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Lakeport Legacies to Feature “Revising the Mississippi Capitol”


JONESBORO — Jennifer Baughn and Brenda Davis of the Mississippi Department of Archives & History (MDAH) will present “Revising the Mississippi Capitol” in the next installment of Lakeport Legacies, Thursday, July 28, at 6 p.m.

The monthly history talk will take place in the dining room of the Lakeport Plantation, 601 Highway 142, in Lake Village. Refreshments and conversation are at 5:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Baughn, the chief architectural historian for MDAH, and Davis, curator of the State Capitol, will discuss recent findings that are forcing a reassessment of long-held “facts” about some of the building’s most prominent architectural features.

The pair worked together on a revised architectural tour guide for the State Capitol. It was during research for that piece that they first noticed inconsistencies in previous interpretations of the building’s history.

“Our presentation will answer questions like ‘is the stained glass made by Louis Comfort Tiffany’ and ‘why does the eagle face south?'” said Baughn. “And, are there really tunnels under the Capitol?” added Davis. Baughn and Davis will also address claims that George Mann, the original architect for the Arkansas State Capitol, designed Mississippi’s Capitol dome. The Mississippi State Capitol is undergoing a two-year, $7.4 million repair and restoration project that will leave the 112-year-old structure in its best shape in decades. Priorities are to address longtime water leaks, replace materials damaged by water and weather, and clean the exterior.

The copper eagle atop the main dome has been gilded in gold leaf onsite, and 75 exterior stained glass windows have been removed, cleaned and repaired. 

For more information and to RSVP, contact Dr. Blake Wintory, assistant director and facilities manager of Lakeport Plantation, at (870) 265-6031 or by email at bwintory@astate.edu.

Lakeport Legacies is a monthly history talk held on one of the last Thursdays at the Lakeport Plantation during the spring and summer months. Each month a topic from the Delta region is featured. The event is free and open to the public.

The Lakeport Plantation is an Arkansas State University Heritage Site. Constructed circa 1859, Lakeport is one of Arkansas's premier historic structures and still retains many of its original finishes and architectural details. Open to the public since 2007, Lakeport researches and interprets the people and cultures that shaped plantation life in the Mississippi River Delta, focusing on the Antebellum, Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Arkansas Heritage Sites at Arkansas State University develops and operates historic properties of regional and national significance in the Arkansas Delta. A-State's Heritage Sites include the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center, Southern Tenant Farmers Museum, Lakeport Plantation, the Historic Dyess Colony: Boyhood Home of Johnny Cash and Arkansas State University Museum.  

Mississippi Capitol
The Mississippi State Capitol was constructed between 1900 and 1903. Jennifer Baughn and Brenda Davis will address claims that George Mann, the original architect for the Arkansas State Capitol, designed Mississippi's Capitol dome.