For those of you who own a copy of Remembering Columbia [Arcadia Publishing, 2015], turn to pages 18 and 110, where you will find two impressions of one of the capital city’s oldest remaining buildings.
Columbia’s Hampton Preston Mansion & Gardens will be the focus of Historic Columbia’s next installment of its Remembering Columbia series, which will take place from 6–7 p.m., Tuesday, August 29. This session will offer an in-depth exploration into the capital city’s historic neighborhoods, sites, events, and people through manuscripts, photographs, maps, and other resources.
In preparation for the Hampton-Preston Mansion’s 200th anniversary, Historic Columbia has unearthed additional resources and re-examined existing holdings to arrive at an unprecedented level of content that will manifest itself in exhibits, interpretive signage, and programming in the coming year. This work is made possible thanks to support from such entities as the Richland County Conservation Commission, South Carolina Humanities, and Richland County, the latter of which owns the property.
These improvements will be further enhanced through a private donation from The Darnall W. and Susan F. Boyd Foundation, Inc., whose generous contributions have funded the continued rehabilitation of the property’s historically significant gardens. Ongoing garden support is also made possible by AgFirst and the Palmetto Garden Club.
Completed in 1818, the former urban estate has been many things to many people during the past two centuries, including the residence of slave-holding and enslaved Columbians, a military headquarters, a convent for Ursuline nuns, a short-lived governor’s mansion, campuses for women’s colleges, a block filled with commercial enterprises, and a publicly accessible historic site.
Each of these eras and the changes they brought to the mansion and its related buildings and grounds will be fodder for discussion. A glimpse into the philosophical and historical approaches to the property’s future interpretive offerings will flow from the analysis of the site through historic resources.
This session is a must-attend for anyone interested in learning more about the second-oldest historic site under Historic Columbia’s stewardship.
Moreover, the program is an invitation to those with first-hand experience with the property. You may have visited there while it served as a tourist home during the 1940s through early 1960s. Perhaps you remember the property during its various uses during World War II. Maybe you participated in the site’s 1969 rehabilitation into a museum for the Midlands Tricentennial Exposition Center.
All stories (and photographs or otherwise, if you have them!) are welcome. By synthesizing information from all areas, we all benefit from a more complete story #OnThisSpot where #HistoryIsCool.
Visit historiccolumbia.org to learn more and to purchase your tickets to the upcoming Remembering
Columbia session Tuesday, August 29.
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