Hampton-Preston Interpretive Guide Training

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As Historic Columbia gears up for the 200th anniversary of the Hampton-Preston Mansion and a comprehensive re-interpretation of the site, we have organized a series of training events for our volunteer interpretive guides and staff. The first of these was held on May 22, 2017 at the Robert Mills House and Gardens. For those of you who weren’t able to join us, we made a video of each talk.





Coming up on Monday, Oct. 30, 2017, we will hold the second training session at the Robert Mills House and Gardens. If you are interested in attending, please CLICK HERE.

The agenda is as follows:

9:45am-10:00am- Registration Check-in, Coffee & Pastries
10:00am-11:30am- The Hampton and Preston families involvement in the Civil War
11:30am-12:30pm- Lunch (available @ $10/person)
12:30pm-2:00pm- Late 19th and early 20th century women’s education
2:00pm-2:15pm- Break
2:15pm-3:45pm- Life of enslaved and free blacks at the end and after the Civil War


If you have any questions, please contact Betsy Kleinfelder at 803.252.1770 x 24.


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Michelle & Austin at the Robert Mills House & Gardens

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The Shull wedding in early September was an occasion of grace and whimsy (with a little goofiness thrown in for good measure). Austin and Michelle married on the front lawn at the Robert Mills House, located at 1616 Blanding Street. We are pleased to be able to share their special day with you.  

Inspired by the lush gardens at Robert Mills, the wedding featured an earth-toned color pallet. The groomsmen’s suits were heather gray with pale pink lapel flowers and patterned bowties. The bridesmaids, too, had a pastoral air with floor-length moss green dresses and delicate flower crowns. Their bouquets were almost sculptural with snow bells for height and peonies for color. Under the hem of her lace dress, Michelle wore glittery silver sneakers. 

The couple used antique furniture throughout their reception to create a natural wonderland atmosphere. The cake—adorned with fresh and fragrant eucalyptus—was placed on a rustic dressing table whose drawers had been filled with red velvet cupcakes. Teardrop candelabras framed the sweets, and flickered well into the night.  

Dinner was served family-style at a long table across the back lawn, lit by lights strung from the property’s historic trees. The couple and their guests danced late into the late summer evening. 

As the night drew to a close, guests formed a tunnel of sparklers across Blanding Street and the couple made their exit. With the Robert Mills House glowing in the background, guests can’t help but feel there’s something special about the place. We wish Michelle and Austin great happiness in their new life together. 

  • Photography – Christine and Justin Farmer   
  • Videography – Fisher Films 
  • Cake – Freeman’s Bakery (Florence, SC) 
  • Flowers and Decor – Kaycee Sites 
  • Food – Hudson’s Classic Catering 
  • Lighting – Ambient Media 
  • DJ – Daniel Gilpatrick  
  • Hair and Makeup – Brandi K Miles, Rachael Reynolds, and Mary Preuss 
  • Wedding Coordinator – Kay Lewis 

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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Fourteenth Annual Palladium Society Bluegrass, Bidding, and BBQ fundraiser set to draw crowds

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Since 2003, Columbia’s young professionals have gathered on the lawn at Robert Mills to usher in the fall season with the Bluegrass, Bidding, and BBQ fundraising event.

Presented by Jaguar Land Rover Columbia from 7–10 p.m., Thursday, October 19, this Palladium Society sponsored-event features live music, local food, specialty drinks, and one of Columbia’s most highly anticipated silent auctions.

The Palladium Society at Historic Columbia is a dynamic organization of young professionals who supports the mission of Historic Columbia through educational, social and fundraising initiatives. BBBBQ is one of the organization’s signature events held throughout the year.

Carroll Heyward, president of the Palladium Society Board, encourages members of the Columbia community to attend.

“There is something for everyone to enjoy at this event, including live bluegrass music, unique silent auction items and local barbecue,” said Heyward. “And 100 percent of the proceeds generated from the auction go to support Historic Columbia. At last year’s event we raised more than $15,000 was raised to support HC’s educational programming.”

The silent auction boasts a wide range of items up for bidding, including destination packages to historic cities across the Southeast, experiential packages to explore local cultural sites, behind-the-scenes tours of Columbia’s hot spots, hand-crafted artworks, gift cards to local restaurants, boutiques, gyms, and much more.

Local barbecue, fixings, and a cookie bar will be provided by Savvy Foods, a local caterer who focuses on creative ways to share barbecue, southern cuisine, and craft sauces. Vegetarian options will also be available. A bartender will be on site serving specialty cocktails, beer, and wine.

Hailing from Columbia, the Mustache Brothers will headline the evening with bluegrass classics and modern favorites.

Ticket prices are $25 for TPS members, $35 for Historic Columbia members, and $45 for the public.

Tickets are $50 at the door. Become a Palladium Society member and save half off door prices. Food and beverages are included with ticket purchase.

All proceeds support Historic Columbia. CLICK HERE for more information and to purchase tickets.

This article was originally published in The Columbia Star.

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WREN Luncheon at Seibels House

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Our historic homes aren’t just the perfect backdrop for a wedding or reception. We’re also a wonderful place to host corporate events and luncheons.  

Located in Downtown Columbia, you and your guests don’t have to venture far from the office to get away for an hour or two. 

In March, Seibels House welcomed the Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network (WREN) as they hosted their Be Bold for a Change luncheon. Nearly one hundred women gathered together to celebrate the achievements of women in the Columbia community. Because of its unique floorplan, Seibels House can accommodate layouts for groups of all sizes. And because tables and chairs are provided with your rental at the Seibels House, setup and breakdown are streamlined letting you to get back to business.  

Because it was a daytime event, WREN opted to use a valet service. (We recommend Southern Valet.) While there is plenty of free street parking around Seibels, events with more than fifty attendees may find a valet helpful. 

As guests entered, they were greeted by WREN staff and shown to their tables. During lunch, a presentation was given in the foyer, followed by breakout tabletop discussions in smaller groups.  

Following lunch, desserts were served on the sunporch. Always a popular choice, Spotted Salamander—located right next door at 1531 Richland Street—catered the luncheon. (We can’t get enough of their cupcakes and their crack pie—it’s just as addictive as it sounds.)  

The sunporch doors open directly into the gardens, so guests can network in nature.  

As they left the luncheon, guests were presented with a rose and personalized wine glass to commemorate the event.  

Whether you’re looking to host a luncheon, workshop, professional development session, or anything in between, we welcome you at Seibels House and Garden. Our door is always open! 

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Historic Columbia to create virtual tour of Hampton-Preston Mansion

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Historic Columbia is pleased to announce a new partnership with SYNOVUS/NBSC and AgFirst Farm Credit Bank, to support enhanced interpretation of the Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens. The goal of this project is to meet the educational needs and expectations of 21st century visitors to one of Richland County’s and Columbia’s most historically significant and publicly accessible sites. The Virtual Tour is anticipated to launch in culmination of the Hampton-Preston Mansion’s bicentennial anniversary in 2018.

Embracing 21st century digital technology, Historic Columbia is developing an expanded guest experience through a new virtual tour of the Hampton-Preston Mansion. This virtual tour will bring the site to life for onsite visitors, students in the classroom, and remote visitors. The virtual tour will provide a unique, personal, and more nuanced story of the historic site.

The virtual tour will feature historic images, 360-degree videos, drone aerial photography and a touch-screen interactive element through which individuals can learn more about objects in the collection.

In addition, first person interpretation of individuals who lived and worked at the site will be included. Support of this project enables Historic Columbia to expand services and visitation to a broader population including students, residents and tourists.

AgFirst Farm Credit Bank and SYNOVUS/NBSC’s investment will ensure that Historic Columbia continues to interpret Richland County’s rich and diverse history with modern, cutting-edge technology and to provide a significant impact on visitors, students, and virtual visitors.

By creating these materials with 21st-century skills and South Carolina state educational standards in mind, the result will be a body of information accessed through a platform of various learning styles that will be dynamic, effective, and lasting.

For more information on how to support this project and other improvements taking place at the Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens, contact Wendi Spratt at 803.252.7742 x12 or via email at wspratt@historiccolumbia.org.

This article was originally published in The Columbia Star 

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Call For Volunteers

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Mann-Simons Volunteer Training

Meet new people, learn new skills and discover the history and culture of Columbia and Richland County by volunteering with Historic Columbia at the Mann-Simons Site.

Historic Columbia invites the public to help share the history of the Mann-Simons family and become a volunteer tour guide of the newly interpreted site during the Mann-Simons Site Volunteer Training on Monday, Oct. 9 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. This training session will consist of the following: a sample tour of the site, an overview of the family, history of the site, broad topics related to the site: slavery, Jim Crow, civil rights and urban renewal, and a day in the life of a volunteer, which will cover logistics of giving tours and other opportunities at the site. Volunteer training is free. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided at the training.

Additional Volunteer Training Sessions this fall:

November 13 – Woodrow Wilson Family Home Training

December 11 – Robert Mills House Training (details to come)

As a volunteer for Historic Columbia, you will:

  • Receive a 15 percent discount on purchases at the Gift Shop at Robert Mills.
  • Enjoy complimentary admission to our historic 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 site during monthly volunteer meetings and presentations.
  • Plus, make new friends and share experiences with others who have similar passions.


For information, visit historiccolumbia.org, email bkleinfelder@historiccolumbia.org or call (803) 252-1770 x 24.

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