Woodrow Wilson’s Boyhood Home

Come on a walk around tour with me while we visit the boyhood home of the United States’ 28th president, Woodrow Wilson.  Located in Columbia, South Carolina, this historic home was just re-opened to the public after undergoing a major restoration project.  Just look at it now!

Woodrow Wilson home Columbia South Carolina

This Queen Anne Victorian style house was built in 1871, but was only home to the Wilson family for about three years.  “Tommy” Wilson, as President Wilson was called in his boyhood, moved to North Carolina when his father, a doctor, took a position there in 1874.

The house now belongs to Historic Columbia Foundation, and is on the National Register of Historic Places.  HCF had to close the house to public tours in 2005 when structural issues had to be addressed.  Reopened in February 2014, the house is available for tours and events.

I just loved this beautiful front door.  A double door!  And notice the circular detail on the lattice surrounding the porch.  The paint colors were carefully studied during the restoration and returned to the original colors.

Woodrow Wilson home Columbia South Carolina


The photo below is the right side of the house.  You can see the front porch on the far left.  Wouldn’t it be fun to play on that balcony above the bay window, as a child?  I thought the door on the right was interesting, having full-length shutters that actually close.

Woodrow Wilson home Columbia South Carolina


This view is the left side of the house.  No balcony over here.

Woodrow Wilson home Columbia South Carolina


Another view of the left side of the house, and the rear of the house.  I just love that covered porch on the second story.  That’s where I would spend all my free time if I lived here!  Notice how much more plain the rear of the home is.  No bay windows or balconies here.  Expensive details like that were always saved for the public side of the house, much as we usually do today.

Woodrow Wilson home Columbia South Carolina


One detail I love on older homes that I SO wish were still used on modern homes is real, functional shutters, and shutter dogs.  Yes, the shutters on this house actually open and close, a nice feature in the very hot South Carolina summers, not to mention when hurricanes roll through.  Here is a shutter dog waiting to be used:

Woodrow Wilson home Columbia South Carolina


On the window just above, on the second floor, you can see a shutter dog in use, holding the shutter open:

Woodrow Wilson home Columbia South Carolina


One more detail I wanted to share with you are these pretty little rosettes within the brackets at the roof line.  If your monitor is dark they might be hard to see, but they’re there.  Brackets are a common feature of Victorian architecture.


Woodrow Wilson home Columbia South Carolina

Victorian architecture factoid:  one way to tell the difference between a Queen Anne Victorian home and an Italianate Victorian home (another Victorian sub-style) is that Queen Anne’s have single brackets, like the Woodrow Wilson home, and Italianate’s have double brackets, grouped along the roof line in little pairs.

Thanks so much for joining me in this little walk around of the Woodrow Wilson Home today.  Stay tuned, because soon I’ll be sharing the house right next door – and it’s even more elaborate than this one!  It has chimneys that look like they’re from a storybook, or a gingerbread house!

Woodrow Wilson home Columbia South Carolina



Welcome to those of you joining from any of these fine link-ups! I hope you’ll stick around a while.

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15 thoughts on “Woodrow Wilson’s Boyhood Home

  1. Hi, Dawn!! Thank you for the tour! You had me at the gorgeous DOUBLE door in the front!! I want that door!!!! Were you able to go on one of the indoor tours? Enjoyed your info about the “shutter dogs”——always learn something from you! Take care, Rosie

  2. Thank you for sharing this lovely historic home. Don’t you just wish that walls could talk, what story’s they could tell. I love visiting and touring historical homes and you make it possible to see some that I probably would not have the chance to see and some that I never even knew about.

  3. This home in so beautiful. I love to visit historic homes and this one is wonderful. I love the arches doors and the wonderful working stutters. Thank you so much for sharing these home tours. I love them.

  4. Loved seeing this wonderful home of Pres. Woodrow. The door is amazing! Love the shutters and the brackets. Thanks for sharing it with SYC.

  5. As a Virginian born and reared, I was taken aback by your title of Woodrow Wilson’s boyhood home. I was taught in 4th grade Virgina history that Virginia was the mother of presidents and Wilson was one of those. I was so intrigued by your post that I had to check myself. He was born in Staunton, VA in 1856, lived in Augusta, GA for a time before living in Columbia from 1870-1874. I think I will have to share him after all. Thanks for the interesting post.

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