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Woodrow Wilson Family Home will reopen on February 15

The Woodrow Wilson Family Home, South Carolina's only presidential site will reopen its doors on Saturday, February 15, the Saturday of Presidents Day weekend. The house closed in 2005.

This pew was used by the Wilson family at the First Presbyterian Church on Marion Street
This pew was used by the Wilson family at the First Presbyterian Church on Marion Street
photo by author
The Woodrow Wilson Family Home will reopen on February 15
photo by author

Since then, the house has undergone a $3.6 million restoration and has been totally redone. What was a standard historic house museum has been transformed into a museum dealing with reconstruction. The Wilson family lived in Columbia from 1870-1874, during the Reconstruction period. During that time, Woodrow Wilson, who was known as Tommy, was a teenager.

According to Carrie Phillips, Historic Columbia's Director of Marketing and Communications, this was because "Reconstruction has not been discussed much. Hopefully, this can fill that hole." Phillips also said this museum is the only one in the country that tells the story of Reconstruction "through a local lens." That lens being primarily the lens of the Wilson family.During this period, Dr. Josepoh Ruggles Wilson, Wilson's father, was a professor at the Columbia Theological Seminary and was the interim pastor, or "stated supply" at the First Presbyterian Church on Marion Street.

The house museum contains several interactive displays as well as artifacts such as the Woodrow Wilson birth bed and a Red Shirt from the gubernatorial campaign of Wade Hampton III in 1876, among others, including the pew the Wilsons used at the First Presbyterian Church.

Historic Columbia has scheduled a full day of events surrounding the Wilson house reopening. At 9:30 there will be a ribbon cutting with remarks by various dignitaries. There will also be a performance by the South Carolina Philharmonic and an appearance by President Wilson himself, portrayed by Ed Beardsley. Tours of the house will be available starting at 10 a.m.and the Too Fat to Fly food truck will be on hand as well.

I'd like to end on a personal note. You've probasbly noticed that this is the first time in several weeks that I have posted an article. During that time we've been moving. Now that we are situated in our new location, I expect to post articles on a more regular basis. Thanks for your patience!

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