Historic Columbia Foundation’s Famously hot Behind the Scenes Tours Return with Two New Tours Announced!

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As part of the Historic Columbia Foundation’s 50th Anniversary, the organization’s popular behind-the-scenes tours return this fall with two exclusive tour options in September and October. Tours are sponsored by 2nd Wind Heating & Air Conditioning and are offered on a first come, first served basis.

SOLD OUT | On Saturday, September 29 from 10 am – noon, a Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Bull Street Campus and South Carolina State Asylum Building will highlight the architecture and history of this historic property. The cost, which includes drinks and light refreshments, is $25 for members and $30 for non-members.

On Tuesday, October 16 from 6 – 8 pm, a Behind the Scenes Tour of 701 Whaley, The Pacific Community Association Building with the owner will showcase the history and transformation of 701 Whaley property as well as offer a firsthand look at the indoor pool and gymnasium (located behind 701 Whaley) before its rehabilitation. The cost, which includes drinks and light refreshments, is $20 for members and $25 for non-members. Beer, wine and appetizers will be provided.

Reservations for these exclusive 50th Anniversary tours can be made by email at specialtytours@historiccolumbia.org. Registration opens for the general public on September 19.

More about the Historic Bull Street Campus:
The beginnings of what ultimately became a largely self-sufficient city within a city lay in the completion of the Robert Mills-designed South Carolina State Asylum building in 1828.Bustling with activity for generations, the sprawling, 178-acre Department of Mental Health Bull Street campus today is best characterized largely by silence punctuated by sounds beyond its walls and perimeter roads. What lies ahead for this unique Columbia community remains far from certain. However, designs for its reuse have been vigorously debated for years and the key to the most successful plans will be retaining those aspects of the property of significant cultural and historical value. Tour SOLD OUT.

More about 701 Whaley, The Pacific Community Association Building:
Located within the former boundaries of the Olympia and Granby Mill complex, the Pacific Community Association Building had a tremendous social and cultural impact on the mill village it served for generations. Built by 1903, the original portion of the building was designed by the prolific mill engineer and architect W.B. Smith Whaley for use as a company store. About fifteen years later, the landmark was enlarged to include an indoor pool. A large gymnasium followed in 1923, long after the original portion of the building had been converted into a community center. From sports to community service organizations to recreational activities, this unique structure became a central fixture in the lives of rural workers drawn to Columbia for jobs in textile manufacturing. Today, the historic property, rehabilitated for events and offices, remains an important link to the capital city’s textile heritage.

About the 50th Anniversary behind-the-scenes tours, Robin Waites, Executive Director of Historic Columbia Foundation says “Back by popular demand, the Foundation is delighted to announce these new behind-the-scenes tours that explore two of Columbia’s significant landmarks.”  Members of the media are encouraged to contact Ashley Tucker, Marketing Coordinator, for historic photographs and questions about these exclusive tours at  803.252.7742 ext 16 or atucker@historiccolumbia.org.

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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34th Annual Jubilee Festival Featured on Discover South Carolina Blog

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This August, Discover South Carolina’s SC Insider Arts and Cultural Blogger Shani Gilchrist joined us for the 34th Annual Jubilee Festival of Heritage. Check out Shani’s video blog entry about the festival and they newly installed Ghost Structure Exhibit here or click the video below.

The Annual Jubilee Festival of Heritage takes place at the Mann-Simons Site in August. We hope you will join us in 2013 for the 35th Annual Jubilee Festival.

The new Outdoor Museum at the Mann-Simons Site was installed this spring and debuted at this year’s Jubilee Festival. Come by the site to check out this NEW FREE outdoor exhibit anytime you want or take a tour of the the Mann-Simons Site (includes house, outdoor exhibit and grounds) Tuesday-Sunday for just $6. Tour is free for HCF members.  The Mann-Simons Site is located at 1403 Richland Street and tour tickets can be purchased at the Museum Shop at 1616 Blanding St.  For more information on this site and tour options click here.

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A Call for Entries: Annual Scarecrows In the Garden Contest at Historic Columbia Foundation

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Historic Columbia Foundation is seeking handcrafted historical, ghoulish or traditional scarecrows for their annual Scarecrows in the Garden Contest, sponsored by Palmetto Parent magazine. The deadline to enter the contest is September 24, 2012.  All scarecrows will be displayed on the grounds of the historic Hampton-Preston Mansion from September 30 – October 31, 2012 during Historic Columbia’s annual Scarecrows in the Garden Exhibit. Community leaders and local celebrities will select the best scarecrows and the public is encouraged to vote for the “People’s Choice Award” and “Best Class Crow.” Prizes include cash, trophies and tour passes.

The cost to enter is $10 for families and individuals; $10 for classrooms (“class crow”), and $20 for businesses and organizations.  Proceeds benefit Historic Columbia Foundation. To enter, visit www.HCFScarecrows.eventbrite.com. More information may also be found by calling (803) 252-1770 ext. 24 or emailing reservations@historiccolumbia.org.

High resolution photos from past year’s are posted on the Foundation’s Flickr account for immediate download.  Direct link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/historiccolumbiafoundation/sets/72157629549695399/  (click on desired photo thumbnail, right-click to select “large” photo size, then click “download large size of this photo”).  Members of the media are encouraged to contact Ashley Tucker at 803.252.7742 ext 16 or atucker@historiccolumbia.org for more information.

Other Scarecrow Events Include:

Sculpting Scarecrows Workshop: Saturday, September 22, Noon – 2 pm
Meets at the Hampton-Preston Mansion, 1615 Blanding Street
$20 for families and $25 for organizations (includes contest entry fees)

Those interested in entering the Scarecrows in the Garden Contest are encouraged to attend the Sculpting Scarecrows Weekend Workshop on September 22 from Noon – 2 pm. Participants in the workshop will create and decorate a spooky, dazzling, or life-like scarecrow during the workshop.  The workshop is not required for participation in the contest, but is available for those interested. Participants should come to the workshop with a clear idea of what they’d like to create, bringing items from home to personalize their scarecrow.  Materials provided in the workshop: hay, PVC piping, string, and other items. Scarecrows can be taken home, or for an additional $5, entered into the contest.  Reservations required (online at www.HCFScarecrows.eventbrite.com, by phone 803.252.1770 ext. 24 or by email reservations@historiccolumbia.org).  Proceeds benefit Historic Columbia Foundation.

Scarecrows in the Garden Opening Reception and Awards: September 30, 2 – 5 pm
Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens, 1615 Blanding Street
Members: Adults/$5, Children/Free
Non-Members: Adults $7, Children 6-12 $4, Children 5 & under Free
Extra Exhibitor Passes: Adults $5, Children 6-12 $3, Children 5 & under Free

The winners of this year’s Scarecrows in the Garden contest will be announced during the opening reception and awards on September 30. Judging will take place from 2 – 3:30 pm; awards for the business/organization and family/individual categories will be announced at 4 pm. Activities include a Scarecrow Scavenger Hunt, $1 highlight tours of HCF’s House in Mourning exhibit that feature fashion, practices and traditions that were customary during the Victorian Era. HCF will also be offering participants the opportunity to see Dreadful Sorry at 5 pm. This short film was taped in the Robert Mills House. While you are here don’t forget to vote on your favorite scarecrow and “Class-crow” and let us know if you can find Sneaky Steve. Admission includes children’s crafts, light appetizers, beverages and family fun. This is a rain or shine event. Proceeds benefit Historic Columbia Foundation

Annual Scarecrows in the Garden Exhibit: September 30 – October 31
Tuesday – Saturday: 10 am – 4 pm; Sunday: 1 pm – 5 pm
Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens, 1615 Blanding Street
FREE and Open to the Public

Take a stroll through the recently installed gardens at the historic Hampton-Preston Mansion (1615 Blanding Street) and view dozens of uniquely-crafted scarecrows from area businesses, schools, families, and organizations during this FREE public exhibit during the month of October. The exhibit showcases ghoulish, historical, and colorful scarecrow entries from this year’s Scarecrows in the Garden Contest. Activities also include a scavenger hunt and locating the “Sneaky Steve” scarecrow.

A House in Mourning: September 30 – October 31
Part of the regularly scheduled Hampton-Preston Tour
$6/adults, $3/youth, Free for members

Mourning the loss of a loved one was much more public for Americans during the 19th century than it is today.  The sadness a family felt was outwardly shown by more than just the wearing of black clothing, however.  There were certain customs observed such as covering mirrors that seem quaint to us today but were important for Victorian Americans in order to properly honor the deceased.  During the month of October, the Hampton-Preston Mansion will feature many of these mourning traditions.  Guided tours will discuss the role and importance of stages of mourning during the 1860s as a part of our regular daily tours. Proceeds benefit Historic Columbia Foundation.

Historic Hauntings Cemetery Tours: October 11, 6 – 8:30 pm (last tour starts at 8:30 pm)
Elmwood Cemetery, 501 Elmwood Avenue
$10 non-members/$5 for children of non-members (17 and under);
$5 members/$3 for children of members (17 and under)

Join Historic Columbia Foundation and Elmwood Cemetery staff for guided tours presenting some of Columbia’s eerie and peculiar past by the light of the full moon. Admission includes tour of Elmwood Cemetery, light snacks and a take-home craft for children. Reservations requested. Proceeds benefit Historic Columbia Foundation. Purchase tickets online here: www.cemeterytours.eventbrite.com.

Family Day: October 27, Noon – 2 pm
Children are invited participate in a variety of autumn activities that highlight the importance of the fall harvest and history of Halloween. Scarecrows in the Garden People’s Choice Award winner will be announced. $6 for first child/$3 for each additional child/free for members. Proceeds benefit Historic Columbia Foundation.

Pumpkin Patch Early Adventures: October 2012 (month-long)
Available to private groups of 10 or more children (ages 3-8 years old).

Historic Columbia Foundation’s Early Adventures program is designed especially for daycares, birthday parties, schools, churches, clubs, and learning centers. During the month of October, Early Adventures groups will dress up like scarecrows and play games in the gardens.  Activities also include searching for a scarecrow on the loose.  All programs include story time, games, crafts and snacks and 2 activity leaders. Games and crafts will be determined according to participant’s age group.  Each program last approximately 90 minutes to 2 hours depending on the number of participants. Reservations required. $6 per child. Proceeds benefit Historic Columbia Foundation. For more information, please contact Sarah Blackwell at sblackwell@historiccolumbia.org or 803.252.1770 ext. 33. 

Historic Columbia Foundation was founded in 1961 by a group of preservationists determined to save the Ainsley Hall House, known today as the Robert Mills House.  More than four decades later, Historic Columbia Foundation manages four historic house museums and their associated artifacts, and tells the stories of people, places and progress in Columbia and Richland County. For more information, please visit http://www.historiccolumbia.org.

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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Last Chance for Historic Columbia Foundation's Cemetery Tours Thursday September 13

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Columbia’s historic Elmwood Cemetery (circa 1854) has centuries of stories etched in stone on the markers and headstones found within its acres of carefully planned grounds.  Historic Columbia Foundation’s annual guided tours of Elmwood Cemetery come to an end on Thursday, September 13. The last tour options include a “Secrets from the Grave” Iconography Tour at 7:30 pm or Moonlight Cemetery Tour led by a costumed guide at 8:30 pm. The famously hot tour is selling out fast and few spots remain.

Historic Columbia Foundation will offer special cemetery tours from 6 – 8:30 pm on Thursday, October 11 during their annual Historic Hauntings program. Different than the regular monthly tours, this event includes multiple costumed guides stationed around Elmwood Cemetery for tours, children’s crafts, light snacks and other Halloween related activities. Tickets can be purchased online at http://cemeterytours.eventbrite.com/.

The “Secrets from the Grave” tour starts before dark to allow attendees to study the iconography symbols found on so many of the markers and headstones in the cemetery.  The Moonlight Cemetery Tours include narrative about the lives, burials, cemetery plots, and tombstones of families and prominent citizens from Columbia’s 19th and 20th centuries. The tour will lead through portions of the site featuring the Victorian era and several variations of cemetery art.

The cost for tours is $5 for Foundation member adults, $3 for Foundation member youth, $10 general admission adults and $5 general admission children. The capacity for each tour is 25 people and reservations are strongly recommended with walk-up registration available (subject to availability).  HCF is offering online registration/ticket sales at http://cemeterytours.eventbrite.com/.

Notables interred in Elmwood Cemetery include: Milledge Luke Bonham (1813-1890) who fought in both the Seminole uprising in 1836 and the Mexican War, was a member of the SC House of Representatives 1840-1857, and was a Brigadier General, CSA, during the Civil War. Maxcy Gregg (1814-1862) fought in the Mexican War and was commissioned as Brigadier General, CSA in December 1861 and died from mortal wounds suffered at Fredericksburg, VA on December 13 the following year.

High resolution photos are posted on the Foundation’s Flickr account for immediate download.  Direct link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/historiccolumbiafoundation/sets/72157629169850762/ (click on desired photo thumbnail, right-click to select “large” photo size, then click “download large size of this photo”).  Members of the media are encouraged to contact Ashley Tucker at 803.252.7742 ext 16 or atucker@historiccolumbia.org for more information.

About this year’s tours, Sarah Blackwell, Director of Programs, says, “We invite you to come explore historic Elmwood Cemetery, where stories of valor, love lost and lives cut short are etched in stone.”

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 Awarded Grant From AT&T for Mann-Simons Learning Our History Project

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Historic Columbia Foundation was awarded a $11,500 grant from AT&T in support of the Mann-Simons community engagement project. The Learning Our History Shaping Our Future project utilizes the Mann-Simons Site and Modjeska Simkins House to expose youth and elders to local African American history in a way that facilitates empowering intergenerational contact. The project also aims to expose youth and seniors to new technologies, and effectively promote citizen engagement. 

AT&T presented a check to the Historic Columbia Foundation at the Jubilee Festival of Heritage on Saturday, August 18 at the Mann-Simons Site.

The grant from AT&T supports a partnership between Historic Columbia Foundation, the University of South Carolina, Richland County School District One and the Booker-Washington Heights Neighborhood. Approximately 40 C.A. Johnson High School students and 40 Booker-Washington Heights neighborhood alumni will participate in the Learning Our History-Shaping Our Future project over a six-month period beginning in September 2012.

The project will use local history as the catalyst to extend meaningful outreach programs to high school students and senior citizens and enable the foundation to build greater organizational capacity for community engagement.

“We cannot fully appreciate where we are and where we’re going until we know where we’ve been, until we know our history.  The Historic Columbia Foundation’s ‘Learning our History – Shaping our Future’ project will help students and adults better understand our community’s African-American heritage,” said Ted Creech, External Affairs Director for AT&T South Carolina.  “By adding new technologies and new ways of experiencing the Mann-Simons Site and the Modjeska Simkins House, The Historic Columbia Foundation will be able to more meaningfully engage the community in more than two centuries of local history.  AT&T is very pleased to assist with this outreach.”

The Mann-Simons site, one of only a few sites in South Carolina once owned by freed African-Americans prior to the Civil War, and the Modjeska Simkins House, the former residence of the woman largely considered the “matriarch” of Civil Rights in South Carolina, are two of seven historic properties managed by Historic Columbia Foundation.

Members of the media are encouraged to contact Ashley Tucker at 803.252.7742 ext 16 or atucker@historiccolumbia.org for more information.

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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Early Columbia Lecture Series Part Three Kicks Off September 4!

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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 III of the Early Columbia Lecture Series, hosted by historian and author Warner Montgomery, Ph.D. Part III of the series will cover the Twentieth Century: Columbia Celebrates 200 years, meeting Tuesdays, September 4 – October 9.

Topics Covered During Each Lecture (Part III):
Sept 4: Boom, Bam, Boom (1920s, 1930s, 1940s)
Sept 11: Main Street: Business and Commerce
Sept 18:  Urban Renewal and Suburban Annexation
Sept 25: Desegregation and Local Control
Oct 2: Schools, Hospitals, and Public Services
Oct 9: Mayors, Leaders, and Vision

Optional Bus Tour: Sunday, September 16, 2012, 2:00 PM -5:00 PM
Meets at the Seibels House, 1601 Richland St

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 III 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).

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 toreservations@historiccolumbia.org OR mail to 1601 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201.

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.

Historic Columbia Foundation Columbia Lecture Series

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

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