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.
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
2:15pm-3:45pm- Life of enslaved and free blacks at the end and after the Civil War
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.
Oct. 1 – 31 | All Day Event | Gardens of the Robert Mills House
Scarecrows have taken over the Robert Mills House gardens! This free exhibit features handcrafted scarecrows made by local families, business, organizations and classrooms. On a stroll through the gardens this fall, you’ll see dozens of ghoulish, historic and colorful scarecrows. Keep an eye out for “Sneaky Steve,” a mischievous scarecrow hiding somewhere on the grounds in a new location each week. For information, visit historiccolumbia.org, email email@example.com, or call (803) 252-1770 x 23.
Thursday, Oct. 5 | 6 – 7:30 p.m. | 4100 Block on Kilbourne St. in Heathwood
Get an inside look at former home of Lester Bates Jr. This architect-designed mid-century home is nestled in the Heathwood neighborhood. Current owners will share stories of curating modern furniture on a budget, as well as a few renovation trials and tribulations. This house showcases some of the most quintessential mid-century furnishings designed by Harvey Probber, Florence Knoll, Thayer Coggins, Heywood-Wakefield, Eero Saarinen, and the architectural style of the home and extensive use of glass and open design concepts to help forge a connection with nature. It was designed by Robert Jackson, Jr., whose firm, Jackson and Miller Architects, also designed Palmetto Health Baptist hospital and the former Maxwell Furniture store on Main Street. Take a walk through a home so carefully restored, you’ll feel like an extra from Mad Men.
Tickets are $25 for members and $30 for non-members, and registration is for members only until Sept. 28. For more information, email or call (803) 252-7742 x 15.
Historic Columbia’s 2017 Preservation Workshop series, presented by Crawlspace Medic, returns in October. Historic Columbia and the Committee for the Restoration and Beautification of Randolph Cemetery (CRBRC) will host a Preservation Workshop at the Seibels House to explore the ins and outs of renovating and maintaining a historic house. The workshop, led by Sean Stucker, director of facilities for Historic Columbia, and Staci Richey, owner of Access Preservation (which specializes in window restoration) and board member of the CRBRC, will lead attendees through a presentation and discussion that offers tips and examines how to plan, outline and manage a home rehab project. Participants will go on to explore work done over the decades at the Seibels House and will have the chance to check out ongoing and recent renovations at several neighboring properties. The Seibels House is located at 1601 Richland St. Light refreshments are included, and tickets for the workshop are $5 for members and $10 for non-members. To purchase tickets, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (803) 252-1770 x 23.
Sunday, Oct. 8 | 2 – 3:30 p.m. | Tour begins at Melrose Park
Explore the Melrose Heights neighborhood with Historic Columbia from 2 – 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, October 8 during the monthly Second Sunday Stroll presented by Seed Architecture. The guided walking tour will travel through the historic neighborhood, which was recently listed as an historic site on the National Register of Historic Places. Stops will include highlights of various architectural styles, kit homes popular in the 1910s and historic locations in one of Columbia’s earliest suburbs. The tour will begin at Melrose Park located at 1500 Fairview Drive. Tickets are free for members and $8/adult and $5/youth for non-members. To purchase tickets, visit historccolumbia.org, email email@example.com, or call (803) 252-1770 x 23.
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. 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.
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.
Grab your flashlights and join Historic Columbia and Elmwood Cemetery staff for guided tours presenting some of Columbia’s eerie and peculiar past by the light of the moon. Different than the regular monthly tours, Spirits Alive! Cemetery Tours feature costumed tour guides, snacks and other Halloween-related activities. Tickets are $8/adults and $4/youth for members and $12/adult and $6/youth for non-members. To purchase tickets, visit historccolumbia.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (803) 252-1770 x 23.
Sunday, Oct. 15 | 1 – 4 p.m. | Woodrow Wilson Family Home
Residents of Richland and Lexington Counties are invited to take a guided tour of one of our historic museums for just $1. This month, visit the Woodrow Wilson Family Home for Dollar Sunday. General admission prices apply for any house tours after the first. Walk-ins welcome! Tours leave at the top of the hour from 1 – 4 p.m. Purchase admission and meet for tours at the Gift Shop at Robert Mills. For information, visit historccolumbia.org, email email@example.com, or call (803) 252-1770 x 23.
Thursday, Oct. 19 | 7 – 10 p.m. | Robert Mills House & Gardens
Join Historic Columbia’s The Palladium Society (TPS) at the 14th annual Bluegrass, Bidding & BBQ fundraiser presented by Jaguar Land Rover Columbia. This annual celebration of live music, delicious barbeque, specialty drinks and an assortment of silent auction items will be held from 7 – 10 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19 on the grounds of the Robert Mills House & Gardens, located at 1616 Blanding Street in downtown Columbia. This year’s silent auction will feature a variety of items, 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, gift cards to restaurants, boutiques, gyms and much more. Ticket prices are $25 for TPS members, $35 for Historic Columbia members and $45 for the general public. Tickets are $50 at the door. All proceeds will support Historic Columbia. For information, visit historccolumbia.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call
Friday, Oct. 27 | 5:30 – 7 p.m. | Robert Mills House Parking Lot
Put on your costume and join Historic Columbia as we bring the fun of Halloween to the Robert Mills House during Trunk or Treat! Children will enjoy trick-or-treating with a twist in a safe and fun environment. Community members and organizations will display decorated trunks filled with candy in the parking lot of the Robert Mills House. Awards and prizes for best costumes and best decorated trunk will be given at 6:45 p.m. Don’t forget to visit the Gift Shop at Robert Mills and check out the Scarecrows in the Garden during this free event!
Trunk or Treat Vehicle Participation: Historic Columbia is accepting registrations for businesses and organizations and families to place a decorated vehicle at the event. This is a great opportunity for businesses and organizations to promote their mission, give away branded merchandise, and hand out candy to hundreds of children at a free community event.
Registered vehicles should arrive between 4:30 and 5:15 p.m. When giving out toys prizes or candy, remember that children will range in age from infants to young teens. Electricity will not be provided to registered vehicles in the event area, so please bring flashlights. Attendance is estimated at 400 families for the event. Please plan accordingly. For information, visit historiccolumbia.org, email email@example.com or call (803) 252-1770 x 23.
Group Tours Historic Columbia is happy to arrange a private guided tour for groups of 10 or more with advance registration. Bus tours are available. To schedule a group tour, call (803) 252-1770 x 23 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Historic Columbia was founded in 1961 by a group of concerned local citizens who volunteered their time, talents and passion for history in order to save the Robert Mills House and open it to the public. Ever since, volunteers have played an essential role in the organization. Today volunteers lead most of Historic Columbia’s house tours, walking tours and programs. They are instrumental in maintaining the vibrant gardens found on site, executing varied fundraising programs and making special events like The Jubilee Festival of Heritage and Candlelight Tours a success year after year. Needless to say, Historic Columbia wouldn’t be here today without decades of dedicated volunteer support.
Now it is your opportunity to join the legacy of Historic Columbia volunteers. Attend the next session of the Volunteer Orientation on Monday, January 23, 2017 from 10:00am to 12:30pm at the Seibels House, 1601 Richland Street, to learn more about volunteering and how to be involved. Volunteers are asked to commit at least nine hours a month to helping the organization in a variety of positions.
Currently there is there is a great need for Interpretive Guides to learn tours of the newly reopened Mann-Simons Site, which tells the story of the generations of entrepreneurial African American family who called it home. Interested volunteers will need to participate in one of the following all-day training sessions: Monday, Feb. 6, Saturday, Feb. 18 and Monday, Feb. 27. These training sessions 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.
The gardening program will soon be embarking on several new projects across the grounds, including extensive plant labeling and a restoration of several historic elements on the grounds of the Hampton-Preston Mansion. Come be a part of these great programs! Volunteering with Historic Columbia is a great way to get to know the history of Columbia and Richland County through monthly volunteer meetings that feature visits to local historic sites, guest lectures and in depth discussion on the history of Historic Columbia’s historic sites led by HC staff members. In addition, all volunteers receive a ten percent discount at the Gift Shop at the Robert Mills House, complimentary admission to our historic house museums for yourself and members of your immediate family and a free subscription to Historically Speaking, Historic Columbia’s quarterly newsletter.
Historic Columbia recognized the service and contributions of its volunteers at a private luncheon on Monday, April 27 at The Big Apple.
“While we take this opportunity to highlight a select few people at this event each year, each volunteer plays an important part in the success of this organization,” said Executive Director Robin Waites. “The strength of Historic Columbia is realized in the way that we work together to make this an organization one in which we can all be proud to play an integral role.”
Effie Phillips received the Lifetime Service Award in recognition of her 34 years of volunteering with Historic Columbia.
“Effie Phillips has logged more hours with Historic Columbia than any other, performed more tours than any other and has served as the most impeccable of ambassadors for our local history,” said Director of Cultural Resources John Sherrer. “She has held the imaginations of countless visitors, young and old, native and from far off states and countries. She has epitomized longevity and leadership. Moreover, she has always been a person whom we could call on for help. We are thrilled to congratulate and thank her with Historic Columbia’s first Lifetime Service Award.”
John Fiegel received the Volunteer of the Year Award.
“Over the past year, one volunteer has stood out for his flexibility, kindness and willingness to always help whenever possible. From being one of the first docents to complete the Wilson training to helping at cemetery tours to playing Santa Claus, John’s composure and quick wit make him a go-to person for so many of our tours and programs,” said Director of Education James Quint.
Jackie West received the Innovative Leadership Award for her leadership on the Jubilee: Festival of Heritage planning committee.
“From administrative help to single-handedly creating educational activities for the 2014 Jubilee festival to leadership roles on steering committees, Jackie’s new and great ideas are make her the epitome of an innovative leader,” said Engagement Coordinator Celia Galens.
Kathy Norton of BlueCross BlueShield of SC received the Service Award for her many years of service on HC’s Board of Trustees and chairing the Strategic Planning Committee.
“Since 2009, Kathy has been an exemplar of service to Historic Columbia, actively volunteering her time on the Board and at special events,” said Waites. “It has been an honor and a pleasure to work with her, and when she rotates off the board in October, she will leave very large shoes to fill.”
Porchia Moore received the Newcomer Award for her contributions to the Woodrow Wilson Family Home volunteer training program and on the Mann-Simons reinterpretation committee.
“Porchia has been a vital part of the training process for Woodrow Wilson Family Home docents,” said Jen Taylor, Woodrow Wilson Family Home lead facilitator. “I frequently hear that her race and sensitivity workshop is the most thought-provoking and often their favorite of the training sessions.”
Janice Bowman, Amber Miller and Diane Coker received the Special Contributions Award for their service as “The Collections Cleaning Crew,” who donate their time to make sure Historic Columbia’s house museums are clean and sparkling for visitors.
“Not many people would volunteer to vacuum, sweep and dust someone else’s house, but we are fortunate to have three such women who come in every Monday to make sure our museums look their best for our guests,” said Director of Historic House Museums Fielding Freed.
Kate Dixon and Dick Summers received 15-Year Service pins, Ella Pfaehler received her 10-Year Service pin, and Pat Itter, Vivian Moore, Hank Shaw, Foster Yarborough, Bobbie Osborne, Donna Stokes and Helen Brown received 5-Year Service pins to recognize their years of volunteering with Historic Columbia.
Historic Columbia holds its Volunteer Awards Luncheon every April to celebrate and thank the many volunteers who donate their time and expertise to advancing HC’s mission to preserve, promote and protect the history and cultural resources of Columbia and Richland County. This year’s luncheon featured produce donated by Senn Brothers Produce.
Meet new people, visit historic sites and discover the culture and lifestyles of Columbia and Richland County by volunteering for Historic Columbia.
New volunteer training kicks off at 9 am on Monday, November 10 with a three-hour orientation introducing Historic Columbia’s sites, programs and events. Additional training will be provided as new volunteers choose their role within the organization. HC is looking for volunteers willing to donate six or more hours a month to nurturing, supporting and protecting the historical and cultural heritage of Columbia and Richland County.
Last year, HC’s volunteer corps provided 9,000 hours of service at a value of $181,350. “Year after year, our volunteers are the ones who make it possible to accomplish our goals,” said HC Visitor & Interpretive Services Coordinator Betsy Kleinfelder. “They are a vital part of Historic Columbia’s mission to nurture, support and protect the historical and cultural heritage of Columbia and Richland County.”
Do you have a love of history you’d like to share with children? Are you interested in learning more about South Carolina history by helping students? Then Historic Columbia’s Education Department needs you as a volunteer for its Traveling Trunk program!
Historic Columbia will offer a training session for interested volunteers at 10 am on Monday, August 25 at the Robert Mills Carriage House, 1616 Blanding Street in downtown Columbia. The Traveling Trunk program takes history directly to students by way of a trunk of artifacts, games and stories that volunteers take into the classroom and use to lead interactive, educational activities. All Traveling Trunk programs align with South Carolina state social studies standards for a variety of grade levels and topics.
Historic Columbia’s Traveling Trunk program has grown rapidly in the last several years; in the 2013-2014 school year, the program saw more than 5,000 students across South Carolina. Thanks to a generous donation from BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Traveling Trunks are offered to schools in Richland and Lexington counties for 50% off the standard price of $60.
Let your kids travel through time at Historic Columbia’s Presidential Summer Camp! Campers will experience Columbia’s presidential history through crafts, games and activities. From George Washington’s visit in 1791 to modern presidents and candidates, they will connect South Carolina’s capital city to the national capital and get to know our commanders-in-chief by exploring the Woodrow Wilson Family Home and discovering presidential personalities and interests, such as Woodrow Wilson’s love of baseball and role-playing as a British admiral. Register for one of our two summer camp sessions by calling 803.252.1770 x 36 or by emailing email@example.com. Registration forms are available at historiccolumbia.org.
Visit Columbia’s Sacred Sites on Our Second Sunday Roll June 8!
Discover the history of Columbia’s Sacred Sites on this month’s Second Sunday Roll as we visit some of the capital city’s oldest churches and their cemeteries, including First Presbyterian Church, First Baptist Church of Columbia and Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.
This Second Sunday Roll will meet at Robert Mills Carriage House. Reservations are required; register for this tour by calling 803.252.1770 x 23 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Take a Moonlight Tour of Elmwood Cemetery June 12!
Grab your flashlight and join us for a tour of one of Columbia’s oldest cemeteries and discover centuries of stories etched in stone on the markers and headstones found within Elmwood Cemetery’s acres of carefully planned grounds. The perfect after-work activity, our cemetery tours are an event the whole family will enjoy! Get your tickets online, by emailing email@example.com or by phone at 803.252.1770 x 23.
We’re looking for entertainers, demonstration artists and vendors to be part of our annual Jubilee: Festival of Heritage on Saturday, August 23!
Historic Columbia is searching for entertainment acts that reflect Jubilee and African American heritage: drum and dance groups, gospel, blues and spoken word acts, and demonstration artists who can demonstrate and engage guests in arts and crafts like basket weaving, print making or indigo dying, to name just a few. Ready to sign up? Download the application forms here!
We also need vendors to make this festival a success – associations, churches, civic/service groups, health/medical organizations, charities, food/beverage, and retail! Download the application and learn more about Jubilee at historiccolumbia.org.
New volunteer training kicks off at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 9 and consists of five weekly general introductory sessions. Additional training will be provided as new volunteers choose their role within Historic Columbia. HC is looking for volunteers willing to donate six or more hours a month to nurturing, supporting and protecting the historical and cultural heritage of Columbia and Richland County.
Last year, HC’s volunteer corps provided more than 11,000 hours of service, at a value of $243,540. “Our volunteers are a vital part of Historic Columbia, and they are the ones who make it possible to accomplish our goals year after year,” said Ann Posner, HC’s volunteer manager.
Historic Columbia recognized the service and contributions of its volunteers at a private luncheon on Monday, April 21 at The Big Apple.
Cleve Walker of Quackenbush Architects received the Service Award in recognition of his years serving on the Palladium Society’s board of directors in many capacities.
“Chances are, if you’ve been to a Palladium Society event in the last ten years, you’ve seen Cleve. What you probably haven’t seen are his tireless efforts behind the scene – making sure each of our events comes off without a hitch,” said Megan Plott, president of The Palladium Society.
Kendal Benjamin received the Rising Star Award. Benjamin, a senior at CA Johnson High School who has volunteered as part of Historic Columbia’s Mann-Simons Community Engagement Project, spent the past year assisting other students with video projects documenting the history of their community and high school and facilitating student visits to HC properties.
“Kendal has been a natural leader, teaching his peers the basics of media, helping them create their documentaries and encouraging their interest in the project,” said Celia Galens, HC engagement coordinator and administrator for MSCEP.
Dr. Tom Brown, Dr. Allison Marsh and Dr. Ken Clements, all from the University of South Carolina, received the Innovative Leadership Award for their leadership and contributions to the reinterpretation of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home.
“Since November of 2010, Tom, Allison and Ken put in hundreds of hours and generously contributed their expertise,” said Fielding Freed, HC’s director of historic house museums. “Our shared goal of opening an historic house museum like none other in South Carolina simply would not have been successful without these three people who worked so hard behind the scenes.”
Richland County Councilman Greg Pearce received the Special Contributions Award.
“Long before I joined Historic Columbia, Greg served as our liaison and advocated for support and resources. Given the opportunity at Woodrow Wilson Family Home, he put his advocacy into another gear,” said Robin Waites, executive director of Historic Columbia. “This is the person who really deserves the credit for the Woodrow Wilson Family Home as you experience it today.”
Pam Redfield received the Volunteer of the Year Award.
“Pam has initiative and enthusiasm to spare,” said Ann Posner, HC’s volunteer manager. “Whether its developing and giving tours, leading committees or helping with school groups, she’s always willing to lend a hand, and we are so grateful to have her as part of the Historic Columbia family.”
Janice Bowman, Bill Bowman, Pris Stickney and Anne Weir received 20-Year Service pins to recognize reaching their twentieth year of volunteering with Historic Columbia. Susie Bid Brown, John Clark, John Fiegel, Walt Hall, Lynn Kelley, Pam Redfield, Margie Richardson, Bernadette Scott and Pris Stickney received Service Awards for their work as the first Historic Columbia docents to give tours of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home.
“While we take this opportunity to highlight a select few people at this event each year, each volunteer plays an important part in the success of this organization,” said Waites. “The strength of Historic Columbia is realized in the way that we work together to make this an organization one in which we can all be proud to play an integral role.”