Monday, July 05, 2004

Jackson's Oak House Museum hiding clues to the 19th century

Bricks that once formed a kitchen hearth and small buttons (one from a Union Army jacket) have been found at The Oaks House Museum, 823 N. Jefferson St., Jackson, MS.

Broken shards of pottery near the kitchen and signs of a garden were found by anthropology students from the University of Southern Mississippi in recent weeks.

Mud-caked remnants of family life in the mid-1800s may provide insight into the everyday activities of James Boyd's family. Boyd, one of Jackson's early mayors, built the antebellum cottage around 1850.

The state chapter of the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, caretakers of the museum, gathered $25,000 in grants and in-kind donations to examine the grounds.

Boyd's home is one of the few structures that survived the Civil War when Union troops came through the state's capital, burning homes and businesses.

Boyd and his wife, Eliza, raised six children in the house, which was on the then-outskirts of Jackson. The items found will be analyzed at USM and turned over to the state Department of Archives and History.

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