties available for rent at historiccolumbia.org.

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New Rental Special Announced: Host Your Meet-up, Tweet-up, Corporate Event, Holiday Party and More!

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Historic Columbia Foundation is announcing A NEW rental special! An ideal fit for your corporate meetinglunch n’ learn sessionholiday party, family reunion, meet-uptweet-upconference and more, HCF is offering a 20% rental rate for events held before January 31, 2013.

Book your fall or holiday event before October 31, 2012 and receive a savings of 20% off the rental rate! This special includes night and weekend rentals. Hold your event at one of our four historic venues before January 31, 2013 and you’ll enjoy a memorable venue at a price that will surely dazzle you…

Our Special Offer to You: 

We’re more than weddings, and we’re ready to accommodate! Allow us to prove it to you! Contact Amy Kinard at 803.252.7742 ext. 11 or akinard@historiccolumbia.org to learn more about this special offer. In the meantime, we’re sharing quick-looks at each of our properties below. *Offer excludes weddings.

seibels-houseExplore your options…
The circa-1796 Seibels House and Gardens is Columbia’s oldest remaining structure, located at 1601 Richland Street. The beautiful gardens feature large Palmetto trees, a striking fountain and blossoming flowers, while the house itself provides an intimate atmosphere for both large and small groups. The indoor space accommodates 80 seated and 150 standing with tables and chairs provided, while the garden accommodates 400. Learn more…

the-big-apple

The Big Apple was home to a synagogue circa-1915 before it was transformed into a 1930’s African-American nightspot. This one-of-a-kind building provides a spacious floor plan with breathtaking hard wood floors, beautiful large windows and a small upstairs balcony. Located at 1000 Hampton Street, the building accommodates 80 seated and 150 standing with tables and chairs provided. Learn more…

robert-mills-house

The Robert Mills House and Garden is one of the city’s few National Historic Landmarks. Robert Mills, a native Charlestonian, designed scores of landmark buildings throughout South Carolina and Washington, D.C. The circa-1823 home provides a picturesque backdrop for any event, also featuring the Founders’ Garden and newly installed My Mother’s Garden with lush landscaping and ornate gardens. Located at 1616 Blanding Street, the carriage house and courtyard accommodates 75 seated and 125 standing while the full grounds accommodate 400. Learn more…

hampton-preston-mansionWhat could be more charming than holding your event on the grounds of a Columbia landmark that epitomizes the lifestyle of the planter-elite in antebellum South Carolina? The grounds of the circa-1818 Hampton-Preston Mansion, with four acres of lush green grass, newly rehabilitated gardens and of course a stunning antebellum home, can be the venue for your next memorable event. The space accommodates 400. Learn more…

What Others are Saying…
We were extremely happy with the service, attention and cooperative manner we were given. The house is beautiful and we had a fabulous time and will be recommending this venue to all our friends and family.
– DeShauna Branham Blinard about the Seibels House and Garden

I had great feedback from my guests at the event. The Big Apple was an excellent place for our reunion and I hope we can use it again in the future.– Anthony L. Mosley

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Meet-Ups, Tweet-Ups, Corporate Events and More!

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If you’ve lived in the area for long, you’ve likely attended a special event at one of our historic properties. Yes, our charming venues are at the top of the list for many southern brides. But, did you know that we’re also an ideal fit for your corporate meeting, lunch n’ learn session, private party, meet-up, tweet-up, conference and more?

In fact, we’re so serious about proving it to you that we’re rolling out deeply discounted pricing (up to 80% off) for a limited time! Hold your event at one of our venues before June 30, 2012 and you’ll enjoy a memorable venue at a price that will surely dazzle you…

Our Special Offer to You:

We’re more than weddings, and we’re ready to accommodate! Allow us to prove it to you! Contact Amy Kinard at 803.252.7742 ext. 11 or akinard@historiccolumbia.orgto learn more about this special offer. In the meantime, we’re sharing quick-looks at each of our properties below.

seibels-houseExplore your options…
The circa-1796 Seibels House and Gardens is Columbia’s oldest remaining structure, located at 1601 Richland Street. The beautiful gardens feature large Palmetto trees, a striking fountain and blossoming flowers, while the house itself provides an intimate atmosphere for both large and small groups. The indoor space accommodates 80 seated and 150 standing with tables and chairs provided, while the garden accommodates 400. A newly updated bridal suite provides a quiet place to prepare for the day’s festivities. Learn more…

the-big-apple

The Big Apple was home to a synagogue circa-1915 before it was transformed into a 1930’s African-American nightspot. This one-of-a-kind building provides a spacious floor plan with breathtaking hard wood floors, beautiful large windows and a small upstairs balcony. Located at 1000 Hampton Street, the building accommodates 80 seated and 150 standing with tables and chairs provided. Learn more…

robert-mills-house

The Robert Mills House and Garden is one of the city’s few National Historic Landmarks. Robert Mills, a native Charlestonian, designed scores of landmark buildings throughout South Carolina and Washington, D.C. The circa-1823 home provides a picturesque backdrop for any event, also featuring the Founders’ Garden with lush landscaping and ornate gardens. Located at 1616 Blanding Street, the carriage house and courtyard accommodates 75 seated and 125 standing while the full grounds accommodate 400. Learn more…

hampton-preston-mansion

What could be more charming than holding your event on the grounds of a Columbia landmark that epitomizes the lifestyle of the planter-elite in antebellum South Carolina? The grounds of the circa-1818 Hampton-Preston Mansion, with four acres of lush green grass, gardens and of course a stunning antebellum home, can be the venue for your next memorable event. The space accommodates 400. Learn more…

What Others are Saying…
We were extremely happy with the service, attention and cooperative manner we were given. The house is beautiful and we had a fabulous time and will be recommending this venue to all our friends and family.
– DeShauna Branham Blinard about the Seibels House and Garden

I had great feedback from my guests at the event. The Big Apple was an excellent place for our reunion and I hope we can use it again in the future.– Anthony L. Mosley

And for those newly-engaged brides…
We had a Charleston wedding in Columbia, SC. All of our guests loved the Seibels House and Gardens.
– Mr. and Mrs. Mark A. Sawyer, Jr.

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