Give the Gift of Membership – Plus Museum Shop Gift Ideas!

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Give the gift of a Historic Columbia Foundation membership! Priced at just $35, the gift of a HCF membership offers 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! Purchase a Historic Columbia Foundation membership for the history-enthusiast on your list and he/she will receive a limited-edition Robert Mills House Holiday Ornament. Pick up your gift membership and ornament in our Museum Shop Tues-Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm. Open Christmas Eve until 4 pm!

Got holiday shopping left to do? Consider shopping local (and tax-free!) with us at our Museum Shop. Our attentive staff is happy to help you make the perfect selection. Even better, there are no long lines and we have plenty of complimentary parking. Open until 4 pm on Christmas Eve! Visit us at 1616 Blanding Street (next to the Robert Mills House).

Palmetto Serving Tray – $41.50
Palmetto Silver:Riches of the South – $24.95

Jams, Salsa, and Pickles – just $4.40/each!
Palmetto basket (perfect for gift-baskets) – $18


Pond Mountain bud vases – $11.70/each
Palmetto basket (perfect for gift-baskets) – $18

Consider a Donation to our 50th Anniversary Annual Fund in Honor or Memory of Someone Special

Whether a founding member, past HCF president, dedicated volunteer, or someone else -your donation to our 50th Anniversary Annual Fund includes an acknowledgement letter to someone on your behalf. Contact Wendi Spratt to learn more at wspratt@historiccolumbia.org or 803.252.7742 ext. 12.

Happy Holidays!

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Give An Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Tour to the History Enthusiast on Your Holiday List!

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In honor of our 50th Anniversary, Historic Columbia Foundation is excited to offer several exclusive behind-the-scenes tours beginning in January of 2012. Each of these tours will be offered one-time in 2012, and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you’re looking for a distinctive gift idea for the history enthusiast on your list, consider the gift of one of these VIP tours! We will be happy to package the tour tickets with a gift acknowledgement letter on your behalf, and can have your gift envelope waiting for you in our Museum Shop upon request. Learn more about the 50th Anniversary VIP Tours below.

Please contact Wendi Spratt for details on reserving a place on this exclusive 50th Anniversary tour (makes a perfect holiday gift). Wendi may be reached at 803.252.7742 ext. 12 or by email at wspratt@historiccolumbia.org.

Tour and Cocktails at Equitable Arcade/Columbia Down Under
Date: Thursday, January 19, 2012
Time: 7:00 – 10:00 pm
Location: 1332 Main Street
Member rate- $20 / Non-member rate- $25

Located within the 1300 block of Main Street, the Arcade Mall was Columbia’s first indoor shopping center. The Equitable Real Estate Company, a group of Columbia businessmen that included prominent banker and developer Edwin Wales Robertson, constructed this building in 1912 at a reputed cost of $200,000.00. At the time it was built the Arcade Mall was strategically situated within a very popular section of this main commercial district. The structure’s proximity to the Barringer Building, Columbia’s first skyscraper, undoubtedly ensured its tenants’ exposure to large numbers of pedestrians conducting business downtown. Keep reading…

Tour and cocktails at W. B. Smith Whaley House – The Dunbar Funeral Home
Date: Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Time: 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Location: 1527 Gervais Street
Member rate- $20 / Non-member rate- $25

Arguably Columbia’s most recognizable historic landmark, the former Dunbar Funeral Home was constructed between 1892 and 1893 as a private residence for W.B. Smith Whaley. A unique example of high Queen Anne style architecture, this handsome property captures the fanciful design interests of the late 19th century and speaks to the former grand houses that once lined Gervais Street. Join us for a behind-the-scenes tour showcasing the building’s history and get a rare view of this pre-rehabilitated site. Keep reading…

Tour and Cocktails at Woodrow Wilson Family Home and the Lorick House
Date: Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Time: 7:00 – 9:30 pm
Location: 1705 and 1727 Hampton Street
Member rate- $15 / Non-member rate- $20

Join us for a hard hat tour of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home (South Carolina’s only Presidential site) and receive an update on Phase II of the historic property’s rehabilitation. Afterward stroll next door to the recently rehabilitated circa-1840 Lorick House for a tour of this landmark property. Enjoy cocktails and refreshments as you marvel at the extensive work that has revitalized its elaborate and handsome woodwork and historic landscape. Keep reading…

Tour of the Curtiss-Wright Hangar and The Hangars
Date: Sunday, March 11, 2012
Time: 2:00-4:00 pm
Location: Owens Field Municipal Airport Hangar
HCF Member rate- $8 / Family member rate- $25 / Non-member rate- $10

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of the circa-1929 Curtiss-Wright Hangar, the first building erected at Owens Field, an historic site that represents the contributions of air transportation to Columbia and South Carolina. First used to house airplanes for passenger and airmail services, this landmark building was used later as space for the civilian flight training program and finally for general aircraft maintenance. During the 1930s, Owens Field had the distinction of hosting many well-known aviators and personalities, including Amelia Earhart and President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The tour will conclude at the Hangars Lofts, a former warehouse adapted into a unique residential experience by owner Joab Dick. Refreshments to be served. Details…

Tour and Refreshments at the Guignard Brick Works
Date: Saturday, May 5, 2012
Time: 2:00-3:30 pm
Location: 100 Granby Crossing at Knox Abbott Drive, Cayce
HCF Member rate- $8 Family member rate- $25 Non-member rate- $10

Join us on a spring afternoon for an exclusive tour of the Guignard Brick Works followed by refreshments. A significant example of an early-20th century industrial complex, the Guignard Brick Works produced bricks for many buildings constructed in Columbia and throughout South Carolina from 1900 through the mid-20th century. The complex includes four brick beehive kilns, a historic brick office and remnants of other industrial features. Keep reading…

Guided Tour of the Powell-Wright House, a 1917 Prairie Style Home
Date: Thursday, April 26
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: 1410 Shirley Street
Member rate- $15 / Non-member rate- $20

Join Kandie and Patrick Wright as they lead a guided tour of their recently rehabilitated circa-1917 Melrose Heights home. Columbia’s purest example of Prairie Style architecture, this historic land-mark makes an ideal venue for enjoying history, tasty treats and libations. Pre-restoration images and stories from people that knew the property as young children will illustrate the journey this house has taken for almost one hundred years. More information…

Please contact Wendi Spratt for details on reserving a place on this exclusive 50th Anniversary tour (makes a perfect holiday gift). Wendi may be reached at 803.252.7742 ext. 12 or by email at wspratt@historiccolumbia.org.

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Free Candlelight Tours and $5 Carriage Rides Offered by Historic Columbia Foundation This Thursday and Friday (12/15 & 12/16) – Plus Free Musical Entertainment!

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COLUMBIA, SC (December 12, 2011) – In December 1967, Historic Columbia Foundation offered candlelight tours of the Robert Mills House for the very first time. Forty-four years later, candlelight tours remain an annual tradition for many families in the Midlands.  In honor of the Foundation’s 50th Anniversary, Candlelight Tours will be offered free of charge this year on December 15 and 16, 2011 from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pmCarriage rides from Columbia Carriage Works add to the fun – offered for just $5.  Those interested in taking a Candlelight Tour of the Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion or Mann-Simons Site are encouraged to meet at the Robert Mills House, 1616 Blanding Street.

Free musical entertainment will also be included in Candlelight Tour festivities.  On Thursday night’s tour (12/15), Bill Sloan will be playing guitar and singing holiday and traditional music outside of the Robert Mills House. On Friday (12/16), the Columbia Baroque Soloists will be headquartered on the porch of the Hampton-Preston Mansion.

About Candlelight Tours, Robin Waites, Executive Director of Historic Columbia Foundation says “A tour illuminated by candlelight has an element of holiday magic that is fun for the whole family.”  She goes on to say, “Candlelight Tour highlights include southern holiday traditions from the Antebellum and Victorian Eras, and into the 20th Century”.


Candlelight Tours are just one of the many holiday events hosted by Historic Columbia Foundation. Other holiday events at Historic Columbia Foundation include the Foundation’s Annual Holiday Tours (through December 31), FREE Toy Roadshow (December 17), Breakfast with Victorian Santa Claus (December 17), Dollar Sundays (December 18), and Early Adventures, a program designed especially for private groups of children (month-long, ages 3-8 years old). More information at http://www.historiccolumbia.org.

Candlelight Tour Sponsors:
Furr & Henshaw, Attorneys at Law
Palmetto Health Richland Total Joint Center
Richard Harpootlian, P.A.
Columbia Eye Clinic, P.A.
Bluestein, Nichols, Thompson & Delgado, LLC
Carol Sanders, P.A.
Columbia Flag & Banner
City of Columbia
Richland County
Cultural Council of Richland & Lexington Counties
Columbia Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau

High-resolution holiday photos are also available. Special behind-the-scenes holiday tours are available for members of the media upon request.

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 Offers Guided Walking Tour of Main Street on Sunday, December 11 at 2 pm

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Historic Columbia Foundation Offers Guided Walking Tour of Main Street on Sunday, December 11 at 2 pm

Formerly located on the corner of Bull and Gervais streets, The Flame restaurant wishes Columbians a merry Christmas, circa 1950. John Hensel, photographer.

COLUMBIA, SC (December 5, 2011)– Do you know the history of Main Street inColumbia, South Carolina? Historic Columbia Foundation will host a “Second Sunday Stroll” guided walking tour of Main Street on Sunday, December 11 at 2 pm. Tour attendees will learn about the history of Main Street, including architectural highlights and historical information. Cost is $6 adults, $3 youth (17 and under), free for Historic Columbia Foundation members. Reservations are recommended by email (reservations@historiccolumbia.org) or by phone (803.252.1770 ext. 24). Tour participants will meet at the front steps of the State House on the Gervais Street side. Proceeds benefit Historic Columbia Foundation.

Main Street’s history has ties to the City’s founding in 1786, when the city was laid out in a two-square mile grid. Most businesses established themselves on Richardson Street (now known as Main Street), one block east of Assembly. Businesses were located close to the State House (erected in 1788) on Richardson Street and on the blocks east and west of it.

Did you know?

• Street lights cost just $6.75 a piece when they were installed in the 1850s on what is now

An unidentified “Air Conditioned Drug Store” in downtown Columbia sports a jolly Santa peddling a once-common gift for adults, circa 1950. John Hensel, photographer.

known as Main Street.

• Main Street (then known as Richardson Street) was paved during the early 1850s. Before then, it was difficult to cross the muddy street by foot.

• When Sherman’s forces entered Columbia in February of 1865, many homes were lost between Main and Bull streets, and Main Street’s business district suffered terrible loss. The flames engulfed over 400 buildings, destroying an area of 36 blocks.

• During the first half of the twentieth century Main Street the state’s first skyscrapers, the Barringer Building (1903), the Palmetto Building (1913), and the Columbia Building (1914) were built.

About this month’s Second Sunday Stroll, Robin Waites, Executive Director of Historic Columbia Foundation says “What better time of year to explore Main Street than the holiday season?”. She goes on to say, “Enjoy the storefronts decorated for the season, while learning about the historic past of Main Street in Columbia, SC”.

Second Sunday Strolls are just one of the many holiday events hosted by Historic Columbia Foundation. Other holiday events at Historic Columbia Foundation include the Foundation’s Annual Holiday Tours (through December 31), Family Day (December 10), FREE Choir Showcase (December 10), FREE Toy Roadshow (December 17), Breakfast with Victorian Santa Claus (December 17), Dollar Sundays (December 18), and Early Adventures, a program designed especially for private groups of children (month-long, ages 3-8 years old). More information at http://www.historiccolumbia.org.

High-resolution holiday photos are also available. Special behind-the-scenes holiday tours are available for members of the media upon request.

Taken from Lady Street by photographer John A. Sargent, this image of Main Street reflects the holiday scene Columbians experienced in 1918.

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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The Story of the Robert Mills House Rehabilitation

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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. What follows are stories behind Historic Columbia Foundation’s evolution over five decades into a leader in historic preservation and education.

The scene was neither pretty nor new. Like many before it another historic building stood at the threshold of being demolished to make way for post-World War II redevelopment. But this venerable structure stood out among less fortunate peers. Its storied past and architectural refinement caught the imagination of Columbians whose combined energy led to an eleventh-hour salvation.

This was the setting in 1960 within Blanding Street’s 1600 block, where the last of the former Columbia Bible College buildings languished among debris left from its former neighbors. Designed by Robert Mills, a native South Carolinian and the first American-trained architect, the once-handsome, circa-1823 mansion faced certain destruction. Never put to its intended use as a private residence for Sarah and Ainsley Hall, the building’s size and surrounding land suited the needs of three educational institutions, including the Columbia Theological Seminary, for almost 130 years.

City of Columbia employees involved in Urban Renewal programs, most notably Mabel Payne, are credited with initial efforts to heighten public awareness of the site’s significance. She and others worked with key businessmen and socially prominent women to the lay the groundwork for great achievements that year. Shortly thereafter, in November 1961, activists formed Historic Columbia Foundation. Through media blitzes, favors and hard-fought fundraising they tackled the daunting task of buying the four-acre tract of land and rehabilitating its signature mansion as the city’s first true historic house museum.

The story of their dedicated service and the long road to realizing their goal for the property assumed epic proportions, as six years passed between Historic Columbia Foundation’s establishment and the property officially opening its doors for public viewing in April 1967. By 1970, more than $811,200 had been raised by Foundation members for the Robert Mills House’s rehabilitation, the assemblage of a museum collection and the creation of a 4-acre park-like setting.

By 1958, Columbia Bible College was close to relocating from its downtown campus to new facilities in north Columbia. Time had taken its toll on the Robert Mills House and its neighboring mid-19th century dormitories. Where today visitors gather for tours then stood an assortment of ex-military vehicles pressed into service for missionary work.

By 1960, Columbia Bible College was gone. The Robert Mills House was the lone survivor in a wave of demolition that erased all traces of the former educational institutions that once operated there. Included in the removal were the property’s former dormitories, library and perimeter wall, portions of which were integrated into the wall surrounding the South Carolina Department of Mental Health Bull Street campus.

 

With fellow City of Columbia Urban Rehabilitation Department staff members Joseph Winter, Jesse Reese and Maxwell Way, tenant enforcement officer Mabel Payne rehabilitated one of the parlors within the Robert Mills House in 1960 in an effort to heighten awareness of the building’s potential. Freshly painted, furnished with period pieces and sporting recycled early-19th century French scenic wallpapers, the room offered an inspiring glimpse of what could lie ahead. Image courtesy of City of Columbia Preservation Office

 

While scores of activists dedicated themselves to raising funds for the building’s rehabilitation, Jennie Clarkson Dreher (at right leading tour of property in 1962) became for many the face of the ambitious project.

 

After four years of promoting awareness and fundraising, Historic Columbia Foundation members began rehabilitation work in 1965.Clad in scaffolding, the Robert Mills House was a beehive of activity from 1965 through 1966, as workers addressed structural, mechanical and aesthetic improvements.

 

Artisans repaired damaged details and installed other elements that preservation architect Albert K. Simmons believed Robert Mills would have intended for the building. Here a plasterer reproduces an historic molding profile with a custom-made comb in 1966.

 

Masons tackle the involved process of installing the mansion’s front steps in 1966.

Within less than a year their work would withstand the footfalls of thousands of visitors to the freshly rehabilitated cultural landmark property.

 

Though hard to imagine today, the destruction of the Robert Mills House would have been an irreconcilable loss to generations of South Carolinians and visitors to the Palmetto State. Thanks to the efforts of Historic Columbia Foundation’s first members their dream of its preservation was made a reality.

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 Historic Columbia Foundation on Facebook. (Facebook.com/HistoricColumbia) and/or 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. The direct link to this post is: http://blog.historiccolumbia.org/the-story-of-the-robert-mills-house-rehabilitation/.

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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Top Ten Holiday Events At Historic Columbia Foundation: Holiday Event Line-up Announced

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The countdown to the holidays has begun at Historic Columbia Foundation!  In honor of our 50th Anniversary, Candlelight Tours will be free and open to the public this year, with carriage rides being offered for just $5.  We’re also introducing our very own Toy Roadshow event this year, with fun for the whole family. A Victorian Santa Claus will also be making an appearance!  Here’s a rundown of the top ten holiday events we’ll be offering this year (below).  Be sure to save the date for family fun at free or discounted rates!

Ten Ways to Celebrate the Holidays at Historic Columbia Foundation:

1. Holiday House Tours: Nov. 18 – Dec. 31
Tuesday – Sat. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Last tour begins at 3 p.m.); Sundays 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. (Last tour begins at 4 p.m.); Closed on Mondays, Christmas and New Years
General admission rates per house:
Adults $6, Youth (6-17) $3, ages 5 and under Free
Members Free, AAA adults, over 65, college students with I.D., and active military $5, AAA youth $2.59. Purchase Tickets at the Robert Mills Museum Shop,1616 Blanding Street

Enjoy the holiday season with guided tours of our house museums. The Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion, and Mann-Simons Cottage are all decorated for the season. Guides will provide stories of holidays past in Columbia and discuss how families decorated and entertained during the 19th and early 20th centuries. View a variety of holiday decorations in each house and stunning details of our faux food on display.

2.  Homeschool Fridays: Historic Holidays: Friday, December 2, 2011
10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Robert Mills House & Garden (1616 Blanding Street)
$5 per student

Elementary and middle school homeschool students are invited to participate in Historic Columbia’s “Homeschool Fridays” program. Discover how families in the 19th century celebrated the holidays in Columbia by seeing the houses as they could have been decorated.  Students will learn about holiday customs, food, parties, and decorations. Craft activity includes making cotton-boll angels to place on trees or desks at home. Reservations are suggested. Homeschool group reservations welcome. Proceeds benefit Historic Columbia Foundation. For more information, please contact James Quint at jquint@historiccolumbia.org or 803.252.1770 ext. 36.

3. Scout Day: Historic Holidays: December 3, 2011, 10 a.m. – Noon
Robert Mills House and Gardens (1616 Blanding Street)
$8 per scout, $5 per adult

Scouts will tour three historic houses and learn how families in Columbia celebrated the holidays throughout the 19th century. A Victorian Santa Claus will visit with children and listen to those holiday gift requests. Scouts can also make a holiday craft and enjoy hot chocolate and cookies. Reservations required. Group reservations welcome.

4.  Family Day: Historic Holidays: December 10, 10 a.m. – Noon
Robert Mills House & Garden (1616 Blanding Street)
$6 for child, $3 for additional children. Free for adults and members.

Enjoy the holidays in the decorated Robert Mills House and learn how the Christmas tree appeared in South Carolina and how a South Carolinian made the poinsettia a well-known holiday decoration. Reservations requested (email reservations@historiccolumbia.org or call 803.252.1770 ext. 24).

5. FREE Choir Showcase and $1 Tours: Saturday, December 10
Noon – 4:00 p.m.
Robert Mills House and Gardens (1616 Blanding Street)
Free and open to the public, tours just $1

Local elementary schools will help us celebrate the season by demonstrating their talent and providing musical entertainment for the community. Come hear them sing in front of our Robert Mills House.  While you are here, step inside our historic houses to view the holiday decorations.

6. Second Sunday Stroll: Guided Walking Tour of Main Street:
Sunday, December 11
2 p.m.
Meet at the front steps of the State House on the Gervais Street side.
Free for members (with your membership card), $6 adults, $3 youth (17 and under).

Take a Second Sunday Strolls guided walking tour of historic Main Street, decorated for the holidays! Tours are 30 – 60 minutes in length. Reservations recommended. Proceeds benefit Historic Columbia Foundation.  Reservations requested (email reservations@historiccolumbia.org or call 803.252.1770 ext. 24).

7. Breakfast with Victorian Santa: Saturday, December 17
8:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Robert Mills House and Gardens (1616 Blanding Street)
$8 members / $4 member youth
$10 non-member adults / $5 non-member youth

Join HCF for a holiday treat to remember.  Enjoy a continental breakfast in our cozy Carriage House while listening to seasonal music. After your meal, view the decorated halls of the Hampton-Preston Mansion, make a holiday craft to take home, and don’t forget to get your picture taken with our Victorian Santa Claus!  Reservations required (reservations@historiccolumbia.org or 803.252.1770 ext. 24).

8. FREE Candlelight Tours and $5 Carriage Rides: Dec. 15 & 16, 2011
Robert Mills House & Garden (1616 Blanding Street)
5:30 pm – 8:30 pm
Free admission to Candlelight Tours, carriage rides just $5/person
Enjoy the decorated halls of our historic Robert Mills House,Hampton-Preston Mansion, or Mann-Simons Site by candlelight on a guided tour. Before or after your house tour, enjoy carriage rides through the Robert Mills historic district.

9. FREE Toy Roadshow: December 17
11 am – 2 pm
Seibels House & Garden (1601 Richland Street)

Children are invited to bring their favorite keepsake, lockets, toys, teacups, spoons, or other vintage item to our Toy Roadshow! Experts will be on-hand to appraise and share tips on caring for your antique toy(s). Adults are also welcome to bring their childhood toys (preference will be given to children). Food and old-fashion toy vendors will be on-hand.

10. Dollar Sunday Admission (Richland and Lexington County Residents only): December 18
1 pm – 5 pm (last tour begins at 4 pm)

Take a guided tour of one of our historic house museums for just $1 (members of Richland and Lexington Counties). Visit the Robert Mills House,Hampton-Preston Mansion or the Mann-Simons Site. General admission prices apply for any house tours after the first. Purchase tickets at the Museum Shop at Robert Mills House,1616 Blanding Street.

BONUS
Stop by the Museum Shop during your visit to shop local this holiday season.  Choose from a wide variety of palmetto items, art, cookbooks, jewelry, candles and more. 1616 Blanding Street.

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Map of 50th Festivities: Now Online!

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If you’ll be attending our 50th Birthday Celebration tomorrow (Sunday, November 13 from Noon – 5 pm), be sure to print off this handy map.  It has each of the six historic properties featured in tomorrow’s events clearly marked for easy navigating. 

Meet us at the Robert Mills House beginning at Noon or any of our other house museums beginning at 12:30.  We look forward to celebrating with you! Did you miss the schedule of events? It’s posted below for your convenience.

An Afternoon of Food, Fashion and Fun – 50th Birthday Celebration Schedule:

Noon – 5 pm: Demonstration Artists, Marketplace Vendors, Food Vendors, Time Capsule (remember to bring an item for inclusion), Crafts (just $1), Cake Walk (just $1), Photo Booth (until 3:30 pm, just $1), and 50th Anniversary Exhibit Opening at the Robert Mills House (1616 Blanding Street)

12:30 – 4 pm: Highlight Tours, Games, and Scavenger Hunt at the Robert Mills House (1616 Blanding Street), Hampton-Preston Mansion (1615 Blanding Street), Mann-Simons Site (1403 Richland Street), Modjeska Monteith Simkins Dependency (2025 Marion Street), Seibels House (1601 Richland Street), and Woodrow Wilson Family Home (1705 Hampton Street).

12:30 pm: Yo-Yo Quilt Craft, Dance Demonstration at Robert Mills Carriage House; Historic Textiles and Modern Reproductions at Hampton-Preston Mansion

1:00 pm: Virtual Tour of Woodrow Wilson Family Home; Cake Walk, Magic Show at Robert Mills Carriage House

1:30 pm: Historic Textiles and Modern Reproductions at Hampton-Preston Mansion; Seibels Garden Tour; Cake Walk, Dance Demonstration and Tie Dye Craft at Robert Mills Carriage House

2:00 pm: Cake Walk, Magic Show, and Robert Mills District Tour (meet at Robert Mills Carriage House); Virtual Tour of Woodrow Wilson Family Home; Uncovering History at Mann-Simons

2:30 pm: Modjeska Monteith Simkins Highlight Tour; Cake Walk, Dance Demonstration at Robert Mills Carriage House; Seibels Garden Tour

3:00 pm: Uncovering History at Mann-Simons; Cake Walk, Yo-Yo Quilt Craft, Magic Show at Robert Mills Carriage House; Modjeska Monteith Simkins Highlight Tour

3:30 pm: Cake Walk, Tie Dye Craft at Robert Mills Carriage House

4:00 pm: Panel Presentation at Robert Mills Carriage House featuring Dr. Rodger Stroup, Dr. Belinda Gergel, and Dr. Walter Edgar

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50th Birthday Celebration: Schedule of Events Posted!

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We’re pleased to post the schedule for our Birthday Celebration coming up on Sunday, November 13th from Noon – 5 pm. Print off our handy 2-page schedule for an easy guide to all the fun! We’ll also have a schedule posted at the event.

Noon – 5:00 pm at the Robert Mills House
(1616 Blanding Street)

Demonstration Artists
– Robert Mills Carriage House lawn: See our artist at work as they demonstration their unique talents including quilting, pottery, butter churning, and painting gourds. We will also have Magic Shows and dance demonstrations throughout the day. Please see the table below to find out when these demonstrations will be taking place. Noon- 4:00pm.

Marketplace Vendors – Front lawn of the Robert Mills House: Vintage and vintage inspired gifts plus a few extra treats to jump start your holiday shopping. Noon- 4:00pm.

Food Vendors – Front lawn of the Robert Mills House: Pizza, BBQ, Chicken, and deli sandwiches from some of Columbia’s longest running restaurants. Noon- 4:00pm.

Time Capsule – Robert Mills Carriage House lawn: What does 2011 mean to you and where will you be in 50 years? Stop by our Time Capsule table to drop off current memorabilia and answer fun questions to be included in this piece of history. Noon- 4:00pm.

Crafts – Robert Mills Carriage House lawn: We have a variety of crafts taking place throughout the day. Make special Birthday Bracelets in activity that explores our properties and preservation. Or for $1 you can take part in a special 1860’s yo-yo quilt craft or a 1960’s tye dye craft. See the table below to find out when the special crafts take place. Noon- 4:00pm.

Cake Walk – Robert Mills Carriage House lawn: Participate in our cake walks to win a homemade cake. Not to worry, everyone is a winner because all participants will receive a delicious cupcake of their choice! Tickets are only $1! Please see the table below to find out when the cake walks will be taking place. Noon- 4:00pm.

Photo Booth – Robert Mills Carriage House: Put on your party hat and get your picture taken at our photo booth. Tickets are $1 and you get to take home a personalized photo to remember our 50th Birthday! Noon- 3:30pm.

50th Anniversary Exhibit Opening – Robert Mills House Basement: Learn about the People, Place and Progress of Historic Columbia Foundation and our 50 years preserving and serving the community. Noon- 4:00pm.

4:00pm Past Presidents Panel Presentation featuring Rodger Stroup, Belinda Gergel, and Walter Edgar – Robert Mills Carriage House (1616 Blanding Street): Meet some of the Foundation’s past presidents and learn more about the history of our organization. 4:00 pm.

12:30 – 4:00pm at Robert Mills, Hampton-Preston Mansion, Mann-Simons Site, Modjeska-Simkins Dependency, Seibels House and Woodrow Wilson Family Home

Tours – Visit the Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion, Mann-Simons Site, Modjeska-Simkins Dependency, Seibels House, and Woodrow Wilson Family Home to learn about the history of Food, Fashion, and Fun through the ages! Volunteers and staff will help with directions when you arrive. 12:30 – 4:00pm

Transportation – Capital Pedicabs: will be available to help transport you to any of our historic sites. Call 803-271-0458.

Games – Participate in a variety of old-fashion games, including croquet and hop scotch. Each of our houses has a different game to try out. 12:30 – 4:00pm

Scavenger Hunt – Carriage House Lawn: Start at the Robert Mills House and learn about the history of birthdays by visiting all of our properties. Turn in your completed forms for a chance to win a prize. 12:30 – 4:00pm

Special Presentations – The Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion, Mann-Simons Site, Modjeska-Simkins Dependency, Seibels House, and Woodrow Wilson Family Home will feature a special presentation throughout the day so you can learn more about Food, Fashion and Fun through the ages! See pdf below for an outline of special presentation times and a complete schedule.

PDF: Print off our handy 2-page schedule for an easy guide to all the fun! We’ll also have a schedule posted at the event. for comprehensive guide to all the fun! We’ll also have a schedule posted at the event.

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Military Appreciation Week At Historic Columbia Foundation Includes $1 House Museum Tour Admission: November 6-12, 2011

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COLUMBIA, SC (November 3, 2011) – In honor of Military Appreciation Week at Historic Columbia Foundation (November 6-12, 2011), $1 house museum tours for active military and their family are being offered.  For just $1/person, a historic house museum tour of Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion, or Mann-Simons Site can be enjoyed.  Or, tours of all three historic house museums are being offered for just $9 (a savings of $9). Tours are offered Sunday from 1 pm – 5 pm and Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm (last tour starts at 3 pm).  Tickets can be purchased at the Museum Shop, located at the Robert Mills House & Gardens, 1616 Blanding Street (next to the Township Auditorium).  More information can be found online at www.historiccolumbia.org, or by calling 803.252.1770 ext. 24.

About the Historic House Museums at Historic Columbia Foundation:

Robert Mills House & Gardens: One of only five National Historic Landmarks within Columbia, the Robert Mills House, circa-1823,  (http://historiccolumbia.org/site/visit/houses/robert-mills-house-and-gardens/overview/index) exemplifies the skill of the first architect born and trained within the United States who designed some of the nation’s most prominent buildings, including the Washington Monument. Today, the structure stands as a testament of its designer’s architectural ability and the preservation efforts of generations of Columbians.

Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens: One of Columbia’s oldest remaining historic houses, the Hampton-Preston Mansion, circa-1818, (http://historiccolumbia.org/site/visit/houses/hamptonpreston-mansion-gardens/overview/index) was home to many people for 150 years. The city residence of Columbia’s Hampton and Preston elite planter-class families, this historic site featured gardens nationally renowned for their size and variety of plantings.

Mann Simons Site: Although only one house stands today, the Mann-Simons Site (http://historiccolumbia.org/site/visit/houses/mannsimons-cottage/overview/index) 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.

Celebrating 50 Years
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 will include a variety of community celebratory events, including a FREE birthday celebration on November 13 from Noon – 4 pm, called an “Afternoon of Food, Fashion & Fun”.  The birthday celebration starts at the Robert Mills House, 1616 Blanding Street.   Click on the 50th Anniversary banner on http://www.historiccolumbia.org  for details.  Consider a “+50” donation to help Historic Columbia Foundation continue to make a difference in the community over the next 50 years.  Details are available at http://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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You're Invited to our 50th Birthday Celebration! An Afternoon of Food, Fashion & Fun on Sunday, 11/13

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In November 1961, a small group of individuals intent on saving the Ainsley Hall House from demolition, officially incorporated as the Historic Columbia Foundation.

You’re Invited to our 50th Birthday Celebration
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Noon – 4 pm

We’ll be celebrating our 50th milestone with an afternoon of Food, Fashion & Fun Through the Years. The fun starts at the Robert Mills House & Garden (1616 Blanding Street), and takes place at each of our house museums. Jump start the celebration by joining us for The Palladium Society’s Bluegrass, Bidding & BBQ Silent Auction on Thursday, November 10 from 7 pm – 10 pm.

Birthday Celebration Festivities on Sunday, November 13 Include:

• The debut of a new exhibit at the Robert Mills House & Garden.

• A street fair along Blanding Street with food and craft vendors.

• Ongoing tours of each of our historic house museums, highlighting the food historically enjoyed at each property and the games and activities played. Fashion highlights will also be included at several of the properties.

• Transportation to each house, offered by Capital Pedicab for a special rate (803-271-0458)

• A public panel featuring Rodger Stroup, Belinda Gergel, and Walter Edgar (past presidents of Historic Columbia Foundation).

• Family-friendly activities including a scavenger hunt, magician, cake walk, and old fashion games, such as hoop and stick, croquet, and hula hoop. Crafts will also be offered.

• Demonstration artists will discuss a variety of topics, including quilting and butter churning.

• Remember to bring a special item for inclusion in our time capsule!

Please help us spread the word about this great event by sharing it with your friends on Facebook! Visit the Facebook event listing here and click on “select guests to invite” at left or “share” at the top of the page. Your Facebook RSVP helps us spread the word about this free, community event. Thank you!

Admission is free and open to the public. Some activities will require a small fee. Proceeds benefit Historic Columbia Foundation. More information about our birthday celebration… 

Sponsor Thanks:

doctors care BCBSSCCapital Pedicab

About the 50th Anniversary of 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 four 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 begins on November 13, 2011) will include a variety of community celebratory events.

Please consider increasing your support of Historic Columbia Foundation by making a donation to recognize our achievements and build a fiscally stable organization for the next 50 years.

Three ways to support Historic Columbia Foundation’s Annual Fund:

• Consider increasing your donation by an additional $50 this year or per month to recognize our 50th Anniversary milestone.

• Make a gift or pledge to our endowment fund.

• Make a gift or donation in honor of a founding member, past president, dedicated volunteer or leader on the staff.

More information / Make a Donation…

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