Relic Room to be closed to general admission for four months

May 20, 2024

COLUMBIA, S.C. – The South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum will be closed to general admission for four months, starting June 3.

It will still be available to small groups by appointment, and the staff will still be working every day. But the work the staff will be doing necessitates the temporary closure.

The Columbia Mills Building, which houses both the Relic Room and the State Museum, is undergoing significant construction. That includes big changes to the atrium that visitors normally walk through to get to the Relic Room, and access will be difficult for several months.

Because of temporarily limited access, Executive Director Allen Roberson has decided to take advantage of this opportunity to close the doors and get some major work done that has been planned for several years.

That work has less to do with the physical structure of the building, and more to do with properly securing and protecting the more than 7,300 irreplaceable historical artifacts that the museum houses – most of which are archived and seldom seen by the public. Only about 700 artifacts are on exhibit.

The Relic Room was established in 1896 and has since occupied five venues in the Columbia area. It moved to the Columbia Mills Building at the start of this century, opening in that location in September 2001. Since then, according to Roberson, it has doubled its collection of valuable artifacts. This is due in part to the evolving mission of the museum, which now documents all of South Carolina’s military history, from the Revolutionary War to the present.

Most of the internal work during the period between June 3 and Oct. 3 – the projected reopening date – will be devoted to moving all the stored artifacts to a different room, then setting up new storage infrastructure that will provide better security and environmental protection to the artifacts once they are returned to Collections Storage.

This is a major project. The museum has funds already budgeted by the Legislature for this work, which is anticipated to cost about $260,000. If the schedule and limited staff allow, plans are also in place to remodel the small Gist Gallery, which is across the hall from the Education Room, during this time.

Because of this, the Education Room will not be available, so the museum is making arrangements to provide outreach to the community by holding live programs offsite. A Noon Debrief is tentatively planned, for instance, on June 28. Details about the program and the location will be released soon.

If you would like to arrange for a small group to tour the museum during the closing, please call the Relic Room at 803-737-8095. The staff looks forward to serving you, now and in the future.


About the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum

Founded in 1896, the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum is an accredited museum focusing on South Carolina’s distinguished martial tradition through the Revolutionary War, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, Vietnam, the War on Terror, and other American conflicts. It serves as the state’s military history museum by collecting, preserving, and exhibiting South Carolina’s military heritage from the colonial era to the present, and by providing superior educational experiences and programming. It recently opened a major new exhibit, “A War With No Front Lines: South Carolina and the Vietnam War, 1965-1973.” The museum is located at 301 Gervais St. in Columbia, sharing the Columbia Mills building with the State Museum. For more information, go to