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May Events at Historic Columbia

COLUMBIA, S.C. —Historic Columbia presents an exciting array of events this May, including the opening of Route to (re)settlement, a new art exhibition on display at the Mann-Simons Site, and a members only special Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the Curtiss-Wright Hangar, future home of Hunter Gatherer’s new brewpub. The full May calendar is below.


Historic House Museum Tours
Tuesday – Saturday | 10am-3pm

Sunday | 1-4pm | Tours leave at the top of the hour

Our historic house museum tours offer a peek into the past! Tour the Robert Mills House, Hampton-Preston Mansion, or Woodrow Wilson Family Home to learn more about Columbia’s history. For a more detailed tour schedule, visit historiccolumbia.org.


Group Tours

Historic Columbia is happy to arrange a private guided tour for your group of 10 or more with advance registration. Bus tours are available. Contact our tour and program coordinator at 803.252.1770 ext. 23 or reservations@historiccolumbia.org.



Route to (re)settlement

On display May 1 through August 1 | Mann-Simons Site, 1403 Richland Street

Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays 1 – 4pm or by appointment | Group tours also available by reservation

Historic Columbia, Palmetto Curatorial Exchange, and Connelly & Light present Route to (re)settlement, the first installment of an exhibition series examining the stories of African American communities in South Carolina, featuring works by acclaimed artists Rashid Johnson and Henry Taylor, alongside up-and-coming artists, Michi Meko, Victoria—Idongesit Udondian and Fletcher Williams, III. By honoring Southern black oral histories and stories in music, food, textiles, spiritualism, and other cultural customs, the works in this exhibition illustrate the development of how these stories have been told through the past to present. The interaction between the works and the Mann-Simons Site encourages discussion about the site’s history as a home, work place, spiritual center and source of pride for almost 200 years and its future. Free.


Opening reception for Route to (re)settlement

Sunday, May 1 | 4 – 6pm | Mann-Simons Site

Join Historic Columbia, Palmetto Curatorial Exchange, Connelly & Light, and artists for the public opening of this exciting new exhibition. Free.

Remembering Columbia Series and Book Signing

Tuesdays, May 3, 10, 17 & 24 | Noon – 1pm | Robert Mills Carriage House

Join John Sherrer for the third installment of his Remembering Columbia series as he guides guests through a visual road map of Columbia’s past and present. Drawn from a rich collection of private and institutional archives, the images we will examine during this lecture series trace over 150 years of our city’s history. Guaranteed to be of interest to new comers and life-long residents alike, this glimpse into the past is a must-see, must-do program for those who find that #historyiscool! There will be a book signing following each presentation. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase his new book, Remembering Columbia, at the Gift Shop at Robert Mills for $24 (members) or $27 (non-members). Full Series: $30 members | $35 non-members | $30 students | $20 teachers | Single lecture: $10.

Homeschool Friday | Jewish History and Heritage in Columbia

Friday, May 6 | 10 – 11:30am | The State House on Gervais Street

Visit HC as we celebrate Jewish history and culture! Explore Columbia’s historic Jewish sites on our new tour developed through the Columbia Jewish Heritage Initiative, and learn about how the Jewish community has impacted our community. All homeschool students are invited to participate in Historic Columbia’s Homeschool Friday programs. Each month’s program includes hands-on activities while students learn and explore different themes and historic sites. Homeschool Fridays programs are designed for students of elementary and middle school age levels. Reservations are recommended. $5 members | $6 non-members | $8 day of | free for accompanying adults.

Second Sunday Stroll | Jewish Merchants, Past and Present, in Columbia’s Commercial District

Sunday, May 8 | 2pm | Michael’s on Main

Join HC for our Second Sunday Stroll down Main Street! This guided walking tour will highlight Columbia’s Jewish Heritage and explore how Jewish merchants have shaped this downtown district. The tour will begin in front of Michael’s on Main Street, travel down to Lady Street where the tour will cross over to Assembly Street, then end at The Big Apple on Hampton Street. Free for members | Non-members: $8 adults & $5 youth | Kids 5 and under are free.

Moonlight Cemetery & Secrets from the Grave Tours
Thursday, May 12 | 7:30, 8 & 8:30pm | Elmwood Cemetery

One hundred and sixty years of history will come to life during our popular Cemetery Tours! Grab your flashlight as we tour one of Columbia’s oldest cemeteries and discover centuries of stories etched in stone on the markers and headstones found within Elmwood Cemetery’s acres of carefully planned grounds. The perfect after-work activity, our cemetery tours are an event the whole family will enjoy.

Choose from two tour options every month through September:

  • Secrets from the Grave Tours, 7:30 pm: Join us before dark to study the symbols found on many of the markers and headstones in this historic cemetery.
  • Moonlight Cemetery Tours, 8 & 8:30 pm: Tour Elmwood Cemetery and discuss the lives, burials, cemetery plots and tombstones of families and prominent citizens from Columbia’s 19th and 20th centuries.

Members: $8 adults & $4 youth | Non-members: $12 adults & $6 youth.


Scout Day

Saturday, May 14 | 10:00 and 12:30pm | Woodrow Wilson Family Home

Girl Scouts are invited to experience the fun, games, and tasty food of a Victorian Tea Party at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home. Two sessions are offered. $11 youth | $7 adults.

Victorian Tea Party

Sunday, May 15 | 2-3:30pm | Seibels House & Garden

Historic Columbia’s Victorian Tea Party welcomes families to visit the Seibels House and Gardens, one of Columbia’s oldest houses, where they will have the opportunity to learn about Victorian customs, including calling cards and the language of the fan. The children will also make Victorian-inspired crafts such as herb sachets and paper dolls. The highlight of the day will be a Victorian tea party where they will learn table manners and etiquette. Reservations recommended. Members: $7 adults & $11 youth | Non-members: $9 adults & $13 youth 

Drink Pink Rosé Festival

Sunday, May 15 | Noon – 4pm | City Roots Farm

Join Farm to Table at City Roots Farm for a festival featuring everyone’s favorite summer pink wine. They will be featuring close to 100 Rosé wines, Kristian Niemi and friends will be serving up tasty food that pairs with them while a live jazz band plays in the background. Farm to Table is inviting local cheese makers and more to sample and sell their fresh local artisan products. They will have a wine store on site and will be selling the wines you taste and you will be able to order them for pickup. $5 from every ticket sold goes to Historic Columbia to help fund the care and growing of the Herbemont Grape in our gardens. 

Early Adventures | Garden Gnomes
Thursday, May 19 | 10:30-11:30am | The Gift Shop at Robert Mills

Explore your green thumb and learn about kitchen gardens of Columbia’s past! Plant your very own seed to take home and explore Historic Columbia’s gardens through games and play! Our Early Adventures program introduces children from ages 3-5 to history through games, crafts and stories in monthly one-hour events. $6 members | $7 for non-members | $8 day of | Free for accompanying adults.

Historic Happy Hour | USC Horseshoe

Friday, May 20 | 5:30 – 7pm

Join Historic Columbia on the historic horseshoe, the heart of the University of South Carolina’s campus, for a guided tour by author Katharine Thompson Allen. Ms. Allen recently coauthored On the Horseshoe: A Guide to the Historic Campus of the University of South Carolina. Following the tour, the program will gather at a nearby pub for libations, appetizers and a book signing. Two drink tickets are included with admission. Must be 21+ $15 members | $20 non-members.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour | Hops in the Hangar

Wednesday, May 25 | Palladium Society Members Only

Thursday, May 26 | HC Members Only

6:30 – 8pm | Curtiss-Wright Hangar, Jim Hamilton-L.B. Owens Airport

Presented by 2nd Wind Heating and Air, enjoy a Behind-the-Scenes Tour of the circa-1929 Curtiss-Wright Hangar and craft beer. The tour features the history of the hangar, plans for adaptive reuse as a brewpub, and comments from Hunter Gatherer Owner Kevin Varner about his brewing process and equipment. As a special treat, a B-25B Mitchell bomber, the same type of airplane used by the famous Doolittle Raiders will be on display! Craft beer and other refreshments will be served thanks to Vino Garage, Tradesman Brewing Company, and Rosewood Market. Tours are contingent upon final sale of the property. LIMITED QUANTITY WHILE SUPPLIES LAST! ADVANCED TICKET SALES ONLY.  

$10 Current Palladium and HC members (limit one per individual/ two per family memberships)

$55 Individual Palladium Society New Member ticket combination (savings of $20)

$85 Family Palladium Society New Member ticket combination (savings of $30)

$45 Individual HC New Member ticket combination (savings of $15)

$70 Family HC New Member ticket combination (savings of $30)


For more information, visit historiccolumbia.org

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