In Full Bloom: Hampton-Preston Garden Dedication

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In 2006, friends of Historic Columbia, Kelly and Keith Powell, lost their first newborn child, Henry Michael Powell. The couple’s tremendous loss inspired them to imagine a place of joy to help them remember the happiness their son brought them during his brief life. Thus, the idea for a memorial and children’s garden at the Hampton-Preston Mansion was born.

In partnership with Historic Columbia, the Powells launched plans for the Henry Michael Powell Memorial and Children’s Garden in 2010. The Powells’ purpose for the garden was twofold; they not only wanted to establish a creative space but also a place that allowed for quiet reflection.

Six years later, the Powell’s idea is in full bloom. hc30

On Sunday, Oct. 16, Historic Columbia hosted a special reception, bringing families and supporters together, to celebrate the completion of the first phase of the garden rehabilitation at the Hampton-Preston Mansion.

The occasion marked an important milestone – the ribbon cutting of a new gazebo funded by Joe and Patricia Powell, which is the main focal point of the Henry Michael Powell Memorial and Children’s Garden.

The Powells wanted Henry’s siblings to have a place to visit that was established as a celebration of their brother’s life and to see first-hand how his life had inspired the creation of a place filled with laughter and learning.

The Powells’ vision has come to life. hampton preston gazebo

As a result of a major transformation project, the first phase of the Hampton-Preston Mansion garden rehabilitation is complete with a stunning welcome gate and garden, a replica of the Hiram Powers Fountain and now, a Children’s Garden featuring an incredible gazebo mimicking the arches and curves of nearby live oak trees.

The Powells regularly visit the gardens with their daughters, Annalise and Isabel, and they, along with Historic Columbia, invite you to also explore the gardens to experience their beauty and remember the life of Henry Michael Powell.

This short video played at the dedication ceremony.


Please CLICK HERE for more images from the dedication ceremony.

The gardens at the Hampton-Preston Mansion were made possible by the generosity of the Powell Family, as well as valued Historic Columbia Donors. The gardens are maintained by Historic Columbia. In total, Historic Columbia’s properties include more than 14 acres of landscapes, featuring gardens that range from an expansive park-like setting with an elaborate formal garden to a traditional 19th-century swept yard. Historic Columbia’s gardens are historically informed and make up the largest public green space in Columbia. The gardens are a free and open to the public.

Visit to learn more.

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