Skip to main content

Historic Columbia Announces May Events

Apr 26, 2018 03:31PM ● Published by Kathleen Maris

Photo: The Hampton-Preston Mansion, reopening on Saturday, May 12.

This May, Historic Columbia is hosting a number of events, including the reopening of the Hampton-Preston Mansion on Saturday, May 12. May will also feature the return of Storytime in the Gardens, a Homeschool Friday on Hampton-Preston, a Victorian Tea Party at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home, and a Sunday Stroll through the Robert Mills District East.

Calendar of Programs and Events:

Storytime in the Gardens

Thursday, May 3 | 10-11 a.m. | Hampton-Preston Gardens

Historic Columbia and Richland County Public Library will host Storytime in the Gardens. The event will include stories and songs in the gazebo at the Hampton-Preston Mansion’s Henry Michael Powell Memorial Children’s Garden. In addition, attendees can participate in old fashioned historic games in gardens. This event is free and open to children of all ages.

Homeschool Friday: The Hampton-Preston Mansion

Friday, May 4 | 10-11:30 a.m. | The Gift Shop at Robert Mills

With the installation of new exhibits at the Hampton-Preston Mansion, Homeschool Friday will explore the previous residents of the property. Wade Hampton I became one of the wealthiest planters in the country by the time of his death in 1835, owning more than 3,000 enslaved individuals. Wade II and Wade III, with the help of their extended families, continued this legacy. Documents show that the Hampton-Preston family enslaved more than 60 men, women, and children at this site. Through artifacts, hands-on activities, and documents, students will learn about past as a slave-holding society. Homeschool Friday is $5 for members, $6 for non-members, and $8 for both members and non-members day-of.

Victorian Tea Party

Sunday, May 6 | 2-3:30 p.m. | Woodrow Wilson Family Home

Children and their parents are invited to Historic Columbia’s Victorian Tea Party from 2-3:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 7 at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home. Families will have the opportunity to learn about Victorian customs, including calling cards and the language of the fan, and make Victorian-inspired crafts, including herb sachets and paper dolls. The highlight of the day will be a Victorian tea for kids and their parents in which families will learn table manners and etiquette while enjoying a scone and tea! Tickets are $7/adult and $11/youth for members, $9/adult and $13/youth for non-members.

EnjoySC: Make History

Wednesday, May 2 | 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.  and Sunday, May 6 | 1-3 p.m. | SC State House

The City of Columbia, in collaboration with several community organizations, is hosting "EnjoySC: An Experience of South Carolina Arts & Culture at the State House." This series of interactive events is designed to attract community members to meet, linger, and socialize on the State House grounds in the heart of downtown Columbia. Historic Columbia will present an outdoor exhibit at the State House grounds of curated historic images of South Carolina’s Main streets. This outdoor exhibit will be available for the public to enjoy on from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 2 and from 1-3 p.m. on Sunday, May 6. Staff from local history organizations will be on hand to talk with visitors about the images and will also help attendees interact with maps to show changes in South Carolina cities over time. This event is free and open to the public.

Moonlight Cemetery & Secrets from the Grave Tours

Thursday, May 10 | 7:30, 8, and 8:30 pm | Elmwood Cemetery

This even allows people to tour one of Columbia’s oldest cemeteries and discover centuries of stories etched in stone on the markers and headstones found within Elmwood Cemetery’s grounds. Historic Columbia’s Cemetery Tours are an event for the whole family. There are two tour options: “Secrets from the Grave Tours” and “Moonlight Cemetery Tours.” Tickets are $8/adult and $4/youth for members and $12/adult and $6/youth for non-members.

  • Secrets from the Grave Tours, 7:30 p.m. –Study the symbols found on many of the markers and headstones in the historic Elmwood Cemetery.
  • Moonlight Cemetery Tours, 8 & 8:30 p.m. – Tour Elmwood Cemetery and discuss the lives, burials, cemetery plots, and tombstones of families and prominent citizens from Columbia's 19th and 20th centuries.

Hampton-Preston Reopening

Saturday, May 12 | 10 a.m.-4 p.m. | Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens

Historic Columbia will be hosting the reopening of the Hampton-Preston Mansion from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 12. Historic Columbia will debut updated interpretation, new exhibits, hands-on interactive elements, and expanded and enhanced public gardens. Historic Columbia will also unveil a new exterior paint scheme, an entry hall painted oil cloth, and more. This event will commemorate the site’s 200th anniversary and will feature house and garden tours, special presentations, children’s games and crafts, a 1910s calisthenics class, quadrille dance lessons, a plant sale, and food trucks! The reopening of the Hampton-Preston Mansion will follow more than a year’s worth of work—from capital repairs to the former estate’s mansion, to additions to the gardens and grounds, to a holistic re-evaluation and restructuring of the site’s historical interpretation. Tickets are $5/adult and $3/youth for members and $8/adult and $5/youth for non-members.

Second Sunday Stroll | Robert Mills District East

Sunday, May 13 | 2-3 p.m.

Historic Columbia will have their Second Sunday Stroll, presented by Seed Architecture, through the Robert Mills District East at 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 13. This guided walking tour will highlight the architecture and history of this historic neighborhood. Named after the first federal architect who designed the circa-1823 Robert Mills House and the circa-1828 Asylum, the Robert Mills District was listed in 1971 within the National Register of Historic Places as “Columbia Historic District II.” Bound to the west by Sumter, the north by Calhoun, the east by Barnwell, and the south by Taylor, this district contains approximately 113 historic structures embodying more than three centuries of residential and institutional architecture. The tour is 60-minutes in length and walk-ins are welcome. Tickets are free for members and are $8/adults and $5/youth for non-members.

Preservation Workshop | Restoring Historic Homes

Saturday, May 19 | 10 a.m.-noon | 723 Laurel Street

Historic Columbia’s 2018 Preservation Workshop series, presented by Lucas Properties, returns from 10 a.m.-noon on Saturday, May 19. This workshop will explore the rehabilitation of a circa-1910 historic house located in the Arsenal Hill historic district and will showcase the project’s final results, which include restoring the original heart pine floors, interior moldings, and the original windows. Guests will have a chance to hear insights and ask questions about the restoration and repair decisions and pitfalls that the property developer encountered along the way. The workshop will take place at 723 Laurel Street, and tickets are $5 for members and $10 for non-members.

Dollar Sunday | Woodrow Wilson Family Home

Sunday, May 20 | 1-4 p.m. | 1705 Hampton Street

Every third Sunday of the month, residents of Richland and Lexington counties are invited to tour of one of Historic Columbia’s house museums for $1. This month, the chosen house museum is the Woodrow Wilson Family Home, the nation's only museum dedicated to interpreting the post-Civil War Reconstruction period and South Carolina's only remaining presidential site. The house will be open for guests to tour at their own pace, and guides will be available to answer any questions. General admission prices apply for any house tours after the first. Tickets can be purchased at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home, located at 1705 Hampton Street.

Alice Elizabeth Malavasic Author Talk & Book Signing

Tuesday, May 22 | 6-7:30 p.m. | Seibels House

Alice Elizabeth Malavasic, author of The F Street Mess: How Southern Senators Rewrote the Kansas-Nebraska Act (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017), will host a talk and book signing from 6-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22. The focus of this talk will be on Senator Andrew Pickens Butler of South Carolina, who is most remembered in South Carolina lore as being the insulted party in a Senate exchange that caused his cousin, South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks, to savagely beat Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts with a wooden cane. By centering on their most significant achievement—forcing a rewrite of the Nebraska bill that repealed the restriction against slavery above the 36° 30′ parallel—Malavasic demonstrates how the F Street Mess’s mastery of the legislative process led to one of the most destructive pieces of legislation in United States history and paved the way to secession. This event is free, but registration is encouraged.

House Tours:

Historic House Museum Tours

Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m., and Sunday, 1 p.m.-4 p.m.

Historic Columbia’s historic house museum tours are available for the Robert Mills House & Gardens, Mann-Simons Site, and the Woodrow Wilson Family Home. Tours are free for members, $8 for adults, $5 youth (ages 6-17), and free for children under 5.

Enterprise