Meet-Ups, Tweet-Ups, Corporate Events and More!

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If you’ve lived in the area for long, you’ve likely attended a special event at one of our historic properties. Yes, our charming venues are at the top of the list for many southern brides. But, did you know that we’re also an ideal fit for your corporate meeting, lunch n’ learn session, private party, meet-up, tweet-up, conference and more?

In fact, we’re so serious about proving it to you that we’re rolling out deeply discounted pricing (up to 80% off) for a limited time! Hold your event at one of our venues before June 30, 2012 and you’ll enjoy a memorable venue at a price that will surely dazzle you…

Our Special Offer to You:

We’re more than weddings, and we’re ready to accommodate! Allow us to prove it to you! Contact Amy Kinard at 803.252.7742 ext. 11 or akinard@historiccolumbia.orgto learn more about this special offer. In the meantime, we’re sharing quick-looks at each of our properties below.

seibels-houseExplore your options…
The circa-1796 Seibels House and Gardens is Columbia’s oldest remaining structure, located at 1601 Richland Street. The beautiful gardens feature large Palmetto trees, a striking fountain and blossoming flowers, while the house itself provides an intimate atmosphere for both large and small groups. The indoor space accommodates 80 seated and 150 standing with tables and chairs provided, while the garden accommodates 400. A newly updated bridal suite provides a quiet place to prepare for the day’s festivities. Learn more…


The Big Apple was home to a synagogue circa-1915 before it was transformed into a 1930’s African-American nightspot. This one-of-a-kind building provides a spacious floor plan with breathtaking hard wood floors, beautiful large windows and a small upstairs balcony. Located at 1000 Hampton Street, the building accommodates 80 seated and 150 standing with tables and chairs provided. Learn more…


The Robert Mills House and Garden is one of the city’s few National Historic Landmarks. Robert Mills, a native Charlestonian, designed scores of landmark buildings throughout South Carolina and Washington, D.C. The circa-1823 home provides a picturesque backdrop for any event, also featuring the Founders’ Garden with lush landscaping and ornate gardens. Located at 1616 Blanding Street, the carriage house and courtyard accommodates 75 seated and 125 standing while the full grounds accommodate 400. Learn more…


What could be more charming than holding your event on the grounds of a Columbia landmark that epitomizes the lifestyle of the planter-elite in antebellum South Carolina? The grounds of the circa-1818 Hampton-Preston Mansion, with four acres of lush green grass, gardens and of course a stunning antebellum home, can be the venue for your next memorable event. The space accommodates 400. Learn more…

What Others are Saying…
We were extremely happy with the service, attention and cooperative manner we were given. The house is beautiful and we had a fabulous time and will be recommending this venue to all our friends and family.
– DeShauna Branham Blinard about the Seibels House and Garden

I had great feedback from my guests at the event. The Big Apple was an excellent place for our reunion and I hope we can use it again in the future.– Anthony L. Mosley

And for those newly-engaged brides…
We had a Charleston wedding in Columbia, SC. All of our guests loved the Seibels House and Gardens.
– Mr. and Mrs. Mark A. Sawyer, Jr.

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Join HCF for the One Columbia History and Historical Preservation Forum

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Come and learn about what One Columbia for Arts and History is doing to support History and Historic Preservation in Columbia and offer your thoughts, ideas and events with the group.

Join us for a light lunch on Wednesday, February 22 from noon to 1 p.m. at the Seibels OneColumbia Arts and HistoryHouse & Garden, 1601 Richland Street.

One Columbia wants to hear from the community to learn more about what is going on to promote history and historical preservation in Columbia and what opportunities there are for further participation and collaboration from other groups.

Join the conversation and help Columbia promote our historical culture and preservation! Please RSVP to

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"Famously Hot" Chili Cook-Off Giveaway

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The Palladium Society of Historic Columbia Foundation is giving away two tickets to their upcoming 14th Annual Chili Cook-Off (2.25.2012), a prize value of $60! One lucky winner and a guest of his or her choice will enjoy this “Famously Hot” event featuring a variety of chili recipes, beer, wine and live music by Whiskey Tango Revue.

Quick Entry Links:
Enter via Facebook
Not on Facebook? Enter here instead.

Your 2 tickets are redeemable for the 14th Annual Chili Cook-Off taking place at the State Fairgrounds (Ellison Building) from 5 – 8 p.m. on February 25. Tickets must be picked up at our Museum Shop (1616 Blanding Street) by 2 p.m. on 2/24/2012 to ensure you can enjoy the famously hot event!

Thanks for your entry and good luck! Official Rules & Privacy

Don’t want to wait? Buy Cook-Off Tickets via Eventbrite here.



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What to Expect During Historic Columbia Foundation's History & Heritage Early Adventures Program: Celebrating 200 Years of African-American History in South Carolina

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COLUMBIA, SC – (February 13, 2012) – Historic Columbia Foundation is offering a special program this month aimed at celebrating 200 years of African-American history in South Carolina, a part of their “Early Adventures” series (created especially for private groups of 10 or more children ages 3-8 years old).   The Foundation just released a list of activities they have planned for those able to join in on this 90-minute, hands-on program.
Early Adventures: History and Heritage, Historic Columbia Foundation
Arts and Crafts: Jonathan Green’s book, Gullah Images: The Art of Jonathan Green, will serve as a springboard for children to draw something that inspires them.  Children will make a coil pot out of modeling clay while learning about Edgefield potter and artist, Dave Drake, known as “Dave the Potter”. Drake was born around 1801 and left an amazing autobiography, scrawled on the shoulders and sides of his remaining jugs and vessels.

Dance: Children will dance to a James Brown song, just one of many famous musicians attached to South Carolina.

Story time: Children will enjoy story time with a book by Augusta Baker, the first African-American to coordinate youth services for 82 branches of the New York Public Library. Baker was appointed Storyteller in Residence at USC after retiring in South Carolina.

Sports/Games: Many famous athletes called South Carolina home.  Kids will play a game of t-ball and badminton.   Notable African-American athletes who left their mark on South Carolina include Sterling Sharpe, Larry Doby, Mamie “Peanut” Johnson, Alex English, “Smokin” Joe Frasier and Althea Gibson.

Archaeology: Children will tour the lunch counter exhibit at the Mann-Simons Site, in operation from 1891 until 1909 at the site. We’ll talk about how this was a family of entrepreneurs while children view many artifacts recovered from the site.

Program Specifics: The cost of the program is $6 per child (groups of 10 or more required).  Each program includes story time, games, crafts, snacks and activity leaders. Reservations are required and can be made by contacting Ann Posner at 803.252.1770 ext. 24 or by email at The Foundation designed their Early Adventures program to serve daycare and learning centers, birthday parties, schools, churches and clubs.  Each month, a different theme is highlighted during this kid-friendly program.

Upcoming “Early Adventure” programs include:
March – April 2012: Eggstrodinary Fun!
May –June 2012: Dirt Diggers (at Mann-Simons Site)
July – August 2012: Trunk Loads of Fun

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 for details.



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Help us Reach our 1,000th Member: Giveaway Announced!

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Here at Historic Columbia Foundation, we’re this close to reaching an important milestone…our 1,000th member! The timing couldn’t be sweeter, with this being our 50th Anniversary year, and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner.

Family-friendly events!

Our many accomplishments over the last 50 years would not have been made possible without the support of our great members. We’re asking for your help in reaching our 1,000th member, and there’s something special in it for you, too!

The Giveaway:
Help us reach our 1,000th member by joining Historic Columbia Foundation or sponsoring the membership dues of a friend. Lucky member number 1,000 (or his/her sponsor) will receive a special goodie basket from our Museum Shop, customized with $50 worth of store products of his or her choosing. Select from candles, books, jewelry, beer pilsners, palmetto items, kitchen items, jams, jellies, you-name-it. We’re also throwing in TWO tickets to our upcoming Chili Cook-Off (a $60 value), to enjoy with your sweetheart or a friend.

Behind-the-scenes tours!

Join HCF:
Join online (or gift a membership to a friend or family member) or download our print-friendly membership form here.

Benefits of HCF Membership:
HCF members enjoy free tours (year-round) of our historic house museums, a subscription to our quarterly Historically Speaking newsletter, guest passes, discounted pricing to HCF events, museum shop discounts and more! Your membership helps to protect the historical and cultural heritage of Columbia and Richland County for years to come. Memberships dues start at just $35. Learn more…


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Valentine's Day Gift Ideas from our Museum Shop

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A wide array of Gardening books, many priced below $25

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Shop Historic Columbia Foundation for the perfect gift for your loved one. Your purchase helps fund local preservation and education efforts. The Museum Shop is conveniently located at 1616 Blanding Street, with free parking. We’re open Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm and Sunday from 1 pm – 5 pm.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

For the Gardener
If your valentine is a gardener, our Museum Shop features a wide array of gardening books, many priced under $25 including Kitchen & Garden Secrets from South Carolina.

South Carolina pilsner glasses, under $15/each

For the Jewelry Admirer
For the valentine who loves to sparkle, our shop carries a variety of locally-crafted jewelry including a wide selection of jeweled necklaces for under $30 and crystal chandelier designs for $15.

For the Beer Aficionado
Our Museum Shop has a variety of South Carolina pilsner glasses for under $15 (seen left).

For the Foodie
If your valentine appreciates good eats, surprise him or her with tickets to The Palladium Society’s upcoming Chili Cook-Off! Purchase and print tickets online via eventbrite and prepare for a flavorful evening (2.25.2012). The event features live music by Whiskey Tango Revue, more than 20 varieties of chili and carefully-selected Spanish Vines wine. Get your tickets here.

For the History Enthusiast

A variety of hand-crafted jewelry creations

Surprise your valentine with the gift of history! Memberships start at just $35 and offer 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. More about HCF membership…

For the Siteseer…
If your valentine enjoys taking in Columbia sights, reserve a place at one of our upcoming events. Browse our bustling calendar of events here.

Planning a Proposal?
Will you be making a proposal to your loved one this Valentine’s Day? After she says “yes!”

Seibels House & Garden

think Historic Columbia Foundation for your wedding venue. Our historic properties make a picturesque backdrop for your special day. More about hosting your event at Historic Columbia Foundation…

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 our calendar of events to browse upcoming events…

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Free Times Features Early Adventures: History and Heritage Program

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Thanks to Sarah Robbins at the Free Times for featuring the debut of our Early Adventures: History and Heritage Program and other February events in her article “Historic Columbia Celebrates Black History Month.”

Historic Columbia in the Free Times

The Early Adventures: History and Heritage program is designed for private groups of ten or more children ages 3-8. Activities include storytimes, arts and crafts, dance, sports and more. For more information on this program, check out our Celebrating 200 Years of African-American History blog post.

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Print-Ready Posters for Chili Cook-Off Available: Event is Just 18 Days Away!

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The Palladium Society’s Annual Chili Cook-Off is just 18 days away (2.25.2012, 5 pm – 8 pm).  For 14 years, this flavorful fundraiser has been bringing heat to Columbia, SC (not to mention benefiting local history and preservation efforts).

We’re making this year’s poster available to our blog readers –
in 11″ X 17″ (perfect for hanging on the office bulletin board) or scaled to fit a standard 8.5″ X 11″ piece of paper (print a few and pass them around the office)! Thanks in advance for helping spread the word about this “famously hot” event. Avoid the Cook-Off lines by buying your tickets via Eventbrite here.

P.S. Don’t forget our “Call for Cooks” closes on Feb. 21th. Get the details on our calendar listing here (including registration form).

click to expand and print at 8.5" X 11" paper size

Click image expand and print on 11" X 17" paper

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Join Us for Our Second Sunday Stroll of Lower Waverly THIS Sunday, February 12 at 2 pm: FREE for Historic Columbia Foundation Members

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Join Historic Columbia Foundation during this month’s Second Sunday Stroll this Sunday,

Lower Waverly Neighborhood in Columbia South Carolina

Bungalow (2200 & 2300 Blocks of Greene Street)

February 12 at 2 pm. We’ll be touring the Lower Waverly neighborhood. This guided walking tour will highlight the architecture and history of the neighborhood. A FREE tour for Historic Columbia Foundation members, the cost is just $6 for non-member adults and $3 for non-member youth (17 and under).

Reserve Your Place for Sunday’s Stroll
Reservations requested but not required. Tour meets at Martin Luther King Jr. Park in front of the Parks and Recreation Building, 2300 Greene Street. Please call 803.252.1770 ext. 24 or email Proceeds benefit Historic Columbia

Reverend Isaiah DeQuincy Newman

Reverend Isaiah DeQuincy Newman Image courtesy South Carolina Political Collections, University of South Carolina Libraries


About Lower Waverly:
Initially a racially mixed neighborhood until the mid-20th century when white citizens left for the suburbs, Lower Waverly (lying south of Gervais, west of King, north of Sante and east of Harden streets) became home to professional and working-class African Americans who established their own largely self-contained and self-sustained community.

South Carolina’s first African-American state senator since 1887, Isaiah DeQuincey Newman (1911 – 1985) lived in Lower Waverly from 1960-1961. A life-long humanitarian considered one of the state’s most important civil rights leaders, Newman served as pastor for Wesley Methodist Church and as the Field Secretary of the NAACP.

Lower Waverly was also once home to Celia Dial Saxon (1857- 1935), one of Columbia’s most celebrated educators. Celia was among the first African Americans educated at the University of South Carolina during Reconstruction. Saxon was heavily engaged in civic improvements. In 1929, Blossom Street School was renamed in her honor. In 1954, Saxon was recognized again when the Columbia Housing Authority named a new 400-unit complex in the Edgewood neighborhood after her.

Chappelle Memorial A.M.E. Church Columbia, SC

Chappelle Memorial A.M.E. Church

Central to today’s Lower Waverly and Old Shandon neighborhoods that surround it, Martin Luther King, Jr. Park, under different names, has been a community landmark since the founding of Shandon, Columbia’s first planned suburb, in 1893. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park was initially known as Shandon Pavilion – a public green space intended as a resort with a casino, bathhouses and sporting opportunities for seasonal tourists.

Second Sunday Strolls are a part of Historic Columbia Foundation’s Retrace: Connecting Communities Through History initiative.

Retrace: Connecting Communities Through History

Walk. Along a footpath. Down a road. Beside a railroad track. See your city then – and now – through their eyes and yours. Share a memory, a photograph, appreciate the past. Historic Columbia Foundation invites you to retrace our shared past through its series of web tours, walking tours and wayside exhibits.

Explore six virtual tours of Columbia’s historic neighborhoods (including Lower Waverly) on our website. Brochures are available in the Museum Shop.

Your story could be just around the corner.

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This Week in History: February 4, 1960

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On February 4, 1960, The Columbia Record published an article about three historic buildings in Columbia – the Theological Seminary Building (now known as the Robert Mills House), the Mills-designed State Hospital Building, and the DeBruhl-Marshall House.

The Columbia Record, February 4, 1960

The article read, “From time to time The Columbia Record will present photographs of the better examples of the former architecture, with the purpose of contributing to the movements to assure their survival.”

Regarding the Theological Seminary Building, the article read, “Originally constructed as the residence of a wealthy Columbia merchant, Ainsley Hall, it eventually was used by the seminary (now moved to Georgia) and later by the Columbia Bible College which purchased the property on which it stands.”

The Robert Mills House is today managed by Historic Columbia Foundation as a house museum.

Referred to as the “Famous Mills Building at the State Hospital”, the article read, “This celebrated structure, rated one of Mills’ best, is still in use, not as a hospital building, as it was originally, but as a home for the nurses of the hospital.  Mills, pictured by historians as a shy man, seldom appeared at public affairs, but is said to have attended the dedication of this building, suggesting he may have had a particular affection for it.  He designed the Washington Monument and other government structures there.  Born in Charleston, he became nationally famous, and was a friend of Thomas Jefferson, himself something of an architect.”

Regarding recent developments at the South Carolina Department of Mental Health’s Bull Street campus,  The State newspaper published this article on February 1, 2012.

The DeBruhl-Marshall House was described as “a fine example of the classic style in Southern domestic architectures, built in 1820, probably after a design of Robert Mills, for almost 100 years the home of the DeBruhl and Marshall families.”

More about the Debruhl-Marshall House (and contemporary images) may be found on the South Carolina Department of Archives and History website here.

Why “Preservation Matters”
Since its inception fifty years ago, Historic Columbia Foundation has remained true to its most basic principle – to save architecturally and culturally significant places by educating the public as to their importance. After preventing the destruction of the Robert Mills House the organization grew to further serve the capital city and Richland County as a preservation advocate championing the future or historic structures. Today, Historic Columbia Foundation models historic preservation and public education at the seven historic sites under its stewardship, through public outreach within downtown and county communities alike, and by allying itself with strategic partners dedicated to improving the quality of life for contemporary and future citizens.

Ways You Can Help:

1. Donate to Historic Columbia Foundation in honor of our 50th Anniversary. In an effort to save the Robert Mills House from demolition 265 visionary individuals, families and businesses each contributed $1,000 (equivalent to a $7,341 gift in 2011!) to Historic Columbia Foundation between 1961 and 1964. As we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Historic Columbia Foundation, our Board of Trustees invites you to continue the legacy of the 265 founding leaders by being among the first 265 donors to make a contribution to our 2011 – 2012 Anniversary Campaign. Your gift may serve as a memorial or honorarium and may be directed to benefit our special projects, endowment or general operation fund as noticed in 50th Anniversary donation form here.

• Donors at the $265 level or above will receive an invitation to a special tour and reception as well as discounted tickets (2) to the 2012 Anniversary Gala.
• Gifts at the $1,000 level and above will also be recognized on a donor plaque in the Robert Mills Founders Garden.
• At the $7,341 level donors will also receive a copy of a limited edition of “Be It Remembered” – a 1972 publication documenting the history of HCF and the founding families. Sustaining donors will receive an updated family history and new donors will have a current family history included in the revised “Be It Remembered” book.

2. Become a member of Historic Columbia Foundation. For as little as $35 (individual), your membership cost helps Historic Columbia Foundation in our local preservation and education efforts. Learn more…

3. Become a fan of the “Preservation Matters: Columbia, SC” page on Facebook ( and follow us on Twitter (@histcolumbia). Your likes, comments and retweets help us spread the word about our organization.

4. Volunteer for Historic Columbia Foundation. By volunteering for Historic Columbia Foundation, you meet new people, visit historic sites, and discover the culture and lifestyles of South Carolina’s capital city and Richland County. Spend as little as six hours per month, or volunteer each week with us fulfilling our mission to nurture, support, and protect the historical and cultural heritage of Columbia and its environs through programs of advocacy, education, and preservation. Learn more about becoming a volunteer (and the many volunteer benefits) here.

5. Spread the word about our 50th Anniversary by posting a link to this blog post on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, and/or your website.

6. Encourage your employer to support Historic Columbia Foundation. Much like the 1,000 visionary donors in 1961, sustaining the efforts of Historic Columbia Foundation for the next 50 years will require donations not only from individuals and families, but also from local businesses. You can learn more about our business partners here. Contact Wendi Spratt in our development office at 803.252.7742 ext. 12 or


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