Decoration at Robert Mills

Historic Holidays Around the World

By: James Quint, Director of Education

Celebrating the holidays often means taking part in family traditions year after year. Each activity holds meaning and value for a family—from trimming the tree to caroling in the neighborhood. But have you ever wondered where these traditions originated? The staff and volunteers at Historic Columbia love sharing these stories...

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Total Eclipse

In the Path of Totality

By: John Sherrer, Director of Cultural Resources

Have you ever been in the path of something that you cannot escape? Have you ever been faced with an event that cannot be avoided? Such situations often elicit anxiety or even dread. What if you knew exactly when and where such an event was to occur? What would you...

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Pastor's Study on Main Street

A Sunday Stroll Through Main Street's History

Main Street in Columbia has lived a double life. Today, festivals, farmers markets, as well as retail and cultural arts institutions, make Main Street one of the city’s most vibrant districts. But what was Main Street like in the past? To answer that question, we need to look one block...

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moving panorama

Gifts from Historic Holidays

By: Kathryn Kaslow

Diving into the imagination, playing dress up, hosting skits and talent shows for parents and friends – children have been dreaming up different ways to play for hundreds of years. In 2018, it’s easy for a child to find entertainment. Conversely, because they did not have smartphones, video games, or...

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Holiday Food

A History of Feasting in South Carolina’s Backcountry

With Thanksgiving behind us and the holidays on the horizon, late November is the time of year to celebrate family, friends, and (most importantly) good food. Every family has traditions of their own, some stricter than others, but what did a traditional meal look like 150 years ago in South...

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Carillon Parade

A Holiday Parade to Remember

By: John Sherrer, Director of Cultural Resources

With the holiday season picking up pace, it seems a natural thing this time of year to recall people, places, and (in this case) parades that have shaped our memory of Holidays past. Much has been written about Main Street over the years—this corridor has hosted citizens who worked, lived,...

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Jim Russell WWI Bugler

The 11th Hour, of the 11th Day, of the 11th Month

By: Fielding Freed, Director of Historic House Museums

And, oh my, we had to pass the wounded. And some of them were on stretchers going back to the dressing stations, and some of them were lying around, moaning and twitching. And the dead were all along the road. — Alvin York, United States Army, Medal of Honor Anniversaries...

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Down Under Columbia

The Story of Columbia's Arcade Mall

On Friday, Nov. 2 and Saturday, Nov. 3, Palladium will host their first ever Fall Tour , which consists of a series of Main Street loft tours, a biergarten and a '70s-themed party at the Equitable Arcade Building. The Arcade, specifically the basement level, has long intrigued Columbia citizens and...

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Blue Bike

New Bike Share Program Adds a Robert Mills Station

On Monday, Oct. 8, 2018, Mayor Steve Benjamin rolled up to one of Columbia's many new Blue Bike stops to announce the program's official commencement. This system, sponsored by BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, is in partnership with Canadian bike share company Bewegen Technology, and encourages city folk to consider...

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Historic Jubilee Photo

Jubilee Turns 40

By: Lois Carlisle

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Jubilee: Festival of Black History and Culture , making it the longest-running festival in recent Columbia history. Since 1978, Columbians have gathered on the grounds of the Mann-Simons Site at the corner of Richland and Marion streets to celebrate African American culture,...

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