New Discovery

On November 5, 2013, in Manship House, by mjones

Sometimes, the smallest thing can lead to an exciting new discovery.  Since the Manship House first opened as a museum in 1982, the back porch walls, ceiling, and door frames were all painted a cream color, the same color used for the exterior trim. Recently, a scrape on the back porch door frame uncovered what appeared to be a dark color hidden underneath layers of the cream colored paint.  A small section of the paint was carefully removed from the door frame, exposing mahogany graining underneath, a detail that had previously not been known.  Small sections of all the other door frames were also investigated, and indicated that all the door frames had been grained in imitation of mahogany, to match the doors.  This new discovery provides additional insight on how Charles Henry Manship decorated his home, and will help to guide future restoration efforts.

Manship House back porch.

Mahogany graining underneath layers of paint on door frame.




On October 28, 2013, in Manship House, by mjones

Charles Henry Manship used his skill as a decorative painter on most of the wood elements throughout the Manship House.  Pine doors were painted to look like mahogany, dining room walls were painted in imitation of a paneled oak room, mantels imitate marble, and baseboards were painted to look like slate, mahogany, and oak.  During the foundation repair project, new baseboards were fabricated and installed around several chimneys.  The new baseboards required the skills of fifth generation master-grainer Malcolm Robson, to recreate those originally done by Manship.  Baseboards in the dining room imitate a wide mahogany base with an oak cap.  The new baseboards were primed in pink and gold colors, and a glaze layer applied to imitate a basic wood grain.  The next glaze layer added the distinctive figuring characteristic of mahogany and oak.  Varnish was then applied for durability and luster.

The baseboard painted in base colors.

Next, a glaze layer is applied to imitate a basic oak and mahogany wood grain.

Master-grainer Malcolm Robson applies the figuring layer to the mahogany baseboard.


Fire Bell

On October 14, 2013, in Manship House, by mjones

The old Jackson Fire Company No. 1 fire bell.

On May 1, 1839, a group of citizens met at the home of Charles Henry Manship and organized Jackson Fire Company No. 1, the first volunteer fire company in the young city of Jackson.  The company’s motto was “always ready.”  Two fire engines were soon purchased, and in 1852 the Legislature appropriated funds to construct an engine house on the north end of Capitol Square.  After completion of the fire house, the city purchased a large new bell to replace the old bell which was too small to be heard beyond the downtown area.  Manufactured in Troy, New York in 1854, this bell served as the fire bell for the Jackson Fire Company No. 1 for many years.  The bell was used not only to warn of fires, but also to alert the city of important events.  In 1861, the bell rang out when Mississippi seceded from the Union.  The bell was in active use until the fire alarm came into vogue in the early 1890s, and was no longer needed.  In 1894, members of Jackson Fire Company No. 1 unanimously voted to present the bell to Charles Henry Manship, the last living member of the original fire company.  The bell was installed on the Old Capitol grounds for a number of years, and was again used to signal special events such as the end of World War I.  On November 12, 1918, the Daily Clarion-Ledger reported that the people of Jackson spent the entire day celebrating the end of war:

...The blowing of the whistles and ringing of the bells, the locomotives having joined in, made sleep impossible.  Nobody wanted to sleep, and before day light, the “Manship girls,” had reached the old capitol and began furious ringing of the “Liberty Bell,” that hangs in front of the restored old capitol, and which was presented to their father by the old volunteer fire department over twenty-five years ago…

Some years later, the bell was placed on a large pedestal on the south lawn of the Manship House, and was moved to its present location behind the Manship House during the 1980 restoration.

Source: McCain, William D. The Story of Jackson. (A History of the Capital of Mississippi, 1821-1951). Jackson, Mississippi: J. F. Hyer Publishing Company, 1953.



The 1875 Mississippi State Fair

On October 7, 2013, in Manship House, by mjones

Adaline Manship

The Mississippi State Fair has been a popular event in Jackson since 1859.  In 1875, Charles Henry and Adaline Manship entered several competitions at the Mississippi State Fair.  Both received awards, as reported in the Weekly Clarion, November 24, 1875.  In the category for painting, hair work, wax work, etc., “Best ornamental sign painting, (a business directory of the city of Jackson), C. H. Manship, highly meritorious, and diploma recommended.”  In the preserves, pickles, jellies, wines, etc., category,  for “Best half bushel dried peaches, Mrs. C. H. Manship, Jackson, three dollars.”  Also receiving an award that year, was Mrs. L. Manship (probably Lucretia Manship, wife of son David Manship), for “Best hair flowers and wreath, Mrs. L. Manship, Jackson, ten dollars special premium by J. S. Barfield.”


Before and After

On September 30, 2013, in Manship House, by mjones

Manship House side porch before foundation repair.

This view of the Manship House side porch prior to foundation repair, shows how seriously out of level the structure had become.  Over the years, the unstable Yazoo clay caused the foundation to shift over thirteen inches out of level.  Now that the foundation repair has been completed, the house has been successfully stabilized and is level once again.

After foundation repair.


New Roof

On September 16, 2013, in Manship House, by mjones

Removing the damaged shingles.

Installing the new cedar shingles.

The installation of the new cedar roof is now underway at the Manship House Museum.  Last March, a powerful hailstorm hit Jackson, causing extensive damage throughout the area.  Windows in the Manship House and Visitors Center were broken, paint chipped off exterior surfaces, and cedar shingles on the nearly completed roof were split and broken.  The roof sustained substantial damage and required replacement.

The old shingles are removed in sections, as the new cedar shingles are installed.  New copper flashing replaces the hail damaged flashing around chimneys and in gutters.  The roof will look much like it would have when the house was constructed in 1857.


Silver Cake

On September 9, 2013, in Manship House, by mjones

Mrs. Mary Barrow’s recipe for silver cake. Call Number Z/1129.000, MDAH Collection.

Travelers in the nineteenth century often took food along on their journeys.  As the Manships prepared to depart for their trip abroad, family friend Mrs. Mary Barrows sent a cake for them to eat on their long voyage to Scotland.   On the reverse side of the recipe for silver cake, Mrs. Barrows wrote the following note to Mrs. Manship:

Mrs. C. H. Manship

At Home

Mrs. Manship

     As you seemed to like my cake the other evening, I send you one made by the same recipe, for your lunch; hoping it will be acceptable.

     With many good wishes for a pleasant voyage, I am

Very sincerely

Your Friend

Mary M. Barrows

May 19th 1874


A Visit to Minnesota

On September 3, 2013, in Manship House, by mjones

Charles Henry Manship, Jr. Call number Z/1129.000 MDAH Collection.

Charles Henry and Adaline Manship arrived in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 31st, 1874, just days after the birth of a new granddaughter.  They spent the next two weeks enjoying the company of their oldest son and family, and visiting some of the local attractions.  Early in the morning on September 15th, they boarded the train for home, and arrived in Jackson late in the evening September 17th, weary, but happy to see their own family after a long journey abroad.  Charles Henry Manship continued writing daily journal entries until they reached home.

Monday, Aug 31st 1874

…Arrived at St Paul at 5 20 oclock P.M. where taking cab were soon in company with our son Charly & drove to his home where we found his wife in bed with a Daughter 4 days old.  Each of them being as proud of it as young parents usually get to be on such occasions.  After a good wash had tea & early to bed for a good nights rest something we had been strangers to for quite a time.

Monday Sept 14th 1874

Was occupied in making our preparations for our early start next day for our home having calls to make & to receive ocupying most of the day.  Lizzie & Mrs. F coming up in the evening with Luncheon for our travels which was very nice…

Wednesday Morning Sept 16th 1874

Found us at 7 oclock at the beautiful city of Chicago beautiful in her Ruins and Mortgages.  Mortgages covering in all probability every cents-worth of property in her great limits.  Still Chicago is the Queen City of the Earth, the Style & Grandeur of her buildings almost defies competition.  Our transit through the city carried us directly thro the old Burnt district and reminded me of the sad appearance of our own doomed little city of Jackson after our Northern brethren had paid us their friendly visits during the late unpleasantness, So called

Thursday Morning Sept. 17th 1874

Found us on the south side of the line in Kentucky, on the Mississippi Central RR all along which road to Jackson the blighted and terabil drouth had done its work, most effectually leaving the husbandman scarcely any fruits of his toil, it was indeed sickening…

…at 10 oclock & 40 minutes brought us to anchor at our Station at Jackson where our Girls & some few friends were in waiting & after a hearty embrace started for home, awoke the children and had a kiss around a cup of tea & at 1/2 past 12 went to bed & had a good nights rest

End of journal entries.


Arriving at New York

On August 26, 2013, in Manship House, by mjones

Stereoview of New York City from East River Bridge.

The Manships traveled aboard the Utopia, reaching New York City after a twelve day journey at sea from Glasgow, Scotland.  After spending one night in New York, they traveled by rail to Niagara Falls and continued on to Chicago, where they admired the new buildings constructed after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.  Charles Henry and Adaline sent Kate home on the train, and continued on toward St. Paul, Minnesota to visit their son and new grandchild.  Charles Henry described their travels in his journal:

Thursday Aug 27th 1874

Found us at quarenteens at the port of New York all well.  We put at the Pacific Hotel where we stopped on our outward bound trip.  Got good airy front rooms.  Went up to Glewarts in the afternoon & made some purchases was at home to tea & early to bed having lost much rest the later days of the voyage.  Had a good nights rest & was much refreshed thereby.

Friday Aug 28th 1874

Went up & bought my tickets and after attending to some little business returned to our room & completed packing up preparatory to a start at 7 oclock P.M. by Erie Rail Road through by way of Niagara Falls & Canada taking RR Coach at Jersey City at Seven oclock PM

Saturday Aug 29th 1874

After a hard nights run and abortive efforts to sleep, reached Niagara Falls & crossed Suspension Bridge in full view of all the falls but at such a distance as to listen very greatly the grandeur of the Scene.  Changing Coach for Detroit again under way & the P.M. reaching Detroit at 10 P.M. without change of car for Chicago where we arrived at 8 oclock next morning all well.

Sunday Aug 30th 1874

Went to Hotel & at 8 1/2 oclock took breakfast went to our room washed up a little and made an effort to rest.  Not very successful however.  I took a strole for an hour through what is called the old burnt district, now generally replaced by for the most part Magnificent buildings I have seen in Europe or America indeed Chicago is unsurpassed as far as splendor & quantity of fine buildings all considered.  In the afternoon my wife Kate & myself had another strole around the city for over an hour and were amazed at the truly grand display in architecture on every hand.  Returned to our hotel, had Tea and at 8 oclock PM seated Kate on train for Home.  Wife and Self taking 10 oclock train for St Paul.


At Sea Aboard the Utopia

On August 19, 2013, in Manship House, by mjones

Nineteenth century stereoview of men on deck.

The Manships departed from Glasgow Saturday, August 15, 1874, aboard the ship Utopia, bound for New York.  Their journey began with waves “running to mountainous proportions,” for the first few days, as Charles Henry Manship described in his journal.  The rough sea caused many to become seasick, including Adaline and Kate Manship.  They passed the time playing games and discussing issues of the day, and often ended the evenings with music and singing around the piano.  Manship described the journey in his journal:

Monday Aug 24th 1874

Off the Banks of Newfoundland.  Smooth sea but long heavy swell wind from S.E. light & balmy.  Sun refused to arise clear this morning at 9 1/2 oclock.  Commenced raining all have a locked up some playing checkers some chess & others writing up their travels.  Kate better this morning & out to breakfast but tooth still aching.  A child of one of the steerage passengers died today and berried soon after sunset, we were out at the funeral in the rain a short prayer by Rev. Mr Scott and the poor little child was let down into the great ocean.  We are within 48 hours run now of N. York of course all anxious for the end of the voyage.  The voyagers with very few exceptions are quite agreeable & the time has been passed rather pleasantly.

Tuesday Aug 25th 1874

Sun arose bright and beautiful this morning with light wind from N.W. all sail spread & a light sea.  Everybody cheerful and anxious to see the shore.  Kate still quite bad with the tooth ache.  Not out to breakfast up to lunch and feeling better passed up to 4 p.m. 5 ships.  Mother Careys chickens [storm petrels] in quantities are following our ship today all the passengers out the day being bright and pleasant this the first day the birds have followed us.  At 3 1/2 oclock a little sparrow came on board & is flying about the rigging, much to the amusement of the little children & indeed every body seems happy except Kate who is still tormented to some extent with her tooth.