Arriving at the Kaminski House Museum as a tour bus full of people empties onto the grounds, it's hard to imagine that the historic antebellum home is struggling for money.
A line winds through the small gift shop, there's not an open bench to be found outside and when the crowd clears, museum director Cindi Kinder looks at the receipts with a smile.
But the city of Georgetown is considering cutting off the around $200,000 the museum receives from the city's hospitality and accommodations tax fund because it isn't earning enough outside revenue.
According to the current year's budget, the museum has brought in about $22,000 in revenue from tours and sales.
But Kinder said she often is the only one at the house when tours pull in. She said she was lucky on Thursday that one of the three part-time employees happened to be working when the large bus pulled in.
"Normally I have to close the gift shop and do the tour," she said.
The Kaminski House is one of about 60 antebellum homes in Georgetown, where such historic buildings are a main draw for visitors.
It was built by merchant Paul Trapier, who by 1750 was one of the wealthiest merchants in the colonies, according to the museum's history.
In 1931 it was purchased by Harold and Julia Kaminski and upon her death in 1972, she bequeathed the house, land and furnishings to the city as a museum in memory of her husband. Harold Kaminski had served as mayor and is credited with helping develop the Coast Highway and improve the Intracoastal Waterway.
The Friends of the Kaminski House met earlier this week to review ideas to make the Kaminski, and associated Stewart-Parker House, more profitable and keep the city invested in the homes.
The ideas presented at that meeting range from advertising more with wedding-related businesses to holding more special events and fundraisers for the homes.
But the biggest idea involves re-branding the two homes, including possibly renaming them the Trapier-Kaminski and Stewart-Parker Historic Homes.
Going from a "museum" to a "historic home" could prevent confusion with visitors, said board member Peter Mitchell.
"Museum has a certain connotation in peoples' minds," Mitchell said. "The focus is on the exhibits ... but a home is much more intimate, more personal than a museum."
He said the idea is to "brand what we are, which is two fabulous historic homes."
But, he said, at this point it's just ideas.
"We may do a marketing study and it may show that it's confusing to people," he said. "It's an idea we're examining."
Apart from those ideas, Kinder said she is hoping that the increased awareness about the houses will mean more volunteers.
"People said to me at the meeting 'I didn't know there was a Friends group for the house,'" she said. "We need to fix that."
She hopes that more volunteers will mean more tour guides and more gift shop sales, which would increase their overall revenue.
Will the homes have to close if the city cuts off the funding? Kinder said she doesn't know.
The board of directors for the Friends of the Kaminski House will present their plan for making the two homes more profitable at the City Council meeting April 21.