Museums & Historic Sites

Accession Number: 2001.31.1 (Museum of Mississippi History Collection)

This rare twenty star flag from the collection of the Museum of Mississippi History was made in 1818. The twenty star pattern United States flag was created after Mississippi’s entry into the Union as the twentieth state today in 1817. This pattern flag was only made for one year because a star was added to the flag when Illinois became a state in 1818.

Artifacts in the collection of the Museum of Mississippi History are available for viewing by appointment only. Please contact Cindy Gardner, Director of Collections or Nan Prince, Asst. Director of Collections by email to schedule an appointment.

Don’t forget about the second annual Statehood Day Celebration, featuring former governor William F. Winter, at the Old Capitol Museum today! Program starts at noon, with reception to follow. See a large photo version of the twenty star flag at the program! Call 601-576-6920 for more information.

Today’s post comes from guest blogger Clay Williams, director of the Old Capitol Museum.

Statehood Day, House Chamber, Old Capitol Museum, 2009

MDAH Director H.T. Holmes and featured speaker Governor Haley Barbour. Statehood Day, Old Capitol Museum, 2009.

On December 10, 1817, President James Monroe signed the joint resolution from Congress admitting Mississippi as the twentieth state. Mississippi’s road from a federal territory to statehood was a turbulent one, but after nearly twenty years, Mississippi had become a part of the Union.

The Old Capitol Museum proudly celebrates Mississippi’s 193rd birthday by hosting the second annual Statehood Day. On December 10 at noon in the historic House of Representatives Chamber, former governor William F. Winter will speak on this momentous occasion.  Governor Winter is the perfect choice for this presentation due to his perspective as a former governor and his tenure as the longtime president of the MDAH Board of Trustees. 

The Old Capitol’s over 170 years of history also provides the perfect setting to discuss Mississippi’s past, present, and future. The Old Capitol Museum looks forward to hosting this event and joining its citizens in wishing Mississippi a happy birthday!

Located on State Street at Capitol, the Old Capitol 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. For more information, please call 601-576-6920 or email the Old Capitol.

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Decorating at the Winter Building, November 30, 2010

Museum division staff decorate the historic Christmas trees in the lobby

The holiday season has arrived at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building! Here’s a look at the decorations sprouting up all over the place.

Christmas decorations in library, 2010

The Reference Library has extra security for the holidays!

Library Christmas decorations, 2010

Decorations in the library

Come by tonight for the Old Jackson Christmas by Candlelight tour and see the decorations, as well as holiday decor at the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, Mississippi State Capitol, and Old Capitol Museum. Tours are tonight only from 4:30-8:30 p.m.
Musical entertainment is scheduled at the Governor’s Mansion, State Capitol, Old Capitol Museum, and Winter Building. Historic holiday film footage will be shown at the Winter Building. Refreshments will be available at the Governor’s Mansion and the Old Capitol Museum.

Shuttle buses will run between sites approximately every 5 minutes. Visitors may begin the tour at whichever site they choose and take the shuttle to the various sites. Parking is available at all sites, except the Governor’s Mansion. For more information, please call 601-576-6800.

Possum Ridge train exhibit

Possum Ridge train exhibit detail

For more images of decorations at the Winter Building and other MDAH museums and sites, check out the department facebook page and the Old Capitol Museum facebook page!

Mississippi Governor's Mansion 2009

Mississippi Governor's Mansion, 2009

Don’t miss the Old Jackson Christmas by Candlelight tour this Friday, December 3 from 4:30-8:30 p.m. See the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, Mississippi State Capitol, and Old Capitol Musuem in all their holiday splendor! The William F. Winter Archives and History Building will also be host to the village of Possum Ridge and its famous trains, as well as the historic Christmas tree exhibit.

Experience the magic of the holiday season as you visit Jackson’s most historic buildings! These images show the popular event in past years. Read more details about the tour below.

Mississippi State Capitol, 2005

Old Capitol Museum, 2009

Refreshments will be available at the Governor’s Mansion and the Old Capitol Museum. Musical entertainment, including choirs and instrumental ensembles, is scheduled at the Governor’s Mansion, State Capitol, Old Capitol Museum, and Winter Building. Historic holiday film footage will be shown at the Winter Building. 

Shuttle buses will run between sites approximately every 5 minutes. Visitors may begin the tour at whichever site they choose and take the shuttle to the various sites. Parking is available at all sites, except the Governor’s Mansion. For more information, please call 601-576-6800 or email the Museum division.

Today marks the last post in the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion series, written by guest blogger Mary Lohrenz, curator of the mansion. For further reading about the mansion, please see the list at the bottom of this post. We hope you enjoyed it!

During the 1972-75 restoration of the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion, only furniture with a documented association with past nineteenth-century governors was retained for display.  Edward Vason Jones, architect, interior designer, and consultant to the White House, was hired to select and acquire appropriate furniture and decorative arts objects for the mansion. Jones acquired furniture and furnishings in the Empire style as well as pieces in the French Restauration, Rococo Revival, and Renaissance Revival styles. From 1980 to 1983, noted historical consultant William Seale provided guidance on acquisitions.

Take a look at the “Period Furnishings” section on the governor’s mansion Web site to view an online gallery for four styles of furnishings featured in the mansion: Empire, French Restauration, Rococo Revival and Renaissance Revival.

Pedastal table. Accession Number: 73.47 (Governor's Mansion collection)

Pedestal table in Rose Parlor. Accession Number: 73.47 (Governor's Mansion Collection)

Detail, pedastal table. Accession Number: 73.47 (Governor's Mansion Collection)
Detail, pedestal table. Accession Number: 73.47 (Governor’s Mansion Collection)

An elegant pedestal table such as this one would have been the focal point of a nineteenth-century parlor. This c.1825-35 table may have been made in Philadelphia and was purchased in 1973 for the mansion. The Empire style table is mahogany and mahogany veneer with an intarsia (inlaid mosaic) marble top.

Read more about the mansion’s history and view frequently asked questions on the mansion website.

Free tours of the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion are given Tuesdays through Fridays, 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. on the half-hour.  Reservations are required for groups of ten or more.  Because the mansion may be closed for official state functions, you should call 601-359-6421 to confirm tour availability.

Learn More!

Cain, Helen and Anne D. Czarniecki. An Illustrated Guide to the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1984.

Darras, Melba. A Taste of History. D’Iberville: Pathfinder Publications, Stanley/Clark Publishers, 1999.

The Governor’s Mansion: A Pictorial History. Jackson: Mississippi Executive Mansion Commission, Inc., 1975.

Lohrenz, Mary. Mississippi Governor’s Mansion Docent Manual. January 2011.

Mississippi Governor’s Mansion website. www.mdah.state.ms.us/museum/mansion.html

Mississippi History Now website. http://mshistory.k12.ms.us/ (An online publication of the Mississippi Historical Society. See the “Governors of Mississippi” article by David G. Sansing.)

Peatross, C. Ford and Robert O. Mellown. William Nichols, Architect. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Art Gallery, 1979.

Sansing, David G. and Carroll Waller. A History of the Mississippi Governor’s Mansion. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1977.

Skates, John Ray. Mississippi’s Old Capitol: Biography of a Building. Jackson: Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 1990.

Smith, Timothy B. Mississippi in the Civil War: The Home Front. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi for the Mississippi Historical Society and the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, 2010.

Winter, Elise. Dinner at the Mansion. Oxford: Yoknapatawpha Press, 1982 and reprinted 2010.

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