On Friday, Aug. 31, 2018, Historic Columbia was presented with the Preservation Service Award at the South Carolina Historic Preservation Awards ceremony for the re-interpretation of the Mann-Simons Site leading up to 2016.
The Preservation Service Awards recognize projects and activities that make exemplary contributions to the advancement of historic preservation. The renovation of the Mann-Simons Site stands out with its story of a free African American family in the antebellum south and their impact on Columbia's history and culture.
The reopening of the Mann-Simons Site was strategically coupled with the 38th annual Jubilee: Festival of Black History, which drew more than 6,000 attendees. By taking this approach, Historic Columbia welcomed more than 650 guests through the museum that day alone. Since reopening, 58 new guides have been trained to deliver tours of the Mann-Simons Site. Additionally, Historic Columbia has welcomed nearly 800 students through the site on guided field trips.
The Mann-Simons Site today stands as a historic asset with a more vital connection to contemporary citizens of Columbia and Richland County, in addition to tourists who expect more demanding and provoking experiences from museums and historic sites.
Special thanks to the Palmetto Trust for Historic Preservation for their recognition of this site's important history.