A newly dedicated garden terrace and an annual blast of a concert next week have crews at the Kaminski House Museum, one of Georgetown’s stately landmarks, excited this summer.
The Friends of the Kaminski House have dedicated the Kossove Garden Terrace at the former residence, 1003 Front St., which was built in about 1769. Nearby on the lawn, the Indigo Choral Society will present its 21st annual Independence Day Concert, 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, on the museum lawn, always a free gift to the public. In case of rain, the concert will move two blocks north to Winyah Auditorium, 1200 Highmarket St.
The chorale’s concert this year will include patriotic tunes, classic arrangements of American folk songs, as well as some Disney and Broadway hits, all with Lee Brockington, a historian, author, and longtime senior interpreter at Hobcaw Barony, as master of ceremonies. Then, watch the Georgetown city fireworks, at 9 p.m. downtown over Winyah Bay.
Kim Leatherwood, the museum’s assistant director, walked over some details about how the garden terrace, and the Indigo Choral Society’s holiday tradition, each add special ways to step back in history.
Q: The Kaminski House Museum’s outdoor environs along the Sampit River already were so engaging – even for a walk on a chilly, wintry December day – even before the dedication on April 27 of the Kossove Garden Terrace. How does having this renewal of the garden and riverside of the house only add to the charm and aura from a visit to this landmark on Georgetown’s Front Street?
A: Downtown Georgetown on the waterfront is one of the best-kept secrets in the Lowcountry of South Carolina. Quaint specialty shops, art galleries and antique shops line the waterfront. Diners have a variety of downtown eateries to select from, or they might opt for a tour on a trolley with Swamp Fox Tours or on one of the riverboats headed out to the lighthouse or Shell Island. The walking ghost tours downtown are another favorite activity for tourists.
Farther down Front Street, the Kaminski House Museum and the Stewart-Parker House offer visitors a glimpse of the rich history of Georgetown as a significant port city. You can stand under the grove of oak trees in the museum’s new terrace, overlooking the Sampit River, and get a real sense of the past. This is a special place where time stands still, and the love story of Harold and Julia Kaminski lives on as docents at the museum retell the story of the couple’s enduring romance to our guests each day.
Q: How long did the garden improvements take for completion, since the initial donation from Kathryn and David Kossove?
A: From start to finish, construction took several months. It was completed in two phases. We were fundraising for about a year for the project. The Kossoves were kind enough to give us the incentive of a 1-on-1 match for the project.
Q: What has changed in the view that the home’s final resident, Julia Pyatt Kaminski, might have had before her death in 1972?
A: Julia Kaminski’s side garden was designed by noted Charleston landscape architect Loutrell Briggs, and much of that design can be seen in the current garden. The current view of the garden enhances the structural bones of the Briggs design and has added the brick and slate to the new Kossove Garden Terrace.
Q: In what functions might the gardens shine? Are some weddings or other special events booked? Might garden clubs or arts organizations stage any outings there?
A: We opened the Kossove Garden Terrace in late 2016. The venue has quickly become a popular addition to our wedding sites, with four rentals this past spring. We added solar lanterns in the trees and fairy lights in the bushes to give couples a magical setting for their once-in-a-lifetime event. The terrace is the perfect venue for not-for-profit organizations to have annual meetings, fundraisers or special events. The venue offers a unique picturesque setting surrounded by oak trees on the banks of the Sampit River.
Q: This garden will only add to the activities outside at Kaminski House, beside the “Made in the Shade” free concert series lawnside, which this year will celebrate as usual, an annual Independence Day concert with the Indigo Choral Society. What has made this Fourth of July tradition part of Georgetown's own innovative, special way to meld history, scenery and patriotic melodies?
A: Independence Day is a special celebration in Georgetown that showcases the town’s history and patriotism on the lawn of the Kaminski House Museum in a sea of red, white and blue. It’s just not the Fourth of July without a performance of the Indigo Choral Society on the lawn. Highlights of the concert will include a color guard, and songs from the America genre with a special salute to our armed forces. So, bring your chairs, blankets and picnic baskets, and join us.
Contact Steve Palisin at 843-444-1764.
If you go
WHAT: “Made in the Shade” concert series, for free on lawn, with
▪ 21st annual Independence Day Concert by Indigo Choral Society, 7-8:30 p.m. Tuesday, – in case of rain, concert moves to Winyah Auditorium, 1200 Highmarket St. – before Georgetown city fireworks, 9 p.m. downtown over Winyah Bay (www.historicgeorgetownsc.com).
▪ “Jazz Under the Oaks,” featuring Denny Hess Trio and Georgetown’s own Kevin Jayroe, 2 p.m. Oct. 29.
WHERE: Kaminski House Museum, 1003 Front St., Georgetown.
GUIDED TOURS: Of museum and adjoining Stewart-Parker House, 11 a.m., and 1 and 3 p.m., Mondays-Saturdays, or by reservation, for $12 ages 18-64, $10 ages 65 and older, $7 ages 6-17, and free ages 5 and younger.
MUSEUM SHOP OPEN: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays.
▪ Museum – 843-546-7706 or www.kaminskimuseum.org