In January of 2018, we were in Baton Rouge, LA checking out the Louisiana State Capitol as well as some of the Sights and Sounds around NOLA. While we were there we also took a road trip to Jackson, to check out the Mississippi State Capitol.
Like I said it is located in Jackson and has been the home of Mississippi’s state legislature since 1903. It is the third capitol building in Jackson, and was named a National Historic Landmark on November 2, 2016. We actually saw it for the first time at night and it was amazing. You couldn’t help but notice their huge 8-foot-tall, and 15-foot-wide eagle which soars above the dome. It is made of solid copper and gilded with gold leaf.
When we did come back the next day, the first thing we noticed before even getting into the building was their replica Liberty Bell. In front of it was a statue erected in memory of the ladies, mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters of the Confederate soldiers. Both of these are located on the capitol grounds and a great welcome to the Mississippi State Capitol.
Once inside the capitol we were treated to a very friendly welcome and set up for their next tour. It didn’t take very long and we had a great guide who really seemed to know her history of the Capitol as well as the city of Jackson. One of the things we saw was the Hall of Governors which is located on the first floor. Portraits of Mississippi’s governors since the creation of the Mississippi Territory in 1798 are on display.
The State Library and the Supreme Court chamber, now both committee meeting rooms, are located on the second floor. The Legislature is housed on the third floor, along with the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House’s offices.
I always loved checking out the Chambers while visiting a state Capitol. Like most Capitols, the Mississippi State Capitol has both a House of Representative and Senate Chambers. The House of Representatives Chamber has seats for the 122 Representatives, including the speaker, the chamber’s presiding officer. The Chamber has its own dome which is the original Bohemian stained glass with another dome on top for protection of the stained glass. Desks are the originals of 1903. The Mississippi Coat of Arms is at the top of each arch. The walls are art marble and their base is Belgian black marble. Both rooms are beautiful.
The Senate Chamber has seats for the 52 Senators. The Chamber is art marble with the base of Belgium black marble. Its columns are Breccia violet with corinthian composite caps. It also has its own dome which is stained Bohemian glass with another dome on top for protection. In the center of the dome is a green circle of printing that reads, “The people’s government made for the people by the people and answerable to the people.” An image of Theresa Whitecloud, a full-blooded Choctaw Indian princess (died 1970), is on six wooden panels. The Chamber desks were replaced in the 1940s. Public viewing balconies for both chambers are located on the fourth floor.
One interesting fact about the Capitol is that it was one of the first buildings in the state to have electric elevators. The circa 1982 glass carriages allow riders to see the original glazed tile walls and stained glass windows. They were pretty cool and fun to ride in. Even though the elevators were cool, the staircase was also interesting so I thought I’d share a picture of it.
We had a great time running around and touring the Mississippi State Capitol building. They were very friendly and I actually bought a passport stamp book for the state capitols. Too bad that we are more than halfway through all of them, lol. It was a very interesting capitol and very glad we took a side trip while in Nola. Here is a link to their website with hours, tour times, etc.
Mississippi State Capitol Visitor Information
400 High Street, Jackson, Mississippi, 39201
Monday – Friday 8 am to 5 pm
Closed on Weekends.
Guided tours are conducted free of charge by staff and volunteers. Tours are given Monday – Friday at 9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., or visitors are welcome to do a self-guided tour anytime between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Group and school tours are available by reservation. To schedule a group or school tour, contact Visitor Services at the Mississippi State Capitol at (601) 359-3114 or email@example.com.
School Group Tour Guidelines. To view guidelines for school tour groups, click here, and watch the video to see what to expect on group tours.
Below is a map to help familiarize yourself with the area.
As you are entering off of High Street, some Visitor Spaces are available on the northeast side (left) close to the building. Additional parking may be available in any of the unmarked spaces. Parking is also available in the lot diagonally across the street from the back of the Capitol at the northeast corner of High and President streets. If it is not the Legislative Session, spaces are available on the streets along the perimeter of the grounds. Please enter the building at the ground level of the Capitol at the north side (High Street) or under the steps at the south side (Mississippi Street).
Wheelchairs are available for use by visitors in the Capitol Complex. Individuals on tour or visiting the Senate Gallery may borrow a wheelchair upon entering the relevant visitor facility. Constituents visiting for other purposes may request the use of a wheelchair through their Senators’ office.
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