Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Upstairs at the Court House - Part 4

Today, our tour of the Old Court Museum in Vicksburg, begins by going up this impressive iron staircase, which leads from the first floor to the second floor.

I can't just skip from the first floor to the second floor without pointing out the beautiful ironwork of the staircase itself.

The stairs, along with the other ornamental iron work in the building, were made by T. F. Baker Iron Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, and brought by steamboat down the Mississippi River in the late 1850's.

At the top of the stairs is a room dedicated to the fashions that were popular around the mid-1800s. They range from plain, everyday clothes to fancy wedding attire.

My favorites in this room were the "baby," baby carriage, and christening dress ...

I couldn't wait to see the courtroom, and I wasn't disappointed.

I loved everything about it, but was fascinated with the ornate iron dais.

The judge presided from the dais, which was also made by the Baker Iron Company, in 1859. What a work of art! I love its graceful curves and intricate "lacy" trim at the bottom (you can click on the pictures to enlarge them if you'd like to get a closer look).

The judge's view of the courtroom ...
(I took this picture from behind the dais)

Attorneys and clients sat at this long table ...

Witnesses sat in a chair elevated by a platform that could be easily moved. There was not a permanent or stationary box for the witness.

I missed capturing one very important feature of the courtroom — the jury chairs! They are beautiful swivel chairs and were installed about 1890. I guess I was too busy taking pictures of the bust of General Robert E. Lee ...

Robert Edward Lee
January 19, 1807 - October13, 1870

Lieutenant Colonel, United States Army

General in Chief of the Armies of
the Confederate States of America

President, Washington College

If you look closely, you can see the jury chairs in this picture ...

There are two rooms off of the courtroom — one is the Burwell Vick Memorial Room.

Burwell Vick, was a brother of Newit Vick, who founded Vicksburg.

The other room is the Jefferson Davis Room, and, obviously, features memorabilia about the President of the Confederacy.

Before I leave the courtroom, I want to share pictures of a couple of the fireplaces. This one is in the Vick Room, and I especially like the tile surround and hearth.

I also like the tile work on this fireplace, which is in the courtroom ...

That concludes my tour of the upstairs, but before we leave, I have one more picture to share with you — this imposing door, which is located on the left at the back of the courtroom.

Next time, I will take you through that door and share with you one of the most thrilling adventures I've ever experienced. I can't wait to show you what's on the other side!

If you missed the previous chapters of my tour of the museum and would like to read them, you can click on the following links:

The Court House - Part 1
Court House Lagniappe - Part 2
Downstairs at the Court House - Part 3

3 comments:

Dorothy said...

WOW! That was a great tour of this beautiful courthouse!!! All that ironwork is fabulous and can you imagine what that would cost today!!!

When I was a child, my uncle worked in the courthouse and back in those days the main hall was open even after the offices were closed for the day. We would go out there and skate in those marble halls;-)

That is some teaser you left to make us wonder what's behind the door!

racheld said...

What memories. The only thing left out is the scent of the centuries, and every picture conjures, conjures.

Can you imagine the gravity and import of the proceedings conducted in such an august place? If an author imagined up all the appointments of those rooms, nothing could be better for a trial and judgement room than all that iron---decorative and yet stern. Just looking up at the judge in his high position, one might have the urge to genuflect, or at least stand in awe.

More later when I've had time to absorb all these photos lately. My own history, right before my eyes, through your lens, and there's not time enough to speak of it all.

Absolutely stunning.

Richard Cottrell said...

Another wonderful room and place in Vicksburg that I want to visit someday. Richard from My Old Historic House.