Mann-Simons Site and Outdoor Museum

1403 Richland ST

Columbia, SC 29201

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Phone: (803) 252-7742

City: Columbia

Region: Midlands

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Mann-Simons Site and Outdoor Museum

This property was home, work place, spiritual center and a source of pride for members of the same African American family from 1843 to 1970. Freed blacks Celia Mann and Ben Delane laid the foundation that allowed their family to pursue a variety of entrepreneurial and social undertakings. Although only one house stands today, the Mann-Simons Site & Outdoor Museum was a collection of commercial and domestic spaces. Outside, “ghost structures,” frames of buildings that once stood on the site, represent a lunch counter, grocery store, outhouse and residences, accompanied by interactive interpretative signage. This outdoor museum is a first for South Carolina and one of a handful of its kind nationwide. Inside, the museum explores the family’s entrepreneurial endeavors during the late 1890s through 1920s. A multi-year archeological excavation was completed in February 2012, uncovering more than 60,000 artifacts, many of which are on display inside the house.

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