Laura & Fred Dance

Laura & Fred at Robert Mills

Laura and Fred had a playful, memorable time commemorating forever at the Robert Mills House and Gardens on November 3, 2018. Happy tears were shed in the gardens when the gorgeous bride-to-be revealed her breathtaking pearl white gown to her loving fiancé. The bridesmaids joined in the photos with their...

Jennie Dreher

Columbia’s Preservation Visionaries: Mabel Payne and Jennie Dreher

There’s no better way to finish Preservation Month than learning about two of Columbia’s key preservation advocates—Mabel Payne and Jennie Dreher—who were responsible for saving the Robert Mills House over 50 years ago. Mabel Bradley Payne was born in Abbeville, SC, and lived in New York and Williamsburg before coming...

Elmwood Cemetery

Our Popular Cemetery Tours Return April 11

In honor of one of Historic Columbia’s most popular tours returning next week, here are some highlights of just a few of the countless interesting stories hidden in the historic Elmwood Cemetery.  James Henley Thornwell was a professor at South Carolina College who joined the faculty in 1837 and replaced William Campbell Preston as the institution’s president.  Thornwell’s term...

1970s Columbia

Found Footage Project Provides Glimpse Into 1970s Columbia

Discovered by an intern at the University of South Carolina Libraries’ Moving Image Research Collections (MIRC), ‘Hip Tags’ is an intriguing orphan film mystery with 1970s Columbia, SC as its main character. Without any provenance and defying description, this hypnotic film was passed from MIRC to Historic Columbia where staff...

Becky & Matt at Seibels House

Becky & Matt at Seibels House

Becky and Matt said “Yes!” to forever on November 10, 2018. While their ceremony was scheduled elsewhere, they prepared for the big day with their wedding party at the Seibels House. Hairstyles by Lauren gave Becky an elegant updo, while Casie B. provided stunningly classic makeup services. Holly Graciano was...

Restoration at Modjeska Monteith Simkins House

Restore, Don't Replace Your Old Windows

By: Lois Carlisle, Consulting Historian

Historic windows are both lenses and frames. These vital architectural features can define the character of whole neighborhoods and help us see our community in a whole new light. Often, damage to historic windows is superficial—someone painted them shut, the sash sags, they’re drafty. Almost all historic wood windows can...

Press Conference at Zion Baptist Church

James Clyburn Announces New Reconstruction Era Network

By: Robin Waites, Executive Director

I am excited to be here today in support of the Reconstruction Era National Historical Park Act bill. With the goals of creating a Reconstruction Network that will enhance collaboration across SC, the region and the country. In 2008, our organization began the process of rehabilitating a home that was...

Motel Simbeth postcard

#TBT: Motel Simbeth + Cornwell Tourist Home

By: Lois Carlisle, Consulting Historian

We’ve talked about the Green Book before in this series, but here’s a refresher: As automobile travel grew increasingly popular from the 1930s through the 1960s, African Americans found themselves faced with what historian Gretchen Sorin called “an uncertain landscape,” much of which was “composed of white spaces where black...

Modjeska Simkins on her porch

#TBT: Who is Modjeska Monteith Simkins?

By: Lois Carlisle, Consulting Historian

For more than sixty years, Modjeska Monteith Simkins used the wooden cottage at the corner of Elmwood and Marion St. as both a home and a headquarters. Known as the “matriarch of Civil Rights activists” in S.C., Modjeska Monteith Simkins led the charge for equality tirelessly her entire adult life...

Motel Simbeth matchbooks

Searching for Motel Simbeth

By: Katharine Allen, Research & Archives Manager

On 20 October 1955, Jet, a national weekly digest with a primarily black audience, published the expose “SOUTH CAROLINA’S PLOT TO STARVE NEGROES.” The six-page piece described efforts by White Citizens Councils in Clarendon and Orangeburg counties to create an “economic squeeze” on black community members. The goal of the...