Special Alert
What's Hot This April
Posted on March 23, 2017 at 1:32PM by Dayna Cantelmi
Welcome to Columbia SC - The Real Southern Hot Spot! This month is packed with events showcasing our food, culture, scenery and more. Keep reading for a roundup of things to do below, ...
What's Hot This March
Posted on February 22, 2017 at 7:10AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Come out and enjoy the lovely spring weather this month! Read on for a roundup of things to do below and check out our calendar of events for everything else going on all month ...
Your Guide to All Things Green: St. Pat's in Five Points
Posted on February 10, 2017 at 12:25PM by Dayna Cantelmi
Blarney! On March 18th, Columbia, SC will become a sea of green for the 35th Annual St. Pat's in Five Points celebration. And you're in luck, because we have everything you need to know ...
Top 10 Tips for Total Solar Eclipse Weekend in Columbia, SC
Posted on January 31, 2017 at 11:56AM by Dayna Cantelmi
Be in the know and travel on the path to totality in the "Total Eclipse Capital of the East Coast," Columbia, SC. The entire region is hosting eclipse-related events throughout the long weekend ...

Hampton-Preston Mansion & Gardens

  • 1615 Blanding Street
  • Columbia, SC 29201
  • Phone: 803-252-1770
  • Hours: Tuesday - Saturday Tours: 11:30am and 2:30pm, Sunday Tours 2:30pm
  • Visit Website
  • Purchase Tickets

Ainsley Hall, a wealthy Columbia merchant, and his wife Sarah, lived here for five years after they had the house built in 1818. Several years after buying the property in 1823, its second owner, Wade Hampton I, updated the Federal style home to more reflect the Greek Revival style. Hampton's third wife, Mary Cantey, supervised the installation of elaborate gardens that came to surround the mansion during the 1830s through 1860s. Following Wade Hampton I's death in 1835, daughter Caroline and son-in-law John Preston further transformed the estate by doubling the house's size between 1848 and 1850. Established as a Union Army headquarters in February 1865, the property survived destruction thanks to the exploits of Sister Bapista Lynch, who implored Sherman to spare the home for use as a temporary convent. In financial ruin, the family sold the estate in 1873. Later, the estate accommodated several institutions including the College for Women (1890-1915), Chicora College (1915-1930), Westerveldt Academy (1931-1935), and Columbia Bible College [overflow housing] (1938-1946). In 1947, the gardens were bulldozed and the four-acre tract was subdivided for various commercial uses. Following a yearlong rehabilitation, the historic mansion opened in 1970 as the centerpiece of the Midlands Tricentennial Exposition Center.

All house tours begin at the top of the hour. The last tour is one hour before closing time. Purchase all house tickets in the Museum Shop on the grounds of the Robert Mills House, 1616 Blanding Street. Admission is free to all children under 6 years old and all Historic Columbia Foundation members.


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  • Price Range Maximum: $$ - $101-150
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