Governor’s Mansion Under Renovation (103 years ago)

Last Friday’s Old Jackson by Candlelight Tour was well-attended, even though the weather outside was . . . I’m not going to say frightful because then you’ll be humming that tune all day. You know, the tune that has the words “the weather outside is frightful”?

As you might remember, the Governor’s Mansion had been closed since Spring for some upgrading and repair work, and I heard that everyone involved worked hard be able to re-open the doors for the always popular candelight tour. One hundred years ago, when the mansion was undergoing its most significant renovation in its lifetime, a renovation that saved its life after many people had argued for its demolition, things didn’t go so smoothly, as this article from the Vicksburg Evening Post (August 9, 1910, p. 4) notes. I’m not sure how a completely new roof rotted so quickly, but I guess that just goes to show that the ancients didn’t always know what they were doing either.

EVENTS OF A DAY AT THE STATE CAPITAL

——————————

Repairs on Governor’s Mansion Almost Completed–Pardon Petitions Pouring In–Chemist Gives Orders

Jackson, Miss., Aug. 9–After two years of hammering, sawing, painting and general work, with its attendant confusion, the contractor is nearing completion of the work on the Governor’s Mansion.

The Legislature of 1908 authorized certain repairs and improvements to the mansion, and the contract was let soon after the session adjourned. The contractor took charge of the building in May, and Governor Noel and his family have been crowded for room and have gone through all the annoyances consequent upon the work.

A new roof was put on the mansion, one of the first things done, but this rotted and heavy rains of last spring and early this summer did several hundred dollars worth of damage to decoration, furniture and ceilings. While the other mechanics were making repairs to the building proper, the painters and decorators were at work inside the building. The rooms of the mansion have, from time to time, been filled with scaffolding and painters’ supplies of various kinds.

But by Saturday night, if all goes well, the debris will have been cleared out of the house and quiet will again reign over the mansion. The painters and decorators will be through with their work, while the plumbing work is all completed, but the new roof may not be finished by that time. Good progress is being made by Contractor Wright, who was delayed some by the rains last week, but he may get through by Saturday.



Categories: Historic Preservation, Jackson

1 reply

  1. The US Capitol building is also involved restoration project— began last month–and is expected to last two years before completion. The problem being the leaking of water through rusting structural stress cracks in the “cast iron” dome. The orginal Dome was constructed of wood timbers and copper.
    However, I was disappointed that in Capitol Architect Ayers presentation of the history of the Capitol Dome from 1824(he mistakenly says “1924”) to 1861 he ignored the role of Secretary of War Jefferson Davis in both the introduction of “appropriations” legislation to rebuild the Capitol Dome, and in Davis’ engineering expertice in the reconstruction efforts. Ayers avoided the story over the controversy of the selection of the “appropriate” headgear that would ultimately adorn the Lady of lLberty Statue of Freedom that stands(sits) atop the Dome. It is an interesting story and Jefferson Davis won out , as Lady Liberty, today, wears the war helmet with feathers, rather than the original artist’s design of Lady Liberty wearing the Phrygian cap. Seems that both William Winter and President Jefferson Davis had problems with iconic statues. Winter is traversing the state looking for artifacts for his “museum,” when right under his nose in the Capitol Dome coatroom is the statue of Governor Theodore Bilbo, which, as governor, Winter removed.

    http://www.c-spanvideo.org/program/AyersC

    Like

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