Old Capitol Museum, Jackson, MS

The stately building that is known as the Old Capitol is now a museum. It is located in Jackson, Mississippi and was originally named the State House. The building was used as the State Capitol from 1839 to 1903 then it became a state office building from 1917 to 1959. The building was transformed into the historical museum of today in 1961. Once it was decided that Jackson would become the capitol of Mississippi until at least 1850 the building began construction in 1833. The town itself still had dirt streets and used boardwalks for sidewalks. Although the interior wasn't completed until 1840 the Mississippi State House convened a special session in January of 1839.

Once a new Capitol building was provided due to an expanding government the Old Capitol housed several agencies such as the Department of Education, Board of Health, and the Department of Agriculture. The building was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1991 and became one of the first accredited museums by the American Association of Museums in 1972. The building boasts limestone floors and a rotunda dome that towers ninety four feet above the floor.

Visitors to the museum can see a film that takes the guest on an orientation of the building. The exhibits tell of life in the 1830's in Mississippi and how the building was constructed. This exhibit also tells about all of the uses the building has had in its one hundred and seventy year history. During that time period the state has had numerous constitutions.

Interactive media allows visitors to hear speeches that were made by the Legislature and different court cases that were heard and decided upon. The museum is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday and 1:00 to 5:00 pm on Sunday. There is no admission charged for viewing the Old Capitol Museum. The address for the museum is 100 South State Street, Jackson, MS 39201. The architecture is Greek revival and it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Other exhibits include Native American history, colonial life, the production of cotton and its impact on the culture of the state as well as the Civil War period. Groups can arrange tours if they call in advance.

After a visit to the Old Capitol Museum there are several restaurants in the area for dining. The Soulshine Pizza Factory Restaurant is less than one tenth of a mile. Keifer's Restaurant and Koi Restaurant are about two tenths of a mile from the museum.

If a hotel is needed in the area around the Old State Capitol museum there are several within walking distance. The Edison Walthall Hotel and the Crowne Plaza Downtown Jackson are four tenths of a mile away. The Microtel Inn and Suites, Jackson Marriott Downtown and Holiday Inn Express are all within a mile of the museum.

Other attractions in the same vicinity include the Mississippi Museum of Art, Smith Robertson Museum and Cultural Center and the Country Boy restaurant.

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