Exploring History: A Tour of the Woodrow Wilson Family Home in Columbia, SC

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The Woodrow Wilson Family Home in Columbia, SC offers a unique opportunity to step back in time and explore the Reconstruction Era of American history. As the childhood home of the 28th President of the United States, the Woodrow Wilson House has been meticulously restored to reflect the historical period in which it was built.

Visitors can learn about the Wilson family’s life in Columbia during this time and gain a deeper understanding of the political and social issues that shaped the country in the aftermath of the Civil War. One Kidding Around Columbia reader, Jen H., took her family to the Woodrow Wilson Family Home. Here’s what she thought about the tour.

The Woodrow Wilson Family Home and Robert Mills House
Robert Mills House, Photo Credit: Jennifer H.

History of the Woodrow Wilson Home

Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President of the United State, lived in this home in downtown Columbia as a child. His parents built the house during the height of Reconstruction in 1871.

While the home has changed ownership several times since 1874, it currently belongs to Historic Columbia who turned the home into the Museum of the Reconstruction Era. It serves as a reminder of this time and how we can connect it to current events.

The Woodrow Wilson Family Home
The Woodrow Wilson Family Home, Photo Credit: Jennifer H.

Mom Review: Bringing Kids to Woodrow Wilson Family Home

KACOLA reader, Jen H. shares her visit to the Woodrow Wilson Family Home

Register for Historic Columbia Tours

I gathered up my family and headed to the Woodrow Wilson Family Home for a tour of the Era of Reconstruction Museum.

We registered for the tour at the Gift Shop at the Robert Mills house. (All Historic Columbia tours begin here). The kids explored and ran around the gardens as we waited for our tour to start. It’s such a beautiful area with a rich history to boot, and it was fun to imagine what certain spaces were once used for.

The Woodrow Wilson Family Home Tour and Museum of the Reconstruction Era

The tour begins at the Gift Shop. It’s a walking tour, and the Woodrow Wilson House is about a block from the Gift Shop, so be sure everyone in the family wears comfortable shoes. 

The Woodrow Wilson House is beautiful. Our tour guide was knowledgeable about the surrounding area and how the Wilsons’ story fits into the history of Columbia.

The interior of the home has been turned into a museum that explains the Era of Reconstruction in the South—the time period after the Civil War ended.

When you head upstairs, you enter Woodrow’s childhood home. Taking a look out the window allows you to imagine how the view has changed over the years.

The Woodrow Wilson Family Home
The Woodrow Wilson Family Home, Photo Credits: Jennifer H.

Throughout the entire hour-long tour, you’ll be able to sit on benches located in some of the rooms but be prepared to be on your feet for most of the time.

Who will enjoy the Woodrow Wilson Family Home Tour with Historic Columbia?

The tour is a great outing for older children 6 and above. Younger children may not find it interesting, but there’s enough for them to look at (don’t touch!) to keep them entertained for a bit. My 9 year old really enjoyed the tour and asked some really thoughtful questions (our tour guide was so happy to answer these!). My 4 year old was a little bored with all the talking but found things to keep her attention.

Overall, touring the Woodrow Wilson House was a great experience and way to spend our morning in Columbia!

Tickets for Historic Columbia Tours

Tickets can be purchased online at the Historic Columbia website or on-site.

Tickets cost $12 for adults, $8 for youth ages 6 -12. Discounts are available for students, active military, AAA members, and seniors.

More Homes to Explore

Historic Columbia also offers tours of the following historic homes in Columbia, SC:

  • Hampton-Preston Mansion and Gardens
  • Robert Mills House & Gardens
  • Journey to Freedom Tour- includes the Mann-Simons Site and Modjeska Monteith Simkins House

Free Historic Columbia Tours

If you’re interested in exploring and touring other historical homes and grounds in Columbia, be sure to check out your options.

The Museum of the Reconstruction Era at the Woodrow Wilson Family Home
1705 Hampton Street
Columbia, SC 29210

Tours are available Wednesday-Saturday at 10:30 am and Sundays at 1:30 pm.

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Shannon Pruitt
About the Author
Shannon moved to the Upstate after college, and other than a brief few years in Florida, has stayed. A former teacher, she is now the mom of one beautiful girl and works from home as a writer, web designer, and brand strategist. She believes tacos don't have to be reserved for Tuesdays, shamelessly listens to crime podcasts, and fuels herself on a daily cup of coffee (or two). You can find her on Instagram @shannonroyalpruitt

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