Thursday, May 3, 2012

Court House Tour - The Attic!

If you have been following my blog recently, you will recall that I have been sharing a series of posts featuring my tour of the Old Court House Museum in Vicksburg. During my tour I took literally hundreds of pictures, and I'm afraid that my posts have been quite lengthy as a result of my sharing some of those pictures and telling their stories. I appreciate those of you who have stuck with me, and took the time to let me know you enjoyed the tour.

As I mentioned in a previous chapter, this was one of the most thrilling photo shoots I've ever experienced. What could be "thrilling" about touring a museum (albeit a national landmark-worthy historical museum), you ask? Well, my tour turned into quite an adventure, and it began on the other side of this door, which leads from the upstairs courtroom to the record rooms and "beyond."

Let me back up a little before I begin my story. The day before I visited the museum, I called the curator, Mr. Bubba Bolm, to ask about a convenient time for me to visit and take pictures for my blog. Bubba told me there were going to be 65 school children touring the museum the next day, but if I came early, I should have plenty of time for a tour. At that time, I asked Bubba if it would be possible for me to go up on the roof and take pictures, and he said they were going to be pressed for time that day, but I could come back another day and someone would be glad to take me up. I was disappointed, but decided to go ahead and tour the museum the next day, anyway.

But I was in for a surprise! When I arrived for my tour, Bubba told me they would have time for someone to take me upstairs, after all — and I was absolutely delighted!

A very nice young man named Jordan was my guide, and Jordan told me before we started our trek through the attic to the roof to "Walk where I walk, and only where I walk," which I thought was rather ominous-sounding. I soon discovered why that was good advice.

The door pictured above led from the courtroom to a set of old wooden stairs (which I failed to take a picture of when we were going up, because I was so excited). This is a picture I captured when we were coming back down, and I was standing at the top of the stairs looking down.

You can see some of the benches in the courtroom through the open door.

I really didn't know what to expect when it came to how we were going to get to the roof. I think I had pictured a dusty old wooden staircase winding its way up ... and there was, indeed, some old wooden steps.

They looked sturdy enough, and I thought, "No big deal, I can do this!"

But if you will look closely at the picture, you will notice that the stairs sort of disappear into nothingness.

It was at this point that Jordan told me that the stairs originally went all the way to the roof, but the rest of the staircase was destroyed by the deadly tornado that struck Vicksburg in 1953, and we were going to have to "go a different way."

Now, I have always loved meandering "off the beaten path" on my photo shoots, but this took "off the beaten path" to a different level. The "different way" Jordan pointed out to me looked like this ...

It didn't take me long to realize why he had told me to "walk where I walk!"

Notice the metal steps on the left in the next picture. We climbed several sets of those, which was more like climbing ladders than steps. I was glad I have small feet, because the steps weren't very wide.

I have to admit that when I first saw all those steps and how high up they went, I was a little apprehensive and wondered if I would make it all the way to the roof. But I was determined to continue on my" adventure-to-end-all-adventures" ... and focused my attention on "walking where Jordan walked."

After seeing the massive old beams and supports that are the heart of the infrastructure of the building, I can understand how it has survived all these years.

As we made our way to the top, it got lighter and lighter, and all I could see when I looked down were beams and crossbeams ... and darkness.

I knew we were close to the roof when I saw this window, which is part of the clock tower ...

By the time we reached the top, my heart was pounding and I was "huffing and puffing," but not just because of the exertion from climbing. I was overcome with excitement, and couldn't wait to see the City of Vicksburg, from one of the most prominent vantage points in town. I hope you will join me next time as I share the beauty of Vicksburg, as I captured it from the roof of the Old Court House Museum!


C. M. Designs said...

Hi Janie, You sure are a brave girl to go on such adventure.. Thank you for taking your readers along with you.. Your pictures are amazing.. I can't wait for more pictures and stories.. Everyone of the chapters has been so interesting. Charlotte

Dot said...

I well remember the tornado of 1953 that hit Vicksburg. The sky in Jackson turned a green-yellow color which I had never seen before. Shortly afterwards we heard on the radio about the tornado.

LindaG said...

You are a braver person than I am. I would never have gone up there. ;o)

racheld said...

No huff and puff here, for I'm just the armchair traveler on all your adventures, but my heart is pounding TOOO. What a climb, and how very brave and self-sacrificing you are on our behalf!

It's like when I'd find out after the fact that the kids had gone on some foolish, slightly dangerous ride or excapade---I'm just glad I didn't know it AT THE TIME.

Wow. You DO beat all.

And you know what ELSE? I'm just sorry I missed the fun.