Discover the history about the gardens at the Robert Mills House and the Hampton-Preston Mansion, from their 19th-century beginnings to the present day, from national acclaim to demolition and finally rebirth! Get ready for a broad examination of the changes that the gardens and grounds of the Hampton-Preston Mansion have gone through in its 200-year history, including exciting developments currently taking place!
This class, led by Historic Columbia Director of Grounds Keith Mearns, is in cooperation with the Lourie Center. The "Lourie Lectures" continue to provide engaging educational presentations and discourse for adults over 50. Taught by academics and content experts, topics explore the arts and humanities, science, culture and more.
Keith Mearns is a horticulturist who researches, designs, and installs period-appropriate gardens. He earned a degree in anthropology with a minor in environmental studies from the University of South Carolina. Before joining Historic Columbia, he worked at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden and assisted with digital collections at USC’s herbarium. In 2021 Keith was named the winner of the American Horticultural Society’s 2021 Emerging Horticultural Professional Award.