JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - The new Two Museums in downtown Jackson have surpassed all attendance estimates since they opened in December, but Three on the Road reminds us there are a bunch of museums in Jackson, and one of them is just a few blocks up Jefferson from the Two Museums. The Oaks. It is the oldest house in Jackson. And within the last year The Oaks has taken several steps backward to bring it up to date.
The Boyd House, also known as The Oaks is on Jefferson Street just north of the Fairgrounds in Jackson. James Boyd was Jackson's Mayor for four terms in the 1840s and 50s. This house was built in 1853.
"This was a working house. This was a working small farm. They were able to keep a cow here. They were able to farm and to raise food for themselves," said Jackson architect Bob Adams.
Bob also says the house passed from generation to generation in the Boyd family and they did what people often do with houses that are passed down. They modernized.
"The house has been added to a number of times since then of course and has been modified," added Adams.
But within the last several years some family items that have been acquired by The Oaks has given the chance to get a better feel for what the home was like before many of the additions. Linda Robertson says there is one key asset that led to all of this.
"Connection with the family members has been wonderful," said Robertson. "From family we have gotten a Bible, we have gotten original photographs."
Master Gardener Cecile Wardlaw, who oversees the gardens at The Oaks, was particularly excited to see one of the photographs.
"And it's this of the front of the house in about 1890 with the family standing outside," said Wardlaw. "So this has been what we've gone by to landscape the front."
The layers of paint on the house were examined and the home has been returned to its original colors. And with 15 pieces of original furnishings, visitors to The Oaks can come closer to getting what Executive Director of the Oaks, Beth Batton would like for them to get when they visit.
"I want them to really feel what it was like to be in an old house like the way that the Boyd's lived in the 1850s and early 1860s," said Batton.
And with the new information about how it really used to be and the Oaks implementing that, those steps backward are some great new improvements to an already interesting historic property.
The Oaks is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 10 till 3 and by appointment anytime.