Some Things To Do This “Winter”

It’s that time of year again for Millsaps to offer its Community Enrichment Series, short courses geared toward the general public and for a small fee. In addition to courses as varied as portrait photography and belly dancing, they are offering a few classes again that appeal to history and architecture-minded folks. I’m a little late putting this information out there, but maybe some of y’all in the Jackson area would find one of these classes up your alley. I’ve also placed these classes on the MissPres Calendar for easy reference.

Mississippi: From Frontier to Flush Times

Take a journey through Mississippi’s formative years when the region was transformed from a territory on the edge of the frontier to the 20th state in the Union. The first of two sessions provides an overview of Mississippi History from 1800-1840: the establishment and development of government, divisive factional politics, war on the frontier, the removal of Native Americans, and the illustrious “Flush Times” of Mississippi when cotton became king. The second session focuses on the Creek War and the War of 1812, conflicts that dramatically altered the landscape of the Gulf South. Class attendees will also be given a tour of Mississippi’s most historic building, the recently restored Old Capitol which was built in 1839.

Cost: $40; Monday, Jan. 23 – 30; 6:00 -7:15 p.m.; 2 class mtgs. Tour date TBA

Clay Williams graduated from Mississippi State University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees. After serving as project liaison for the Old Capitol restoration following Hurricane Katrina, he was appointed director of the Old Capitol Museum on July 1, 2008. Author of many papers on history, Williams published his first book, Battle for the Southern Frontier, the Creek War and the War of 1812, co-authored with Mike Bunn, in July 2008 by The History Press. He is currently under contract to write a volume with the Heritage of Mississippi Series on frontier Mississippi (1800-1840).


“Hands-On” Genealogy-A Course for Beginners Researching Their Mississippi Roots

Looking for a unique and memorable gift? What about compiling your own family tree that your loved ones will treasure for years to come? Geared especially to researching Mississippi ancestors, Anne Webster’s genealogy class will give you the basic tools to gather this information. This course will meet at both Millsaps College and at the Mississippi Department of Archives and History building. The sessions at the College will introduce basic sources, i.e., census data, death records, newspapers, etc. County records and military records (both Civil War and World War I) will also be discussed. The classes meeting at the state archives will include hands-on instruction for the student to learn how to actually use these records. Please bring names/dates of your relatives to research.

Cost: $75; Monday night, Jan. 23 and 30, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m. at Millsaps; Saturday morning, Jan. 28 and Feb. 4 at the Archives Building, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.; 4 class mtgs.

Anne L. Webster has a B.A. in library science and history from Mississippi University for Women and a master of library science degree from Florida State University. She has worked with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History (MDAH) for more than 25 years.


Architectural History of Mississippi

Join Todd Sanders as he presents a detailed discussion of the architectural history of the state of Mississippi. Beginning with the years 1699-1800 and the oldest surviving structures of the first permanent inhabitants, the instructor will progress to the years 1800-1875 and the arrival of high style architecture. Next, he will discuss the years 1875-1945 when Mississippi moved toward the mainstream. The last lecture will focus on Mississippi’s participation in the modern movement in American architecture since World War II. A brief discussion of the historic preservation movement and where it is today in Mississippi will also be included.

Please note: 0.8 CEU for teachers is available for full attendance at this class. An additional $15 will be charged for the CEU certificate when the class ends.

Cost: $60; Tuesday, Jan. 24 – Feb. 14; 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.; 4 class mtgs.


The Forgotten Era in Mississippi Architecture: Reconstruction to the Gilded Age

Few of us stop to think about the architecture of Mississippi immediately after the end of the Civil War and before the ornate, elaborate architecture of the so-called “Gilded Age” of the 1890s. While most folks believe that absolutely nothing of any consequence was constructed during this period, this does not appear to have been the case. In this class, we will examine the building environment of this period and discover that indeed many fine buildings were constructed and that many of them do survive. Topics covered in the class include the continued use of building forms and architectural styles from the antebellum period and their “evolution” to reflect changing tastes and needs, the introduction of new architectural styles and the development of new building forms, and also the impact that the revitalization of the railroads and their expansion had on the architecture of the period. Todd Sanders will teach this class.

Cost: $40; Wednesday, Jan. 25 – Feb. 1    6:00 – 8:00 p.m.; 2 class mtgs.


Mississippi’s Antebellum Architecture: More Than Just Big, White Columns

This class will cover the architecture of Mississippi from its earliest manmade structures through the architecture of the Antebellum Period (roughly that time between the end of the Mexican American War, circa 1848, and the beginning of the Civil War in 1861) and ending with the buildings constructed right after the end of the war. While this class will cover the great mansions, churches, courthouses and other grand public buildings that most architecture aficionados are familiar with, much time will be spent going deeper into the architecture of this period to discuss buildings that often get ignored like schools, industrial buildings, and commercial buildings, as well as the houses of the middle class. As part of this discussion, the question will be asked “Why did some of these buildings survive and others not?” While the answer to this question is in some cases obvious such as “It was burned during the war” or burned later or destroyed by a hurricane, tornado or other “act of God”, many were intentionally destroyed while others, equally old, elegant and significant, were carefully preserved. It will be discovered that the architecture of Mississippi before the war was much more vibrant, varied and complicated than the “moonlight and magnolias” myth would have one believe. Also equally complicated is the struggle to preserve what survives and to document what is gone.

Please note:  0.8 CEU for teachers is available for full attendance at this class. An additional $15 will be charged for the CEU certificate when the class ends.

Cost: $60; Thursday, Jan. 26 – Feb. 16; 6:00 – 8:00 p.m.; 4 class mtgs.

Todd Sanders has a B.A. in history and a master’s degree in architectural history from Mississippi State University. He has worked as an architectural historian with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History since 1999.

If you don’t have the time to spend on these classes, maybe you have an hour on a Wednesday to go to one or more of MDAH’s History Is Lunch series. Today, I took a little time off to go over to the Winter Archives Building to listen to Mary Lucas talk about her recent memoir 809 Rubush: Memories of Growing Up in Meridian, Mississippi. A couple of upcoming HISL talks might also interested MissPres readers in the Jackson area:

  • Wednesday, February 22, noon–1 p.m. at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building. As part of the History Is Lunch series, historian Stuart Rockoff presents “A House of Israel: 150 Years of Jackson’s Jewish Congregation.” For more information call 601-576-6998.
  • Wednesday, February 29, noon–1 p.m. at the William F. Winter Archives and History Building. As part of the History Is Lunch series, MDAH archivist Clarence Hunter will present “The Reverend William Albert Bender of Tougaloo College and the American Missionary Association.” For more information call 601-576-6998.

Admittedly these talks and classes are Jackson-centric. If you know of events in your neck of the woods, just let me know via a comment or an e-mail and I’ll add it to the list.



Categories: Preservation Education

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