The official Robert Mills tour consists of two parts, but I’ll mash them into one. The district gets its name from the two buildings designed by Mills, The Robert Mills House and SC Asylum. By starting at the Robert Mills House, you should be able to get the brochures at the shop there. When I did the walk, I divided it into two, but took a few side trips such as to the Woodrow Wilson House.
One can take a tour inside the Robert Mills building, go to the website for the hours. Interiors do little for me, except for castles. Bring your comfy shoes. Walking on pavement is harder than hiking on dirt. You can eat at places around here, on Main Street, or you can do what I do, and bring your own sandwich and water bottle.
1615 Blanding – Hampton Preston Mansion
Built 1818. During it’s existence it has housed a governor as well as college women. It used to be nationally known for its gardens and they are currently on working on the grounds.
1401 Laurel – Debruhl-Marshall House
Built 1820. The architect is unknown and some say it might be Robert Mills as it’s similar to the Robert Mills House.
1410 Laurel –
Built 1900. It was a single family dwelling until the 1960’s when it was subdivided. It has since been remodeled for commercial use.
1422 Laurel – Shannon Smith Stuckey House
Built in the late 1880’s, this house is house for its distinctive architecture.
1511 Laurel – Sims-Stackhouse Mansion
Built sometime before 1853. It once sat on a raised basement, but in 1909, then owner T.B. Stackhouse removed the top floors and relocated them to this location.
2025 Marion – Modjeska Monteith Simkins House
Built in the 1890s, Civil Rights icon Modjeska Monteith Simkins lived here around 1932 to 1992.
1403 Richland – Mann-Simons Cottage
This is one of the few houses in Columbia owned by an African American in Antebellum times.
1601 Richland – Seibels House
This may be Columbia’s oldest standing house. Part of it is supposed to date back to 1796. It’s current look is from the 1920’s and is one many renovations it’s had.
How to Get There:
The Robert Mills District is in downtown Columbia. The district is on the east and west side of US76/Bull Street. A good starting point is the Robert Mills House. From Bull Street, go east one block on Blanding Street.
What’s Close By:
Historic Main Street
SC State House and Complex