The Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum in Jackson, Mississippi, is a fun and interesting place to explore.
I've visited it several times through the years on school field trips with our children, but when you're trying to corral 20 to 30 fifth graders, you don't really get to see much.
Yesterday, I decided to explore the Ag Museum on my own, and it was a perfect Spring day for it — breezy, with blue skies, wispy white clouds, bright sunshine — and not a fifth grader in sight.
As you cross a rustic little bridge to enter the museum grounds, you feel as if you have gone back in time, as you explore the various exhibitions, artifacts, machinery, and documents that reveal how agriculture and forestry molded the history and heritage of Mississippi.
I started my adventure at the Fortenberry-Parkman Farm, a typical Mississippi farmstead from the mid-1800s. The buildings were moved from Jefferson Davis County in 1981, and were restored.
The main house was built in the late 1850s, and was originally a one-room log cabin.
Click on the next picture to enlarge it and see the "fire screen" ...
The trials and tribulations of life on a farm back in those days are reflected in the family "portraits" displayed on the mantel.
As I was leaving the Fortenberry Farm, I stopped by to visit this little guy ...
Although he came up to the fence when I walked up and looked "sweet," I took the sign seriously and resisted petting him.
My next stop was the Cotton Gin next door ...
And then on to the quaint, picturesque Small Town, Mississippi, and its "Main Street," lined with old buildings and artifacts from bygone days.
Next to the Print Shop was this display of old bells ...
The bell on the left was made in 1820, by the Buckeye Bell Foundry ...
Across the street from the Blacksmith's shop is the town gas station. The customers back then would never believe what we're paying for gas these days!
The General Store was usually at the center of town, and was not only a source for staples, clothes, feed, and other items, but also served as a social center for the community.
This store was designed and built to represent the typical rural Mississippi general store during the 1920s.
The store was always the last stop to visit on our field trips. Talk about kids in a candy store! — they loved it.
And I couldn't resist buying a Coke in a glass bottle nestled in ice in those old Coke boxes. There's just something about a glass bottle that makes Coke taste better, isn't there!
Back in the 1800s, another popular gathering place was the Masonic Lodge ...
This old water trough once stood in front of the Old Capitol in Jackson. If only it could talk — can you imagine the stories it could tell!
And speaking of stories, I'll bet there were some interesting ones told at "The Escape Proof Jail of West, Mississippi."
This pretty little white church sits at the end of "Main Street," and serves as a popular wedding chapel in Jackson.
I was disappointed that I couldn't get good pictures of the animals in the "barnyard," but managed to capture this sweet pony and the cute little goats, who were more interested in getting their breakfast than in having their picture taken.
I'm sure you noticed the beautiful roses in some of the pictures. At the center of the museum grounds is a lovely Rose Garden which is sponsored by the Mississippi Old Garden Rose Society.
I spent about 45 minutes photographing some of the roses, and will feature them in a post later this week. If you love old fashioned roses, I think you will enjoy seeing them.
I hope you enjoyed taking this walking tour of the Agriculture Museum with me. My time was limited, so I didn't get to explore some of the other museums and exhibits, such as the Heritage Exhibit Center, the National Agricultural Aviation Museum, the Fitzgerald Collection, the Ethnic Heritage Center, and the Forestry Auditorium.
If you are planning a trip to the Jackson area, I hope you can take the time to experience the Ag Museum for yourself. It offers something of interest for all ages, and is a great way to spend quality time with your family. To read more about the Museum, you can visit the website at Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum/National Agricultural Aviation Museum.