March 4, 2003
On a Tuesday morning in 2003, my son and I walked to the front gate of the stately Governor's Mansion on Capitol Street. With its neoclassical columns and grand entrance, the house itself reminded me of a miniature White House. A guard met us at the gate and told us to wait for the next tour guide who would usher us and a small group of other people into the building. I had already lectured my son on how to behave inside a prominent politician's house, but all he wanted to know was how long the tour would last. The guard winked at him and smiled at me. "Just about thirty minutes is all," he said. While groups of school children are often frequent visitors to this site, I would not suggest it for the very young or the rambunctious. I was able to peak my own 8-year-old child's interest (at least a little), however, by pointing out that General Sherman had once used the mansion as a headquarters and dined there on his march through Mississippi during the Civil War.
When we entered the mansion, the guide gave us a brief overview of the building's history and begin to point out unique architectural traits. I enjoyed looking at the wide plank hardwood floors and Empire furnishings. The guide even pulled my son into the presentations in one room by asking him about some of the paintings on the walls, the allegorical oils that represented man's journey from youth to old age. The tour does go through the top floor of the mansion, the guest rooms that are still used by visiting dignitaries today, but the private quarters are behind the building. Check out the 1860s recliner covered in horsehair fabric in one of the bedrooms!
Bottom Line? Certainly worth a look.
Price for Entry? FREE.
*The oldest continuosly occupied governor's mansion in the United States is located in Austin, Texas.
From journal Uncovering the Jewels in Jackson