Historic Columbia Announces November 2017 Events

COLUMBIA, S.C., Monday, October 23, 2017 – November is full of exciting events at Historic Columbia – from Happy Hour on Main Street, to three USC Graduate Lunch & Learn Lectures. This month also includes Volunteer Training at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home and $2 House Tours at the SC Oyster festival, as well as the official kick-off of the holiday season with holiday house tours and the annual Santa Signing. The full November calendar of events is highlighted below.


Homeschool Friday: Columbia Music History

Friday, Nov. 3 | 10 - 11:30 a.m. | The Gift Shop at Robert Mills

Hootie and the Blowfish may be one of the best-known bands to come out of Columbia, but what other musicians can you name that call our city home? Together we will learn about the various kinds of music performed by Columbians, including gospel, jazz, country, soul and rock and roll.  Students will explore these genres and create their own instruments. We’ll also learn about famous dances and dance clubs from our very own hometown.

All homeschool students are invited to participate in Historic Columbia’s Homeschool Friday programs on the first Friday of the month. Each month’s program is from 10 - 11:30 a.m. and includes hands-on activities while students learn and explore different themes and historic sites with Historic Columbia. Homeschool Friday programs are designed for students of elementary and middle school age levels. Homeschool Friday is open to families and homeschool groups of less than 10 students. For larger groups, we recommend arranging a separate visit to explore that month's topic. Program participants should gather in the Gift Shop at Robert Mills on the day of the program unless otherwise noted.

The cost is per student, and one accompanying adult is offered free admission. Homeschool Fridays are $5 for members, $6 for non-members and $8 for both members and non-members at the door.

If you have questions, would like to be on our mailing list, or want to register for the entire year of Homeschool Friday programs, please contact us by email or call 803.252.1770 x 26.

Happy Hour Tour: Main Street

Friday, Nov. 3 | 5:30 – 7 p.m. | Main Street

Columbia’s Main Street boasts architectural styles spanning three centuries that speak to the tastes, interests and aspirations of persons living and working in South Carolina’s second state capital. This guided tour offers insight into the history of Columbia focusing on the progress seen through the life of its Main Street and downtown corridor. Participants will stop at local historic sites and receive two free beverages and appetizers along the way. Tour will meet at the Gervais Street side of the State House, near the Washington statue. Suggested parking garages (free of charge after 5:30 p.m.): 1400 Sumter Street, 1100 Lady Street, and 1100 Taylor Street. For more information, visit historiccolumbia.org, call 803.252.1770 x 23 or email reservations@historiccolumbia.org.


Garden Tour for Gardeners

Saturday, Nov. 4 | 10  and  11:30 a.m. [JQ1] [PR2] [PR3] [PR4] | Hampton-Preston Gardens

Come join Historic Columbia’s garden staff, Keith Mearns and Evan Clements, as they lead plant-specific tours of the famed Hampton-Preston Gardens. Attendees will have the opportunity to explore the botanical diversity planted during the antebellum garden restoration initiated in 2012 and preview the 2.5 acre Phase II improvements to be completed in spring of 2018. From Auracaria angustifolia to Zamia pumila HC’s staff will leave no leaf unturned. Select plants, propagated by HC staff will be available for purchase.


Tickets are $15 for Historic Columbia members and $20 for non-members. Tours will be offered at 10 and 11:30 a.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, visithistoriccolumbia.org, call 803.252.1770 x 23, or email reservations@historiccolumbia.org.


Reviving Historic Plaster and Masonry

Saturday, Nov. 4 | 10 a.m. - 12 p.m. | 1634 Main Street

Historic Columbia’s 2017 Preservation Workshop series, presented by Crawlspace Medic, concludes in November with an exploration of plaster and masonry. Lauren Dillon of Master of Plaster and Kirk Dillon of Dillion Construction Services will lead participants in a discussion and a demonstration of historic plaster, and attendees will learn about historically appropriate tools, materials, and application processes in this hands on workshop showcasing interior plaster restoration at a site where preservation is in progress.


“Many times in today’s construction environment,” said Lauren Dillon, “original architectural details like plaster are torn out or are hidden beneath drywall.” Owners of historic properties often believe that saving and restoring plaster is too difficult, but Dillon tells us, “in fact, the processes of saving and preserving these historic interiors is quite effective and straightforward.”


Historic Columbia presents quarterly programs inviting the community to gain firsthand experience with the practice of preservation. For more information about the preservation work of Historic Columbia, visit our preservation page or email sstucker@historiccolumbia.org. Tickets are $5 for HC members and $10 for non-members. To purchase, visit historiccolumbia.org.


Lunch & Learn, a Three-Part Series Featuring USC Graduate Research

[RW5] Feed your mind at our three-part Lunch and Learn series where we will learn more about a variety of topics and see artifacts rarely on display. Historic Columbia will hold three different Lunch & Learns in November, and each of them feature ongoing University of South Carolina graduate research. About the history of Columbia


Tuesday, Nov. 7 | 12 - 1 p.m. | Seibels House

This Lunch & Learn features research by Jill Found and Katherine Chaddock. Found’s research focuses on the lived experiences of enslaved people at South Carolina College. Topics include discussion of how the college environment shaped the lives of enslaved people during the first half of the nineteenth century and how enslaved people navigated competing demands and negotiated their own lives. Found makes sense of these questions given limited documentary sources focusing on the enslaved people who played a vital role in the creation of South Carolina College, but have gone relatively undiscussed until the past decade. Author Katherine Chaddock will be at the program to sign her new book Uncompromising Activist: Richard Greener, First Black Graduate of Harvard College. This book explores Richard Greener, who was the first African-American professor at University of South Carolina shortly after the end of the Civil War.


Tuesday, Nov. 14 | 12 - 1 p.m. | Seibels House

This Lunch & Learn focuses on findings by Olivia Brown. Brown’s thesis centers on Columbia’s Jewish community at the turn of the 20th century, and how first- and second-generation Eastern European immigrants formed a Jewish-American-Southern identity through food. By looking more closely at families in Columbia who owned food establishments (groceries, delis, bakeries, restaurants, etc.), Brown investigates the ways in which their Jewish food traditions mixed and morphed with the Southern food traditions surrounding them. Participants will learn how Jewish immigrants were influenced by the African American [RW6] community in Columbia, as many new immigrant families settled in primarily African American neighborhoods.


Tuesday, Nov. 21 | 12 - 1 p.m. | Seibels House

This Lunch & Learn features studies on one of our own properties. The Seibels House is the oldest house in Columbia, South Carolina, but a passerby would never date it to the turn of the 19th century. The Seibels House is comprised of a hodgepodge of rooflines and building materials, making it an architectural oddball. This house has witnessed the city of Columbia's history unfold, and its mix of architectural styles evidence the way change over time affects a building's aesthetic and use. USC History graduate student Charlotte Adams explores why Seibels House looks the way it does and how this reflects layers of history and changing architectural trends.


Lunch & Learn ticket prices are as follows: General Public Series - $30 / USC Faculty and Student Series - $25 / Member Series - $25 / Single Lecture - $12 / Single Lecture (member) - $10 / Single Lecture (USC Faculty/Student) - $10 / My Carolina Member Series - $25 / Teacher member series - Free. Reservations may be made by email at reservations@historiccolumbia.org or by calling 803.252.1770 ext. 23.



Sid Bedingfield Guest Lecture

Wednesday, Nov. 8 | 7 - 8:30 p.m. | School of Journalism, Room 106

The History Center will sponsor a guest lecture by University of Minnesota professor (and USC alumni) Dr. Sid Bedingfield, on his new book Newspaper Wars: Civil Rights and White Resistance in South Carolina, 1935 - 1965 (University of Illinois Press, 2017). 


Historic Columbia will carry the book at the Gift Shop at Robert Mills, and we will be at the event to sell copies of the book. This event is free and open to the public.


Bubbie’s Brisket

Sunday, Nov. 12 | 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. | Beth Shalom Synagogue

Columbia Jewish Heritage Initiative (CJHI), a partnership of Historic Columbia, is excited to be part of Beth Shalom Synagogue’s 9th annual Bubbie’s Brisket. Information will be available about a  new initiative that explores Southern influences on Jewish cooking called Kugels and Collards. Staff will be on hand to collect contact information from guests who are willing to share family stories as part of the broader initiative.


This event is free and open to the public. It will take place at Beth Shalom Synagogue, located at 5827 N. Trenholm Rd. in Columbia.



Second Sunday Stroll: Old Shandon

Sunday, Nov. 12 | 2 p.m. – 3 p.m. | Richland Library’s Wheatley Branch

Join HC for a guided walking tour of the Old Shandon neighborhood. With lots laid out in 1893, Old Shandon is accepted as Columbia’s first planned suburb. Named for reverend Peter J. Shand, a former rector of Trinity Episcopal Church, Shandon was incorporated as its own town in 1904 and annexed in 1913. An extension of Columbia’s streetcar line into the suburb prompted growth to the south and east over the next few decades.


Today’s “Old Shandon” neighborhood includes the blocks bounded by Maple, Devine and Heidt streets, Millwood Avenue and Martin Luther Kind, Jr. Park.


Second Sunday Strolls provide a guided tour for many of the neighborhoods featured in Historic Columbia’s Retrace: Connecting Communities Through History brochures. Tours are 60 minutes in length. Tickets are free for HC members, $8 for adult non-members and $5 for youth non-members. Walk-ins welcome! For more information, visithistoriccolumbia.org, call 803.252.1770 x 23, or email reservations@historiccolumbia.org.

Historic Holiday Tours Begin

Nov. 17 – Jan. 2 | All day event | Robert Mills House & Hampton-Preston Mansion

The holiday season is here and Historic Columbia is pulling out all the stops! Visit us through Dec. 31 [JQ7] [PR8] to see a variety of holiday decorations and traditions in theRobert Mills House and Hampton-Preston Mansion. Guides will provide stories of holidays past in Columbia and discuss how families decorated and entertained during the 19th and early 20th centuries.


Historic Holiday Tours are free for HC members, $5 for youth and $8 for adults, and tours run through Dec. 31 with special events and programs happening along the way. To purchase tickets, visit historiccolumbia.org, email reservations@historiccolumbia.org or call (803) 252-1770 x 23. Events aren’t the only way to celebrate with HC this season. Give a one-of-a-kind present and support Historic Columbia by shopping at the Gift Shop at Robert Mills.

Santa Signing Day at the Gift Shop at Robert Mills

Saturday, Nov. 18 | 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.  | The Gift Shop at Robert Mills

To kick-off the holiday season, Historic Columbia will host the annual Santa Signing from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 18 at The Gift Shop at Robert Mills House. This free, family-friendly event is the perfect opportunity to get into the holiday spirit, visit with Santa, enjoy holiday activities and begin checking off your shopping list! In addition, guests will have the opportunity to tour parts of the Robert Mills House and see the elves hard at work, gingerbread cookies and goodies baked by Mrs. Claus, and wrapped gifts and hanging stockings by the fireplace. Guests will receive 30 percent off their entire Gift Shop purchase (some exclusions apply) and light refreshments.


Santa signing will take place at the Gift Shop at the Robert Mills House, located at 1616 Blanding

Street. Registrations for this free event is strongly encouraged. To register, please email

reservations@historiccolumbia.org or call (803) 252-1770 x 23. Visit historiccolumbia.org to learn more.


SC Oyster Festival and $2 Historic House Tours

Sunday, Nov. 19 | 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. | Robert Mills House & Hampton-Preston Mansion

Columbia, SC’s largest outdoor oyster roast featuring steamed oysters for sell by the bucket. Also enjoy oyster shooters, fried oysters, and oyster gumbo for purchase once inside the festival.


In addition to oysters, several other food vendors will be at the event and ice cold beer is also offered. Bring your chairs, blankets, oyster knives and appetite to the 20thannual event. Enjoy the historic grounds of two of Columbia’s most beautiful house museums, the Robert Mills House and Hampton-Preston Mansion, and from 2 – 4 p.m.tour the houses at a reduced rate of only $2.


Admission is $5 in advance and $10 at the door. Admission fee includes entry to the grounds and live music all day on 2 stages. Arts and Crafts vendors will be on hand displaying their creations. Children under 12 are admitted free and can pay a nominal fee to enjoy amusements and games making for great day for the family. Don’t miss our wine garden and reduced rates on museum home tours. Admission does NOT include oysters. For more information visit scoysterfest.com.


Dollar Sunday | Mann-Simons Site

Sunday, Nov. 19 | 1 - 4 p.m. | Mann-Simons Site

Every third Sunday of the month, residents of Richland and Lexington Counties are invited to tour one of Historic Columbia’s house museums for just $1 on Dollar Sunday! On Sunday, Nov. 19, visit the new exhibits at the Mann-Simons Site, the home to the same African-American family for nearly 130 years. The house will be open for guests to tour at their own pace, and guides will be available to answer any questions. Tickets can be purchased at the Mann-Simons Site, located at 1403 Richland Street. General admission prices apply for any house tours after the first tour.

Woodrow Wilson Family Home Volunteer Training

Monday, Nov. 20[JQ9] [PR10]  | 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. | Woodrow Wilson Family Home

Historic Columbia invites the public to help share the history of the Woodrow Wilson Family and become a volunteer tour guide of this important site. This training session will consist of the following: a sample tour of the site, an overview of the family, history of the site, broad topics related to the site – Reconstruction, Woodrow Wilson’s Family – and a day in the life of a volunteer, which will cover logistics of giving tours and other opportunities at the site. Volunteer training is free. Coffee and light refreshments will be provided at the training.


As a volunteer for Historic Columbia, you will:

·       Receive a 15 percent discount on purchases at the Gift Shop at Robert Mills

·       Enjoy complimentary admission to our historic museums for yourself and members of your immediate family.

·       Attend special Historic Columbia functions for free or at reduced rates.

·       Receive a free subscription to Historically Speaking, Historic Columbia’s quarterly newsletter.

·       Tour and visit other historic site during monthly volunteer meetings and presentations.

·      Plus, make new friends and share experiences with others who have similar passions!


Holiday Hours

Historic Columbia and all our properties will be closed on Thursday, November 23, for Thanksgiving. The last tour will be given at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, November 22. Tours will resume at regular hours on Friday, November 24.


The Thanksgiving holiday is a perfect time to enjoy HC’s historic Gardens. The beautiful grounds and gardens of HC’s historic properties are always free and a great way to walk off Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family – or bring a picnic of leftovers! Historic Columbia’s properties include more than 14 acres of landscapes, featuring gardens that range from an expansive park-like setting with an elaborate formal garden to a traditional 19th-century swept yard.


HOUSE TOURS                 

Historic House Museum Tours
Tuesday - Saturday: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Sunday: 1 – 5 p.m.

Historic Columbia’s historic house museum tours offer a peek into the past! Tour the Robert Mills House & GardensHampton-Preston Mansion & GardensMann-Simons Site or the Woodrow Wilson Family Home to learn more about Columbia's history. Tours are free for members, $8 for adults, $5 youth (ages 6-17) and free for children under 5. Visit historiccolumbia.org for more information.


Group Tours

Historic Columbia is happy to arrange a private guided tour for groups of 10 or more with advance registration. Bus tours are available. To schedule a group tour, call (803) 252-1770 x 23 or email reservations@historiccolumbia.org.


About Historic Columbia:

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. Visit historiccolumbia.org or find us on Twitter,FacebookInstagram or YouTube for more details.