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Published on April 3rd, 2015 | by Millennium Magazine Staff


Historic Columbia Recieves 2015 Award of Achievement

Pictured left to right: Fielding Freed, HC director of historic house museums; Robin Waites, HC executive director; Zinnia Willits, SCFM president; John Sherrer, HC director of cultural resources.

COLUMBIA, S.C. —The South Carolina Federation of Museums presented Historic Columbia with the 2015 Award of Achievement for its work on the Woodrow Wilson Family Home: A Museum of Reconstruction in Columbia & Richland County at the statewide conference recently.

SCFM presented Historic Columbia with the Award of Achievement to recognize the rehabilitation and reinterpretation of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home. In 2005, HC closed the home, which had operated as a shrine to the 28th president since 1934, due to structural issues.

“We are proud to be recognized with this award for our work on the Woodrow Wilson Family Home,” said Historic Columbia Executive Director Robin Waites. “Working closely with Richland County, John Milner Associates, and the University of South Carolina, Historic Columbia has gone to great lengths to preserve South Carolina’s only presidential home and shed light on the often-misunderstood Reconstruction era.”

Between 2005 and 2014, the Wilson home underwent a museum-grade restoration and rehabilitation; at the same time, HC assembled a group of distinguished scholars to lead the reinterpretation, culminating in a 21st-century museum inside a 19th-century house that explores Reconstruction (1865-1876) in Columbia and Richland County and the Wilsons’ lives here during that time. The Woodrow Wilson Family Home is not only South Carolina’s only presidential site, it is also the only museum in the country to focus solely on the Reconstruction era.

SCFM’s Award of Achievement is presented to museums in South Carolina that have presented an exhibit, program or publication demonstrating excellent utilization of the resources available to that institution. Since 1970, SCFM has served, represented, advocated and promoted the best interest of South Carolina museums in order to strengthen professional standards and procedures, facilitate communication, foster inclusiveness and increase professionalism and sustainability of institutional resources.

For more information about the Woodrow Wilson Family Home, visit

About Historic Columbia:

In November 1961, a small group of individuals intent on saving the Ainsley Hall House from demolition officially incorporated as the Historic Columbia Foundation. Over the next five decades the organization, which was founded on the premise of preservation and education, would take on the stewardship of seven historic properties in Richland County. Today, the organization serves as a model for local preservation efforts and interpretation of local history. Visit or find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube for more details.


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