Old Capitol Museum Spotlights Women in Preservation

The Old Capitol in Jackson, the Old Court House in Vicksburg, and the Natchez Trace Parkway exist today thanks to the preservation efforts of Mississippi women. The new exhibit Petitions, Protests, and Patriotism: Mississippi Women in Preservation, 1890–1950 at the Old Capitol Museum, March 16–May 9, explores the impact women had on the early preservation movement in Mississippi.

The program “Queen of the Natchez Trace” opens the exhibit on Tuesday, March 16, at 11 a.m. Past president of the Natchez Trace Parkway Association Dot Ward discusses the work of the “Queen of the Natchez Trace,” Roane Fleming Byrnes, whose life work was the preservation and promotion of the Trace.

Using a variety of photos and documents the exhibit follows eight Mississippi women and organizations who worked to save historic buildings and landmarks across the state. “For instance, Miss Charlie Compton in Natchez courageously fought to save the historic City Hall and Market from demolition in the 1920s, and today the Historic Natchez Foundation's annual preservation award is named for her,” said Old Capitol Museum director Clay Williams. “We want to highlight the efforts of these extraordinary women who were instrumental in launching the preservation movement in Mississippi.”

The Old Capitol, Jackson’s oldest building, is a National Historic Landmark. Located on State Street at Capitol, the museum’s regular hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday, free of charge. The Old Capitol is a museum of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History. For more information call 601-576-6920 or see the Web site.

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