Last Chance Reminder: Remember Historic Columbia Foundation in Your Year-End Giving

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It is not too late to remember Historic Columbia Foundation in your end of the year giving. Your donation will help support the next 50 years of preservation and education.

During our anniversary year, we’re offering expanded programs & events, many of which are free to the public.

Your generous donations help to support and protect the historical and cultural heritage of Columbia and Richland County through programs of advocacy, education and preservation.

Please consider giving making an end of the year gift. Our online donation page is available around-the-clock, easily accepting your electronic donation via credit card, check card or debit card. If you prefer, you may also download a donation form here and mail it with your donation to our administrative offices (1601 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201).

Thank you for your support!

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Have You Purchased Your VIP Tour Ticket(s) Yet?

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We have a few openings left for our exclusive behind-the-scenes tours in honor of our 50th Anniversary.  Tours begin in January of 2012. Each of these tours will be offered one-time in 2012, and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. Learn more about the 50th Anniversary VIP Tours below.

Please contact Wendi Spratt for details on reserving a place on this exclusive 50th Anniversary tour. Wendi may be reached at 803.252.7742 ext. 12 or by email at wspratt@historiccolumbia.org.

Tour and Cocktails at Equitable Arcade/Columbia Down Under – SOLD OUT

Date: Thursday, January 19, 2012
Time: 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Location: 1332 Main Street
Member rate- $20 / Non-member rate- $25

Located within the 1300 block of Main Street, the Arcade Mall was Columbia’s first indoor shopping center. The Equitable Real Estate Company, a group of Columbia businessmen that included prominent banker and developer Edwin Wales Robertson, constructed this building in 1912 at a reputed cost of $200,000.00.  Keep reading…

Tour and cocktails at W. B. Smith Whaley House
– The Dunbar Funeral Home – SOLD OUT

Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Time: 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Location: 1527 Gervais Street
Member rate- $20 / Non-member rate- $25

Arguably Columbia’s most recognizable historic landmark, the former Dunbar Funeral Home was constructed between 1892 and 1893 as a private residence for W.B. Smith Whaley. A unique example of high Queen Anne style architecture, this handsome property captures the fanciful design interests of the late 19th century and speaks to the former grand houses that once lined Gervais Street. Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour showcasing the building’s history and get a rare view of this pre-rehabilitated site. Keep reading…

Tour and Cocktails at Woodrow Wilson Family Home and the Lorick House- SOLD OUT

Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Time: 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Location: 1705 and 1727 Hampton Street
Member rate- $15 / Non-member rate- $20

Join us for a hard hat tour of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home (South Carolina’s only Presidential site) and receive an update on Phase II of the historic property’s rehabilitation. Afterward stroll next door to the recently rehabilitated circa-1840 Lorick House for a tour of this landmark property. Keep reading…

Tour of the Curtiss-Wright Hangar and The Hangars
Date: Sunday, March 11, 2012
Time: 2:00-4:00 pm

Location: Owens Field Municipal Airport Hangar
HCF Member rate- $8 / Family member rate- $25 / Non-member rate- $10

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. Refreshments to be served. Details…

Tour and Refreshments at the Guignard Brick Works


Date: Saturday, May 5, 2012
Time: 2:00-3:30 pm
Location: 100 Granby Crossing at Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce
HCF Member rate- $8 Family member rate- $25 Non-member rate- $10

Join us on a spring afternoon for an exclusive tour of the Guignard Brick Works followed by refreshments. A significant example of an early-20th century industrial complex, the Guignard Brick Works produced bricks for many buildings constructed in Columbia and throughout South Carolina from 1900 through the mid-20th century. The complex includes four brick beehive kilns, a historic brick office and remnants of other industrial features. Keep reading…

Guided Tour of the Powell-Wright House, a 1917 Prairie Style HomeSOLD OUT
Date: Thursday, April 26
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: 1410 Shirley Street
Member rate- $15 / Non-member rate- $20

Join Kandie and Patrick Wright as they lead a guided tour of their recently rehabilitated circa-1917 Melrose Heights home. Columbia’s purest example of Prairie Style architecture, this historic land-mark makes an ideal venue for enjoying history, tasty treats and libations. Pre-restoration images and stories from people that knew the property as young children will illustrate the journey this house has taken for almost one hundred years.

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Early Columbia Lecture Series Kicks Off January 17, 2012!

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In honor of our 50th Anniversary as an organization, Historic Columbia Foundation is pleased to offer a three-part Lecture Series on the history of Columbia, South Carolina.

We invite you to join us for Part I of the Early Columbia Lecture Series, hosted by historian and author Warner Montgomery, Ph.D. Part I of the series will cover Early Columbia from 1600 – 1850, meeting Tuesdays, Jan. 17 – Feb. 21 with an optional bus tour on Jan. 29. You’ll also have the opportunity to view some of Columbia’s oldest homes, churches and historic sites!

Topics Covered During Each Lecture (Part I)
Jan 17: Buffalo, Indians, Explorers and Settlers, 6 PM – 7:30 PM
Jan 24: The United States’ First Planned City 6 PM – 7:30 PM
Jan 29: Optional Bus Tour 2 PM – 5 PM
Jan 31: Columbia’s First Families 6 PM – 7:30 PM
Feb 7: Columbia’s First Churches 6 PM – 7:30 PM
Feb 14: Columbia’s First Schools 6 PM – 7:30 PM
Feb 21: The Columbia Canal 6 PM – 7:30 PM

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

About Warner M. Montgomery:
Warner M. Montgomery, Ph.D, graduate of the University of South Carolina and the University of Michigan, began his professional career as a teacher and coach at the new A.C. Flora High School in Forest Acres in 1960. After teaching in Thailand, Michigan, Ohio, Africa, and Canada, he returned to Columbia in 1989 as owner-publisher of the Columbia Star newspaper. He is now retired and writes and teaches about the history of Columbia.

Cost / Registration Information:
The cost for Part I of the series is $50 for HCF members (or $55 with bus tour), $60 for guests (or $70 with bus tour), and $35 for students with valid ID (or $45 with bus tour).

Those interested in attending parts I, II and III of the series may purchase admission to all three for $125 for HCF members (or $145 to include all three bus tours), $160 for guests (or $185 to include all three bus tours), and $95 for students (or $125 to include all three bus tours).

Register by downloading the print-friendly registration form.  You may also wish to print the Lecture Series outline (takes a moment to load – includes dates/times for all three parts)  to keep on file. Then, email your registration form to reservations@historiccolumbia.org OR mail to 1601 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201.

Part II of the Early Columbia Lecture Series will run Tuesdays March 27 – May 1, covering Columbia: A City Rebuilds (1865 – 1914). The optional bus tour on Sunday, April 15 from 2 pm – 5 pm, where we’ll view historic sites including cotton mills, the USC Horseshoe and Civil War sites is SOLD OUT. Details…

Part III of the Early Columbia Lecture Series will run Tuesdays September 4 – October 9, covering the 20th Century and Columbia celebrating 200 years. The optional bus tour will be held on Sunday, September 16 from 2 pm – 5 pm. We’ll be touring Columbia’s historic Main Street as well as surrounding neighborhoods.

Questions?
Contact Ann at 803.252.1770 ext. 24 or reservations@historiccolumbia.org.

Register
Click the button below to download the registration form.  Email your registration form to reservations@historiccolumbia.org OR mail to 1601 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201.

To register, email the registration form to reservations@historiccolumbia.org OR mail to 1601 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201.

Questions? Contact Ann Posner at (803)252-1770 x 24 or email reservations@historiccolumbia.org.

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The South Carolina African American Heritage Commission Annual Meeting 2012 & Preserving our Places in History Awards Luncheon and Jazz Concert

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The South Carolina African American Heritage Commission has an event planned for January 27 of 2012 that you won’t want to miss!

Annual Meeting 2012 & Preserving our Places in History
Awards Luncheon and Jazz Concert
Friday, January 27, 2012
SC Archives and History Center
8301 Parklane Road, Columbia, SC

11:00 am~ Registration
11:30 – Noon ~ Greetings, Welcome, SCAAHC overview
Noon ~ Preserving Our Places In History Awards Luncheon
Keynote Speaker : Mr. Robert Stanton, Senior Advisor to the US Secretary of the Department of the Interior
1:15 pm ~ Preserving More Than Places In History: Celebrating South Carolina’s African American Jazz Heritage
Session One will chronicle the historical and cultural contributions of African Americans to one of America’s most popular musical genres, complete with live musical accompaniment.
Session Two will offer updates on the state’s various jazz initiatives.
Annual Mtg./Awards Luncheon
$20 SCAAH Foundation members; $25 non- members

Then join them for a nightcap ~ an elegant evening of Live Jazz featuring The Skipp Pearson Jazz Ensemble & The Bhakti Project
Reception at 6 pm Concert at 7 pm
The SCAAHC’s Trailblazer Award will be presented during the evening
Archives & History Center
$15 SCAAH Foundation members; $20 non – members

Click for details and registration form

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Discover the Joy and Wonder…

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From all of us at Historic Columbia Foundation, our warmest wishes for a wonderful holiday season and new year filled with joy and discovery.

Celebrate a special person through an Honorarium or Memorial – an excellent way to contribute to Historic Columbia Foundation while honoring or remembering a family member or loved one. Donations are recognized with an acknowledgement card sent to the honoree or their family.

The Holidays at Historic Columbia Foundation
Have family and friends in town for the holidays? The Robert Mills House, Mann-Simons Site and Hampton-Preston Mansion are open for tours Tuesday – Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm (last tour starts at 3 pm) and Sunday from 1 pm – 5 pm (last tour starts at 4 pm). HCF will be closed Christmas, Mondays and New Year’s. Learn more…

Special Tour of Woodrow Wilson Family Home offered on December 28 at 11 am
This special tour is being offered in honor of the 155th anniversary of President Woodrow Wilson’s birth. Reservations are recommended but not required, as the tour is expected to fill quickly. Tour attendees will meet at the Museum Shop located at 1616 Blanding Street. Learn more…

The Story of the Robert Mills House Rehabilitation
Though hard to imagine today, the destruction of the Robert Mills House would have been an irreconcilable loss to generations of South Carolinians and visitors to the Palmetto State. During the holidays at HCF, we are especially thankful for the efforts of Historic Columbia Foundation’s first members and their dream to preserve the Robert Mills House. We invite you to read the story of the Robert Mills House rehabilitation. Be sure to leave us a comment with your connection to HCF so we know you stopped by! Read more…

Holiday Shopping left to do?
Our Museum Shop will be open until 3 pm on Christmas Eve! Avoid the long lines at the big box stores and shop local with us. Our friendly staff will help you select the perfect gift for everyone on your list! We also have HCF memberships with our collectible ornament ready for gifting, starting at just $35! Learn more…

Early Columbia Lecture Series Launch:
Dive into the history of Columbia at our Early Columbia Lecture Series – Kicks off January 17, 2012!
In honor of our 50th Anniversary as an organization, Historic Columbia Foundation is pleased to offer a three-part Lecture Series on the history of Columbia, South Carolina. Please join us for Part I of the Lecture Series, which covers Early Columbia from 1600 – 1850. View some of Columbia’s oldest homes, churches and historic sites! Learn more…

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Tour of Woodrow Wilson Family Home in Honor of Woodrow Wilson’s Birthday Being Offered on December 28, 2011 at 11 am

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COLUMBIA, SC – (December 22, 2011) – On December 28, 2011 at 11 am, Historic Columbia Foundation will be offering a behind-the-scenes tour of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home.  This special tour is being offered in honor of the 155th anniversary of President Woodrow Wilson’s birth. Those interested in taking the tour may reserve their place by email atreservations@historiccolumbia.org or by phone at 803.252.1770 ext. 24.  The cost of the tour is $6 for adults. Reservations are recommended but not required, as the tour is expected to fill quickly.  Tour attendees will meet at the Museum Shop located at 1616 Blanding Street.

Woodrow Wilson Family Home

Early in the New Year Historic Columbia Foundation will continue rehabilitation work on the property. During this second phase of a multi-phased project the site will receive new systems (HVAC, electrical, fire suppression and plumbing) and the addition of a support structure that will offer restrooms, a catering kitchen and storage space.

Those not able to attend the tour are encouraged to take a virtual tour of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home at http://www.WoodrowWilsonFamilyHome.com.  Through this virtual tour, Historic Columbia Foundation offers guests access to the dramatic story of all Columbia residents – black and white, male and female, native and transplanted – in the crucible of Reconstruction. The virtual tour is made possible in part by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Richland County, and the Humanities Council, SC.

The Woodrow Wilson Family Home is South Carolina’s only presidential historic site.  This distinctive circa-1872 Italian villa-style residence was home to a 14-year-old boy named Tommy Wilson. Here his father Dr. Joseph Ruggles Wilson and his mother Jeannie Woodrow Wilson raised the young man who would come to hold the United States executive office and guide the nation through World War I as the first modern world statesman.

Standing at the southeast entry to the Robert Mills Garden District the Woodrow Wilson Family Home is a tangible link to the watershed Reconstruction era. Its history is embedded in the story of a southern community struggling to rebuild following the Civil War. At this historic site, experience From Dreams to Visions and Hopes to Purposes: Woodrow Wilson and Columbia, which addresses the Reconstruction era environment; the development of Thomas “Tommy” Woodrow Wilson from boy to man; and the historic preservation movement as experienced in South Carolina’s capital city.

About the tour, Sarah Blackwell, Director of Programs for Historic Columbia Foundation says, “Historic Columbia Foundation is happy to offer a special tour to honor the 155th anniversary of President Woodrow Wilson’s birth.” She goes on to say,  “This will be a wonderful opportunity for guests to view the Wilson Family Home before we begin the second phase of the rehabilitation process.”

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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Give the Gift of Membership – Plus Museum Shop Gift Ideas!

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Give the gift of a Historic Columbia Foundation membership! Priced at just $35, the gift of a HCF membership offers free admission to our house museums, a subscription to our quarterly newsletter, guest passes, free or discounted admission to HCF events, a shop discount and more! Purchase a Historic Columbia Foundation membership for the history-enthusiast on your list and he/she will receive a limited-edition Robert Mills House Holiday Ornament. Pick up your gift membership and ornament in our Museum Shop Tues-Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm. Open Christmas Eve until 4 pm!

Got holiday shopping left to do? Consider shopping local (and tax-free!) with us at our Museum Shop. Our attentive staff is happy to help you make the perfect selection. Even better, there are no long lines and we have plenty of complimentary parking. Open until 4 pm on Christmas Eve! Visit us at 1616 Blanding Street (next to the Robert Mills House).

Palmetto Serving Tray – $41.50
Palmetto Silver:Riches of the South – $24.95

Jams, Salsa, and Pickles – just $4.40/each!
Palmetto basket (perfect for gift-baskets) – $18


Pond Mountain bud vases – $11.70/each
Palmetto basket (perfect for gift-baskets) – $18

Consider a Donation to our 50th Anniversary Annual Fund in Honor or Memory of Someone Special

Whether a founding member, past HCF president, dedicated volunteer, or someone else -your donation to our 50th Anniversary Annual Fund includes an acknowledgement letter to someone on your behalf. Contact Wendi Spratt to learn more at wspratt@historiccolumbia.org or 803.252.7742 ext. 12.

Happy Holidays!

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Give An Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Tour to the History Enthusiast on Your Holiday List!

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In honor of our 50th Anniversary, Historic Columbia Foundation is excited to offer several exclusive behind-the-scenes tours beginning in January of 2012. Each of these tours will be offered one-time in 2012, and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you’re looking for a distinctive gift idea for the history enthusiast on your list, consider the gift of one of these VIP tours! We will be happy to package the tour tickets with a gift acknowledgement letter on your behalf, and can have your gift envelope waiting for you in our Museum Shop upon request. Learn more about the 50th Anniversary VIP Tours below.

Please contact Wendi Spratt for details on reserving a place on this exclusive 50th Anniversary tour (makes a perfect holiday gift). Wendi may be reached at 803.252.7742 ext. 12 or by email at wspratt@historiccolumbia.org.

Tour and Cocktails at Equitable Arcade/Columbia Down Under
Date: Thursday, January 19, 2012
Time: 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Location: 1332 Main Street
Member rate- $20 / Non-member rate- $25

Located within the 1300 block of Main Street, the Arcade Mall was Columbia’s first indoor shopping center. The Equitable Real Estate Company, a group of Columbia businessmen that included prominent banker and developer Edwin Wales Robertson, constructed this building in 1912 at a reputed cost of $200,000.00. At the time it was built the Arcade Mall was strategically situated within a very popular section of this main commercial district. The structure’s proximity to the Barringer Building, Columbia’s first skyscraper, undoubtedly ensured its tenants’ exposure to large numbers of pedestrians conducting business downtown. Keep reading…

Tour and cocktails at W. B. Smith Whaley House – The Dunbar Funeral Home
Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Time: 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Location: 1527 Gervais Street
Member rate- $20 / Non-member rate- $25

Arguably Columbia’s most recognizable historic landmark, the former Dunbar Funeral Home was constructed between 1892 and 1893 as a private residence for W.B. Smith Whaley. A unique example of high Queen Anne style architecture, this handsome property captures the fanciful design interests of the late 19th century and speaks to the former grand houses that once lined Gervais Street. Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour showcasing the building’s history and get a rare view of this pre-rehabilitated site. Keep reading…

Tour and Cocktails at Woodrow Wilson Family Home and the Lorick House
Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Time: 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Location: 1705 and 1727 Hampton Street
Member rate- $15 / Non-member rate- $20

Join us for a hard hat tour of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home (South Carolina’s only Presidential site) and receive an update on Phase II of the historic property’s rehabilitation. Afterward stroll next door to the recently rehabilitated circa-1840 Lorick House for a tour of this landmark property. Enjoy cocktails and refreshments as you marvel at the extensive work that has revitalized its elaborate and handsome woodwork and historic landscape. Keep reading…

Tour of the Curtiss-Wright Hangar and The Hangars
Date: Sunday, March 11, 2012
Time: 2:00-4:00 pm
Location: Owens Field Municipal Airport Hangar
HCF Member rate- $8 / Family member rate- $25 / Non-member rate- $10

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. Refreshments to be served. Details…

Tour and Refreshments at the Guignard Brick Works
Date: Saturday, May 5, 2012
Time: 2:00-3:30 pm
Location: 100 Granby Crossing at Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce
HCF Member rate- $8 Family member rate- $25 Non-member rate- $10

Join us on a spring afternoon for an exclusive tour of the Guignard Brick Works followed by refreshments. A significant example of an early-20th century industrial complex, the Guignard Brick Works produced bricks for many buildings constructed in Columbia and throughout South Carolina from 1900 through the mid-20th century. The complex includes four brick beehive kilns, a historic brick office and remnants of other industrial features. Keep reading…

Guided Tour of the Powell-Wright House, a 1917 Prairie Style Home
Date: Thursday, April 26
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: 1410 Shirley Street
Member rate- $15 / Non-member rate- $20

Join Kandie and Patrick Wright as they lead a guided tour of their recently rehabilitated circa-1917 Melrose Heights home. Columbia’s purest example of Prairie Style architecture, this historic land-mark makes an ideal venue for enjoying history, tasty treats and libations. Pre-restoration images and stories from people that knew the property as young children will illustrate the journey this house has taken for almost one hundred years. More information…

Please contact Wendi Spratt for details on reserving a place on this exclusive 50th Anniversary tour (makes a perfect holiday gift). Wendi may be reached at 803.252.7742 ext. 12 or by email at wspratt@historiccolumbia.org.

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Free Candlelight Tours and $5 Carriage Rides Offered by Historic Columbia Foundation This Thursday and Friday (12/15 & 12/16) – Plus Free Musical Entertainment!

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COLUMBIA, SC (December 12, 2011) – In December 1967, Historic Columbia Foundation offered candlelight tours of the Robert Mills House for the very first time. Forty-four years later, candlelight tours remain an annual tradition for many families in the Midlands.  In honor of the Foundation’s 50th Anniversary, Candlelight Tours will be offered free of charge this year on December 15 and 16, 2011 from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pmCarriage rides from Columbia Carriage Works add to the fun – offered for just $5.  Those interested in taking a Candlelight Tour of the Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion or Mann-Simons Site are encouraged to meet at the Robert Mills House, 1616 Blanding Street.

Free musical entertainment will also be included in Candlelight Tour festivities.  On Thursday night’s tour (12/15), Bill Sloan will be playing guitar and singing holiday and traditional music outside of the Robert Mills House. On Friday (12/16), the Columbia Baroque Soloists will be headquartered on the porch of the Hampton-Preston Mansion.

About Candlelight Tours, Robin Waites, Executive Director of Historic Columbia Foundation says “A tour illuminated by candlelight has an element of holiday magic that is fun for the whole family.”  She goes on to say, “Candlelight Tour highlights include southern holiday traditions from the Antebellum and Victorian Eras, and into the 20th Century”.


Candlelight Tours are just one of the many holiday events hosted by Historic Columbia Foundation. Other holiday events at Historic Columbia Foundation include the Foundation’s Annual Holiday Tours (through December 31), FREE Toy Roadshow (December 17), Breakfast with Victorian Santa Claus (December 17), Dollar Sundays (December 18), and Early Adventures, a program designed especially for private groups of children (month-long, ages 3-8 years old). More information at http://www.historiccolumbia.org.

Candlelight Tour Sponsors:
Furr & Henshaw, Attorneys at Law
Palmetto Health Richland Total Joint Center
Richard Harpootlian, P.A.
Columbia Eye Clinic, P.A.
Bluestein, Nichols, Thompson & Delgado, LLC
Carol Sanders, P.A.
Columbia Flag & Banner
City of Columbia
Richland County
Cultural Council of Richland & Lexington Counties
Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau

High-resolution holiday photos are also available. Special behind-the-scenes holiday tours are available for members of the media upon request.

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 Offers Guided Walking Tour of Main Street on Sunday, December 11 at 2 pm

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Historic Columbia Foundation Offers Guided Walking Tour of Main Street on Sunday, December 11 at 2 pm

Formerly located on the corner of Bull and Gervais streets, The Flame restaurant wishes Columbians a merry Christmas, circa 1950. John Hensel, photographer.

COLUMBIA, SC (December 5, 2011)– Do you know the history of Main Street inColumbia, South Carolina? Historic Columbia Foundation will host a “Second Sunday Stroll” guided walking tour of Main Street on Sunday, December 11 at 2 pm. Tour attendees will learn about the history of Main Street, including architectural highlights and historical information. Cost is $6 adults, $3 youth (17 and under), free for Historic Columbia Foundation members. Reservations are recommended by email (reservations@historiccolumbia.org) or by phone (803.252.1770 ext. 24). Tour participants will meet at the front steps of the State House on the Gervais Street side. Proceeds benefit Historic Columbia Foundation.

Main Street’s history has ties to the City’s founding in 1786, when the city was laid out in a two-square mile grid. Most businesses established themselves on Richardson Street (now known as Main Street), one block east of Assembly. Businesses were located close to the State House (erected in 1788) on Richardson Street and on the blocks east and west of it.

Did you know?

• Street lights cost just $6.75 a piece when they were installed in the 1850s on what is now

An unidentified “Air Conditioned Drug Store” in downtown Columbia sports a jolly Santa peddling a once-common gift for adults, circa 1950. John Hensel, photographer.

known as Main Street.

• Main Street (then known as Richardson Street) was paved during the early 1850s. Before then, it was difficult to cross the muddy street by foot.

• When Sherman’s forces entered Columbia in February of 1865, many homes were lost between Main and Bull streets, and Main Street’s business district suffered terrible loss. The flames engulfed over 400 buildings, destroying an area of 36 blocks.

• During the first half of the twentieth century Main Street the state’s first skyscrapers, the Barringer Building (1903), the Palmetto Building (1913), and the Columbia Building (1914) were built.

About this month’s Second Sunday Stroll, Robin Waites, Executive Director of Historic Columbia Foundation says “What better time of year to explore Main Street than the holiday season?”. She goes on to say, “Enjoy the storefronts decorated for the season, while learning about the historic past of Main Street in Columbia, SC”.

Second Sunday Strolls are just one of the many holiday events hosted by Historic Columbia Foundation. Other holiday events at Historic Columbia Foundation include the Foundation’s Annual Holiday Tours (through December 31), Family Day (December 10), FREE Choir Showcase (December 10), FREE Toy Roadshow (December 17), Breakfast with Victorian Santa Claus (December 17), Dollar Sundays (December 18), and Early Adventures, a program designed especially for private groups of children (month-long, ages 3-8 years old). More information at http://www.historiccolumbia.org.

High-resolution holiday photos are also available. Special behind-the-scenes holiday tours are available for members of the media upon request.

Taken from Lady Street by photographer John A. Sargent, this image of Main Street reflects the holiday scene Columbians experienced in 1918.

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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