Hampton Preston House – Columbia, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | Richland County Photos | Hampton Preston House
The Hampton Preston House, located at 1615 Blanding Street in Columbia, was built in 1818 by local merchant Ainsley Hall. Hall soon sold the house to Wade Hampton, whose third wife, Mary Cantey, filled the property with extravagant gardens. After Hampton’s death, the house passed to his daughter, Caroline Preston. She and her husband John doubled its size.
When Sherman made his devastating march through Columbia, burning most of the city to the ground, this house was spared due to a clever and quick-thinking nun. Sister Bapista Lynch implored Sherman to spare the house so that she could use it as a convent, and he did.
The house was eventually sold and passed between several educational institutions. The gardens were bulldozed in 1947, and much of the land was sold off for development. The Hampton Preston House was refurbished in 1970 and is now the centerpiece of the Midlands Tricentennial Exposition Center.
SCIWAY thanks David Asiamah of Columbia for submitting this photo, which he took in November 2009.