Historic Columbia May 2023 events

May 2, 2023

Historic Columbia announced programming and events for May 2023. See the full list of May events below and be sure to leave room in your calendar to experience all Historic Columbia has to offer.


Kensington Mansion Tours | SOLD OUT

Saturday, May 6 | 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. | Tour starts at Eastover Park | 1031 Main Street, Eastover

Join Sylvamo and Historic Columbia for an exclusive access public tour of Kensington Mansion on Saturday, May 6, 2023. Tours will take place at 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Each tour experience lasts approximately two hours. Tours will focus on the site’s unique architectural features, restoration and rehabilitation of the mansion, and life at this Singleton family plantation during the period of the mansion’s construction, 1852 to 1854. Kensington Mansion is unique for its melding of architectural styles and for its association with Jacob Stroyer, who was enslaved at the site as a child and wrote extensively about his experiences in My Life in the South. Through Stroyer’s memoir and other primary source documents, participants will learn about the site and what life was like for the people enslaved by the Singleton family.

Storytime in the Garden

Thursday, May 11 | 3:15 – 4:00 p.m. | Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens | 1615 Blanding Street

Meet us in the Hampton-Preston Gardens on Thursday, May 11, 2023, for stories, songs and an activity led by Richland Library and Historic Columbia staff! This event is free; however, space is limited, and registration is required. In the event of inclement weather, this program will be canceled. Quilts will be provided, though guests may bring their own quilt or camping/folding chair. This event is ideal for children up to age 12.

2023 Preservation Awards Ceremony

Thursday, May 11 | 5:00 – 6:30 p.m. | The Pool at 701 Whaley | 701 Whaley Street

Nothing ushers in Spring like a soiree. On May 11, 2023, gather with staff, volunteers, and members in commemorating Preservation Month through Historic Columbia’s annual preservation awards ceremony at the Pool at 701 Whaley—the recipient of a rehabilitation award in 2022. Please join us for drinks and light hors d’oeuvres followed by the awards presentation. While the winners remain a secret until the event, Historic Columbia is excited to present a total of eight awards this year. Won’t you join us to find out who won? A limited number of tickets are available, so don’t wait—buy your tickets today!

Main Street Walking Tour

Sunday, May 14 | 1:00 p.m. | Tour starts at Boyd Plaza | 1515 Main Street

In celebration of Preservation Month, join Historic Columbia on the second Sunday of May for a stroll down Main Street. Participants will learn about the architecture and history of buildings along the 1300-1700 blocks of Main Street. The tour begins and ends at Boyd Plaza and will last approximately 75 minutes. Tickets are only $5 for HC members and $10 for non-members. Youth 17 and younger are free.

Free Sundays Presented by Richland County
Sunday, May 21 | 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. | Modjeska Monteith Simkins House | 2025 Marion Street

Join Historic Columbia on Sunday, March 19, 2023, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. for our Free Sunday program presented by Richland County, with support from HC Board Liaison, Councilwoman Gretchen Barron, to tour the Modjeska Monteith Simkins House at 2025 Marion Street. This site was home to one of South Carolina’s greatest human rights advocates, from 1932 until her death on April 5, 1992. Today, visitors learn about her pivotal role in the long civil rights movement through the multimedia exhibit, “An Advocate of the People.” Admission is free for Richland and Lexington County residents with a valid I.D. No registration necessary.

Historic Columbia Summer Camp | Kid Curator Camp

Session 1: June 12-16 | Session 2: July 10-14 | 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. daily | Robert Mills House | 1616 Blanding Street

Join Historic Columbia for five fun-filled days of summer camp! Campers can expect to enjoy an archeology dig, creating their own living museum, tie dye-ing shirts, water balloon fights, scavenger hunts, and more. This camp is designed for children ages 8-12. A few spots remain in both sessions, so register soon!


Historic House Museum Tours

Historic Columbia’s historic house museum tours offer a peek into the past! Tours are free for members, $12 for adults, and $8 for youth ages 6-12. (Add $3 each for Journey to Freedom combined tour.). Discounts are available to active military, seniors, AAA members, students, and must be requested at the time of purchase. Please purchase tickets at the Gift Shop at Robert Mills, located at 1616 Blanding Street.

Robert Mills House & Gardens – 1616 Blanding Street

Wednesday – Sunday | 3:00 p.m.

The Museum of Reconstruction Era at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home – 1705 Hampton Street

Wednesday – Saturday | 10:30 a.m.

Sunday | 1:30 p.m.

Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens – 1615 Blanding Street

Wednesday – Saturday | 12:00 p.m.

Sunday | 1:30 p.m.

Journey to Freedom: Mann-Simons Site and Modjeska Monteith Simkins House – 1403 Richland Street

Wednesday – Saturday | 1:30 p.m.

Sunday | 3:00 p.m.


Garden Tours

Our 14 acres of landscapes in the heart of Robert Mills Historic District feature heirloom plantings popular with gardeners over the past two centuries. Entrance to the gardens is free, so come by to take a stroll or enjoy your lunch in any of our gardens. Don’t hesitate to sprawl on the grass to get some sun and throw a frisbee—and your four-legged friends are welcome!

Seibels House – 1601 Richland Street

Tuesday – Friday | 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Robert Mills – 1616 Blanding Street

Tuesday – Saturday | 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Sunday | 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Hampton-Preston – 1615 Blanding Street

Tuesday – Saturday | 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Sundays | 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.


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. 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 TwitterFacebookInstagram or YouTube for more details.