Historic Sites

Every city has its own unique feel and vibe, which is determined by a number of things. The local historic sites are no doubt one of the largest contributing factors to the aura that surrounds a city. When in Columbia, users recommend paying a visit to USC Horseshoe, in the University Of South Carolina area to get a feel for what truly makes up the city.

10 Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens
One of the four house museums under the management of preservation group Historic Columbia (the others are Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens, Robert Mills House and Park, and the Woodrow Wilson Family Home), this mansion was built in 1818, but it was purchased in 1823 and altered considerably by Wade Hampton I. His daughter and son-in-law, Caroline and John Preston, occupied the house after his death. Tickets for all four historic house museums may be purchased at the Robert Mills Welcome Center and Museum Shop located at 1616 Blanding Street. (803-252-1770)

9 Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home
One of the four house museums under the management of preservation group Historic Columbia (the others are Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens, Mann-Simons Cottage, and Robert Mills House and Park), this late 19th century home is where the 28th US president spent his childhood. The Victorian-style home is furnished with many of the family's original pieces, including marble mantels, a family Bible, and even the bed Wilson was born in. The lush gardens include magnolia trees planted by Wilson's mother. Tickets for all four historic house museums may be purchased at the Robert Mills Welcome Center and Museum Shop located at 1616 Blanding Street. (803-252-1770)

8 Robert Mills House
One of the four house museums under the management of preservation group Historic Columbia (the others are Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens, Mann-Simons Cottage, and the Woodrow Wilson Family Home), this gracious 1823 home was built by Washington Monument designer Robert Mills. Beautiful gardens, complete with a boxwood maze, surround the Greek revival-style home. Head inside to see ornate chandeliers, Venetian windows, and classic federalist furnishings. Tickets for all four historic house museums may be purchased at the Robert Mills Welcome Center and Museum Shop located at 1616 Blanding Street. (803-252-1770)

7 Mann-Simons Cottage
One of the four house museums under the management of preservation group Historic Columbia (the others are Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens, Robert Mills House and Park, and the Woodrow Wilson Family Home), this historic 1850 cottage was home to Celia Mann. Earning a living as a midwife, Mann was one of only 200 slaves to purchase freedom prior to the Civil War. This home features many family heirlooms and gives an accurate depiction of life during that time. Tickets for all four historic house museums may be purchased at the Robert Mills Welcome Center and Museum Shop located at 1616 Blanding Street. (803-252-1770)

6 Taylor Burial Ground
Thomas Taylor, Columbia's founding father, was laid to rest at this spot. The Taylors donated the land from their sprawling plantation to begin the city some 200 years ago.

5 USC Horseshoe
This beautiful tree-lined mall is the site of the original campus of the University of South Carolina. Still home to several campus buildings, most of them dating back a century, the wide-open green is usually full of students reading, talking, tossing Frisbees, or sometimes sleeping. Special events are often held here. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (803-777-0169)

4 Waverly Historic District
Picturesque and walkable, the neighborhood between Benedict College and the University of South Carolina was the city's first suburb. Over the decades it became a hub for African-American arts, education and civil rights activism. The neighborhood today is a registered historic district with a charming mix of architectural styles, most dating to the early 1900s.

3 Governor's Green
This lush and well-manicured tract in the heart of Columbia contains the Governor's Mansion (circa 1855), the Caldwell-Boyston House (1830), and the Lace House (1854). There is also a gift shop on the premises. (803-737-1710, 803-737-3000)

2 The Big Apple
With its unique architecture and storied past, this is a favorite Columbia attraction. The 1916 building, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was once Fat Sam's and then the Big Apple Dance Club. Though historians disagree, legend has it that a dance craze called the "Big Apple" started here and was later adopted by dancers in New York City, eventually giving that town its well-known nickname. Coordinated by the Historic Columbia Foundation, the property may be rented for special occasions and private tours may be arranged. (803-252-7742)

1 Adluh Flour Company
At this location since 1900, Adluh Flour Company has been owned by the Allen family since 1926, and is the only such mill in the state still in operation. They make flour and grits from SC-grown wheat and corn — several local restaurants use Adluh products, and you can find them in all the area supermarkets. During the annual Vista Lights celebration in November, the mill doles out cookies and hushpuppies made with their own products. (803-779-2460, 800-692-3584)


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Maps and Directions

2
Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: Downtown
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Robert Mills House 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: Downtown
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Mann-Simons Cottage 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: Downtown
5
Taylor Burial Ground 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: Downtown
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USC Horseshoe 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA
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Waverly Historic District 10Best List Arrow
Type: Architecture, Historic Sites
Neighborhood: Downtown
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Governor's Green 10Best List Arrow
Type: Sightseeing
Neighborhood: Downtown
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The Big Apple 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: Downtown
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Adluh Flour Company 10Best List Arrow
Type: Historic Sites
Neighborhood: THE VISTA