Completed in 1871, this Italian villa-style residence was home to a 14-year-old boy-the future 28th United States President-named "Tommy" Woodrow Wilson. Following a nine-year, comprehensive rehabilitation, the site features 21st-century exhibits that interpret the racial, social and political landscape of Columbia and Richland County during the Reconstruction era.
Reportedly designed under the influence of Jessie Wilson, the future president's mother, the landscape was divided into the formal front yard and working back yards, which included vegetable and flower beds as well as a kitchen house, privy and carriage house. While little documentation of the property exists from the time of the Wilson family's occupation, records indicate that roses, tea olives, crepe myrtle, japonica, and other shrubs were planted in the front yard, implying its use as a decorative garden area.
Today, large magnolias dominate the front of the property. There is a grass lawn in front of the house, and period plantings around the main walkway to the front door. Plants currently located in the front yard include crepe myrtle, cherry laurel, hackberry, Japanese magnolias, tea olive, magnolia and dogwood. A cherry laurel hedge dominates the Henderson Street edge of the property, and a hackberry tree is located on the side of the Henderson Street drive. Large cherry laurel and a pecan tree grow on the northeast corner of the property.
Did you know?
Historic Columbia maintains a permanent collection of more than 6,500 historic artifacts spanning the 18th, 19th and early-20th centuries, including a growing collection of locally made or used textiles, decorative arts, fine art, tools, and historic images. Learn more