Historic Columbia Foundation Celebrates 200 Years of African-American History in South Carolina, Offers “History and Heritage” Program for Children Ages 3-8 Years Old

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COLUMBIA, SC (February 3, 2012) – Historic Columbia Foundation is offering a special program during the month of February aimed at celebrating 200 years of African-American history in South Carolina.  The program, called “Early Adventures: History and Heritage” was created especially for private groups of 10 or more children ages 3-8 years old.  Each program lasts approximately 90 minutes and includes story time, games, crafts, snacks and activity leaders.

Children will explore the history of our state through some of its significant citizens who have made great accomplishments and brought notoriety to our state.  Children will learn about many famous African-Americans who have called South Carolina home.  The cost of the program is $6 per child (groups of 10 or more required).  Reservations are required and can be made by contacting Ann Posner at 803.252.1770 ext. 24 or by email at reservations@historiccolumbia.org.

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 the program, Robin Waites, Executive Director at Historic Columbia Foundation says, “The significant contributions of African-Americans in South Carolina are brought to life in this meaningful program, created especially for young children”.

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 Seeks Volunteers About To Donate 6 or More Hours a Month: First New Volunteer Training Class of 2012 Runs February 13 – April 30, 2012

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COLUMBIA, SC (February 1, 2012) – Historic Columbia Foundation’s first new volunteer training class of 2012 kicks off on February 13, 2012, with a total of ten sessions running through April 30, 2012.  Each session lasts approximately 90 minutes and begins at 10 am. Schedule below.  Those not able to attend the first session are still welcome to pick up the training on February 27.

Those able to donate at least 6 hours a month towards the Foundation’s mission to nurture, support, and protect the historical and cultural heritage of Columbia and its environs are encouraged to participate in the training.  Volunteers will learn about the organization, its historic house museums, historic gardens and grounds, historic neighborhoods, Columbia and Richland County history and more.   More information can be found online at http://historiccolumbia.org/site/calendar/2012/02/13/events/new-volunteer-training.

Volunteer Training Sessions:
February 13, 2012-General Introductory Session. Meets at Seibels House, 1601 Richland Street
February 27-Robert Mills District, Garden Tours
March 5- Regular Volunteer Meeting, Arsenal Hill Walking Tour
March 12-Collections Highlights and Tour Collections Storage
March 19-Tour Mann-Simons Site, Archeology
March 26-Tour Hampton-Preston Mansion
April 9-Robert Mills, Seminary history, Architectural Styles
April 16-Tour Techniques
April 23-Annual Volunteer Appreciation Event
April 30-Overview of 19th and Early 20th Century Columbia, SC, and US Highlights

Volunteer opportunities include:

  • Historic house museum tours,
  • Walking tours,
  • Step-on tours around Columbia,
  • Gardening work days on a seasonal basis to tend to the historic grounds and gardens of Historic Columbia Foundation,
  • Assisting the Education Department,
  • Administrative assistance (including rentals), and
  • Assisting the Cultural Resources department on an as-needed basis


Volunteer benefits:

  • Complimentary entrance into the historic house museums (volunteer and members of his/her immediate family),  
  • Free or reduced rates towards admission to special Historic Columbia Foundation functions,
  • A 15% discount on museum shop purchases (tax-free plus a 5% off volunteer discount), and
  • A free subscription to Historically Speaking, Historic Columbia Foundation’s quarterly newsletter.


For more information on how to find your place with us, contact Ann Posner, Coordinator of Volunteer and Visitor Services at 803.252.1770, ext. 24 oraposner@historiccolumbia.org.

About volunteering at HCF, Robin Waites, Executive Director of Historic Columbia Foundation says, “By volunteering at 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”.

On her volunteer experience, Historic Columbia Foundation volunteer Pat Ceresoli says, “Volunteering at Historic Columbia Foundation has given me the opportunity to meet many warm, interesting, and intelligent people including staff, volunteers, and visitors to the houses”.

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 five 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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South Carolina and the Civil Rights Struggle Conference: February 23-24, 2012

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The National Council for History Education and South Carolina State University have an event coming up that you won’t want to miss!

South Carolina and the Civil Rights Struggle Conference
February 23-24, 2012
Orangeburg, SC

Conference Speakers Include:
Abe Bartley, Clemson University
Milicent Brown, Clafin University
Brack Clemons, South Carolina Educational Television
Maureen Costello, Southern Poverty Law Center
Marcus Cox, The Citadel
Connie Geer, University of South Carolina
Darlene Clark Hine, Harvard University
William Hine, South Carolina State History
Cedric Johnson, University of Illinois
William Legette, South Carolina State University
Val Littlefield, University of South Carolina
Emily Manigault, Richland School District #2
Chanda Robinson, South Carolina Department of Education
Cleveland Sellers, Voorhees College
Harry Singleton III, Benedict College
Patricia Sullivan, University of South Carolina
Marc Turner, Richland School District #2
Larry Watson, South Carolina State University
Garland Wesson, Claflin University
Cecil Williams, South Carolina State University

With Special Guests…

Tickets are just $40 ($25 for Students)
For the Registration Form, a Preliminary Schedule and a list of local hotels visit www.nche.net.

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Chili Cook-Off Brings “Famously Hot” Flavor to Columbia, SC: February 25, 2012 from 5 pm – 8 pm

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COLUMBIA, SC – (January 30, 2012) – If you haven’t heard of The Palladium Society’s annual Chili Cook-Off, it’s an event you’ll want to put on your calendar for this February 25, 2012 from 5 pm – 8 pm.  This year’s event will be the 14th annual for The Palladium Society, a young professional fundraising group behind Historic Columbia Foundation.  Local celebrity judges at this year’s event will include Andy Burns of ABC Columbia and Tug Baker of Free Times.

The Cook-Off draws close to 1,000 of Columbia’s finest chili-tasters to the Ellison Building at the State Fairgrounds (1200 Rosewood Drive). Chili-lovers enjoy some of Columbia’s most creative chili recipes as they take in the sights, sounds (live musical entertainment) and tastes of the festive event. Live music, beer and wine, and of course lots of chili are all a part of the festivities.

Tickets to this year’s event are available online and at the door.  Online tickets may be purchased at http://palladiumcookoff.eventbrite.com through February 24.  Ticket prices are $20 for members of The Palladium Society, $25 for Historic Columbia Foundation members, and $30 for the general public.   Attendees will receive beer/wine tickets as a part of the admission fee.

A Call for Cooks:
If you make a mean bowl of “famously hot” chili, there’s still time to enter as a cook in the event.  For $20, your recipe will be entered into the event (deadline to enter is Feb. 21).  Cooks also receive free admission and an extra ticket for a guest.  Details posted here.

Helpful Links:

About this year’s event, Robin Waites, Executive Director at Historic Columbia Foundation says, “The Cook-Off is filled with flavor and fun, offering an enjoyable evening for all ages.” She goes on to say “benefitting local preservation and education efforts, this event is one you’ll want to attend for years to come.”

About The Palladium Society of Historic Columbia Foundation:
The Palladium Society is a dynamic organization of young professionals that supports the mission of Historic Columbia Foundation through educational, social, and fundraising initiatives. Membership dues to this affiliate level of Historic Columbia Foundation begin at just $15 (in addition to HCF membership fee of $35/individual or $50/family).

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 www.historiccolumbia.org for details.

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Mann-Simons Dig in the News…

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Now that the fourth and final phase of excavations at the Mann-Simons Site is coming to a close, Historic Columbia Foundation has had the honor of being featured in the news for this notable project.

Below you’ll find quick-links to recent press about the Mann-Simons dig:

–         WIS TV’s Taylor Kearns story and video

–         The State newspaper’s Noelle Phillips “Diggin’ History” story with photos: “Excavated clues tell Columbia family’s story

If you’re new to this story, refer to Jakob Crockett’s (HCF archaeologist) guest post here to get the latest.

About Mann-Simons:
Although only one house stands today, the Mann-Simons Site historically was a collection of commercial and domestic spaces owned and operated by the same African-American family from at least 1843 until 1970. The property and its multiple buildings changed considerably over time to better accommodate the needs, tastes, and aspirations of this remarkable family. Learn more…

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Fourth and Final Phase of Archaeological Excavations at Mann-Simons Site Complete

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Guest post by Jakob Crockett, Archaeologist at Historic Columbia Foundation

The exposed surface of Level 2, representing the period between 1909 and 1970. The linear space between the rows of bricks was a walkway, with plantings to each side.

The fourth and final phase of archaeological excavations at the Mann-Simons Site is complete. For three months, Joseph Johnson and I excavated 386 square feet on the southwest corner of the site. The goals were threefold: (1) more fully define the nature of operations at the lunch counter; (2) recover surviving evidence of the first-generation house; and (3) better understand how the family used this yard area over time. Although findings are preliminary, five layers were identified in the field.

Moving forward in time, the bottommost layer, Level 5, represents the pre-1870s occupation of the site. This was the period of Ben Delane and Celia Mann, who were living on the corner of Richland and Marion streets by at least 1843. Consistent with other parts of the yard, few artifacts were discovered. What was discovered was the west wall of their house, the house that existed prior to the one standing today. Represented by five post holes, the wall, running north-south, measured 15-feet (the east-west dimension remains unknown). An additional post hole was discovered underneath the Richland Street sidewalk, thought to be part of the front porch.

Level 4 represents the period between the 1870s, when Ben and Celia’s house was removed and the current house built, and 1891, when John L. Simons opened a lunch counter. The space seems to have been used much as it is today: an interface between house and street, with a few plants scattered about.

 

The five primary stratigraphic layers within the southwest yard area: Level 1 (1970+), Level 2 (1909-1970), Level 3 (1891-1909), Level 4 (circa 1870s-1891), Level 5 (pre-1870s).

Level 3 was the era of the lunch counter, 1891-1909. A rich diversity of artifacts were recovered, from expected items such as bottle caps, bones and cans, to unexpected items (at least in the quantity recovered) like 1-inch copper straight pins (over 30), unfired ammunition (over 10 cartridges) and coins. Most exciting was the discovery of a brick drain. Located within the stand against the rear wall, the open drain tied into the Columbia wastewater system, which the City began to lay in 1902.

With the destruction of the counter in 1909 came the opening of the front yard space, our Level 2. The area was heavily populated with various-sized plants and a brick-lined walkway.

Level 1 was the period 1970-today, a layer highly disturbed by construction activities after the 1970 eminent domain sale and landscaping associated with museum activities.

Post holes associated with the west wall of the house occupied by Ben Delane and Celia Mann. The post hole at the bottom of the photograph is thought to be part of the front porch.

City of Columbia workers remove a five-foot section of sidewalk along Richland Street

The skeleton of a chicken was discovered at the north extent of the excavation. The fully-articulated chicken was intentionally buried in a small grave.

Excavation is only one part of archaeology. The next steps include washing and cataloging all the artifacts, digitizing field maps, integrating new findings into previous work, and of course, figuring out what it all means. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact me at jcrockett@historiccolumbia.org or 803.238.7452.

About Mann-Simons:
Although only one house stands today, the Mann-Simons Site historically was a collection of commercial and domestic spaces owned and operated by the same African-American family from at least 1843 until 1970. The property and its multiple buildings changed considerably over time to better accommodate the needs, tastes, and aspirations of this remarkable family. Learn more…

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Historic Columbia Foundation Seeks Museum Shop Manager

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Do you have a passion for people and a penchant for history? Historic Columbia Foundation is seeking a Museum Shop Manager.  This self-motivated individual will develop a purchasing plan and annual budget; will be responsible for maintaining stock appropriate to the mission of the Foundation; overseeing the operation of the museum gift shop including  pricing, merchandising, developing the correct product mix; monitoring budgets and inventories; implementing policies and procedures for utilizing computerized inventory systems; keeping the Museum Shop clean in appearance and displays attractive; and representing the museum gift shop at off-site opportunities. The Museum Shop Manager is also responsible for disseminating accurate information about Historic Columbia Foundation properties, activities, and city attractions.

Qualifications:
* Bachelor’s degree in business, marketing or related field; or acceptable equivalent in experience * 3-5 years of retail experience, preferably in a museum, specialty store, or bookstore; Must be able to operate a computerized point-of-sale system (POS), working knowledge of Microsoft Office; A willingness to learn and carry yourself in a professional and personable manner with diverse visitors, volunteers, and staff is essential.

Please forward resumes  to dgiles@historiccolumbia.org.

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This Week in History: January 14, 1962 – "A Merchant Prince and His Mansion"

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On January 14, 1962 an article ran in The State newspaper with the following question appearing above the headline: “Will the home of Ainsley Hall Be Saved?”  The article, entitled “A Merchant Prince and His Mansion 138 Years Ago” paints a descriptive picture of the Ainsley Hall House as it was during this critical time in the history.  The State’s Kathleen Lewis Sloan writes, “On the four acre block bounded by Blanding, Henderson, Pickens and Taylor Streets, standing in majestic splendor a lone sentinel, a last reminder of a Merchant Prince of Columbia.”  Sloan goes on to write “The mansion stands waiting.  It is waiting as a gift – if Columbians and anyone interested in preserving the historical aspects of America, and South Carolina, will provide enough funds to purchase the valuable city block that lies about its doors.”

click on the photo to enlarge - then use your browser's "back" button to navigate back to this post

If you’ve been following Historic Columbia Foundation’s “Preservation Matters” posts on Facebook (link here) or on this blog, then you are familiar with what happens next.  If you’re new to this space, we’re placing a link here for you: http://blog.historiccolumbia.org/the-story-of-the-robert-mills-house-rehabilitation/.

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 at the newly rehabilitated Lorick House (1727 Hampton Street) 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 (http://www.facebook.com/preservationmatters) 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 wspratt@historiccolumbia.org.

 

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Last Day To Enter Our Giveaway – Prize Val $150!

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In case you missed our Facebook post about our sweepstakes, see below for details.  Just one day left to enter, prize value more than $150!

To celebrate the launch of HCF’s 50th Anniversary behind-the-scenes tours, Historic Columbia Foundation has partnered with City Center Partnership to offer a City Center gift basket AND two VIP behind-the-scenes tour tickets of “Columbia Down Under” to one lucky winner!

The prize value is more than $150! Your 2 tour tickets are redeemable to the VIP tour of “Columbia Down Under” being offered on 1/19/2012. Prize must be picked up at our Museum Shop (1616 Blanding Street) by the afternoon of 1/19/2012 to ensure you can enjoy the tour!

ENTER THE SWEEPSTAKES via Facebook here…
Sweepstakes ends at 11 pm on 1/17/2012!

For more about Historic Columbia Foundation and our VIP tours, visit http://www.historiccolumbia.org. For more information about City Center Partnership, please visit http://www.citycentercolumbia.sc.

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