Kaminski House Museum

The Kaminski House Museum’s trees are decorated each year with beautiful, soft, dangly white lights. The lawn will be lit on Saturday, Nov. 16, 2019. 

The Kaminski House Museum is having a 250th anniversary party, and everyone’s invited.

Festivities, which began back in July, include a celebratory cruise on Oct. 6 and an official anniversary/birthday party Nov. 16.

The Designer Showcase will be open from Nov. 18 – Dec. 31, and Candlelight Tours will be held Dec. 5 and Dec. 12.

And, Saturday, Dec. 21 will be Family Night at the iconic location.

Built in the mid-18th Century, the Kaminski House, at 1003 Front St. in Georgetown, overlooks the Sampit River.

Originally built by merchant Paul Trapier, the museum, which was built as a home, passed to his daughter Elizabeth, then to her niece, then to various other owners and was eventually bought by Harold and Julia Kaminski in 1931.

Harold Kaminski, who served as mayor of Georgetown, was the son of merchant Heiman Kaminski, and his wife was the daughter of John Pyatt, also a prominent resident.

While the Kaminskis owned the home, bathrooms were installed for every bedroom and off the downstairs library.

The dining room and drawing room were extended by closing in porches. Second-floor bedrooms were enlarged and a balcony was added.

The Kaminskis also oversaw the original cypress clapboard siding being covered with a brick façade.

The family willed the home to the City of Georgetown in 1972, and today, according to www.kaminskimuseum.org, “the elegant interior is notable for its outstanding collection of American and European antiques from the 18th and 19th Centuries.”

A museum shop, which carries local arts and crafts, helps support the Kaminski House Museum which offers regular tours of the historic structure.

For more information about the Kaminski House Museum, which is open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday – Saturday, visit the website or call 843-546-7706.

Deputy director Kim Leatherwood said, “The 250th anniversary celebration will be a very special event.”

She said whether it has been the venue when someone got married, or whether the lawn served as the backdrop for high school prom pictures, the Kaminski House is filled with wonderful memories.

“Even for people who don’t live in the area, the Kaminski House is part of so many people’s childhood.”

Kaminski House Birthday Cruise

On Sunday, Oct. 6, at 4 p.m., guests will board the Carolina Rover at the CCU dock for an excursion to Hobcaw Barony with a special presentation by Coordinator of Public Engagement Lee Brockington.

The $60 event will include light hors d’oeuvres served at the Hobcaw House, and after the return cruise, champagne and birthday cake will be enjoyed on the Kaminski House lawn or porch, depending on the weather.

Light Up the Lawn Birthday Party

The official Light Up the Lawn 250th birthday party on Saturday, Nov. 16 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. will be, Leatherwood said, “a very special evening that will include the local Andrew Thielen Big Band, and dancing under the oaks is expected.

Wood brick pizza from Landolfi’s will be available for $5 for children under 12 and $15 for adults and children 13 and older.

This year, when the switch is flipped to open the event, it will include what the deputy director described as “beautiful, soft, dangly white lights in the trees.”

Designer Holiday Showcase/Candlelight Tour

“For the past several years, we have been fortunate enough to have had fabulous home décor specialists and interior designers come to the museum and select rooms they’ve decorated for the Designer Holiday Showcase, and it’s been spectacular,” Leatherwood said.

The Designer Holiday Showcase will open Monday, Nov. 18, and continue through Tuesday, Dec. 31, with tours offered Monday – Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m.

Special Candlelight Tours will be held Dec. 5 and Dec. 12 at 5:30 p.m., with special entertainment both evenings.

Those tours are $10 for members and $15 for non-members.

Candy Cane Express

“On Saturday, Dec. 21, we wrap up our Designer Holiday Showcase with a special family night that features the Candy Cane Express,” Leatherwood said.

The decorated tram tour includes hot cocoa, cookies and a scavenger hunt for the little ones.

That event, from 4-6 p.m., is $5 for adults who are with their children, with children under 12 free.

“That’s a great time to get away from the phone and the computer and connect with holiday fun instead,” Leatherwood said.

Along with personal wedding and prom memories, there is tremendous interest in the Kaminski House Museum because people are so interested in local history, Leatherwood said.

Visitors ask about the architecture of the building and about the magnificent antiques it houses.

“We have excellent story tellers, and our visitors want to know that history,” she said.

One of the most frequent questions visitors ask about the Kaminski house involves the joggling board on its porch.

Leatherwood explained that couples would sit on opposite sides of the board with a chaperone between them.

“A good chaperone would find an errand to do so the couple could joggle themselves together until the chaperone came back and separated them,” she said.

“Even our oak trees, that are still standing after the Civil War and all our hurricanes are interesting to people.

“They’re majestic and symbolic of the low country and how lucky we are to live here. We take it for granted but visitors are blown away by how beautiful it is here.”

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I'm the assistant editor of the Carolina Forest Chronicle. I write news and business features. Have a great story idea? Please call me at 843-602-9306.

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