COLUMBIA, S.C., Thursday, Aug. 4, 2016 — In advance of the re-opening of the Mann-Simons Site, Historic Columbia will present a special three-part Remembering Columbia series on Aug. 16, 23 and 30 that will offer an insider’s look at the site’s new themes and exhibits. The focus of this series is “How Do We Know What We Know,” which will be revealed through discussions on records, maps, images and more.
Through modern research and archaeological evidence, the new exhibits at the Mann-Simons Site will tell a rich story of the African American families who lived and worked at the site. The August sessions will allow attendees to take a journey through more than a decade-long investigation that has led to the new discoveries and enhanced interpretative stories at the Mann-Simons Site.
“The Mann-Simons family’s story is one of intrigue, accomplishment and longevity,” said John Sherrer, Historic Columbia’s director of cultural resources. “We cannot wait to share what has been learned through Historic Columbia’s research partnerships over the past ten years.”
Upcoming Remembering Columbia Sessions:
Date: Tuesday, Aug. 16
Topic: How Do We Know What We Know: Records
Session Discussion: The 1840 Federal Census denotes Ben DeLane as being “freed colored person” and in the 1850 census Celia Mann is listed as a mulatto. In the session, we will seek to answer some important questions: How is race recorded historically? Who determined how this was recorded? How has race identification changed over time?
Date: Tuesday, Aug. 23
Topic: How Do We Know What We Know: Sanborn Fire Insurance Maps
Session Discussion: By 1843 Celia Mann and Ben DeLane owned land and a home at the corner of Richland and Marion streets. In the early 1900s, the same site had evolved to include multiple residential and commercial buildings. Using maps and images, we can trace physical changes over time at today’s Mann-Simons Site. Mann-Simons is a case study for documenting physical change over time and interpreting what these changes mean for a community.
Date: Tuesday, Aug. 30
Topic: How Do We Know What We Know: Images
Session Discussion: Images speak volumes and yet they are only a fragment of the story. Using photographs of multiple generations of the families that resided at the Mann-Simons Site, we will discuss the importance of seeing past the picture to the underlying meanings within this medium.
The Remember Columbia sessions will take place from 6 – 7 p.m. on Aug. 16, 23 and 30 at the Robert Mills Carriage House, located at 1616 Blanding St. in Columbia. Guests are encouraged to attend each session of this dynamic series, as every evening will cover completely new and different material that help tell the complete story of the series.
Tickets to attend the entire three-part series are $25 per member and $30 per non-member. Admission for an individual session is $12 per guest. Advance reservation is encouraged. Visit historiccolumbia.org to purchase tickets.
After being closed for more than a year, Mann-Simons site will reopen in conjunction with the 38th annual Jubilee: Festival of History and Culture on Saturday, Sept. 17. For 38 years, families and friends have come from across the state and beyond to celebrate African American heritage at this annual festival. When the festival started in 1978, it was a small community celebration of African American heritage and history. Over the years, Jubilee has grown into a can’t-miss event that draws attendees from all over the state and region.
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 historiccolumbia.org or find us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube for more details.
AgnesJackson_HistoricColumbia: Agnes Jackson (b. 1831) was the mother and matriarch of a family of eight children, who all lived with her and also raised their children on the Mann-Simons property at some point. Jackson inherited the property in 1867 from her mother, Celia Mann, and lived there until her death in 1907. Historic Columbia Collection, Photo courtesy of Historic Columbia
Mann-Simons-Site_HistoricColumbia: In advance of the re-opening of the Mann-Simmons Site, join Historic Columbia at special three-part Remembering Columbia series on Aug. 16, 23 and 30 that will offer an insider’s look at the site’s new themes and exhibits. Photo courtesy of Historic Columbia