I grew up in the south.
Well, sort of.
I was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but grew up in Tampa, Florida, which is mostly just full of transplanted northerners who got sick of the winter. But the two years I spent living in Tallahassee, Florida, a capital city plopped in the middle of the very southern Florida Panhandle, certainly gave me a taste of southern living. Biscuits & gravy. Stars & bars. Second Amendment rights. Trucker hats & pick-up trucks – lots of pick-up trucks.
Because of my claimed “southern heritage,” I was especially looking forward to our visit to the Museum of the Confederacy & the “Southern White House” during our Independence Day weekend trip to Richmond, Virginia. Opened as the Confederate Museum in 1896, the museum for many years was actually inside the structure that served as the executive mansion during the Confederacy (the “Southern White House”). The Southern White House was closed from 1976 – 1988 to be restored to its appearance when Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, & his family lived there. During that time, the museum collection was moved out of the house & into a newly built museum building.
I was blown away by the collection of artifacts that the museum has – & the incredibly good shape that many of them are in, especially considering that they were used in a long, bloody war. The collection is displayed in time line format, taking you through each year of the Civil War & telling the story of the battles that happened (obviously told from the “southern side” of things).
If you buy a combo ticket, you can also gain admission into the Southern White House (it’s only a few dollars more to tour both). The White House has been well restored, with many of the furniture, accessories & clothing that belonged to the Davis’. The guided tour (which is not handicapped accessible) takes you through two floors of the house to see where Jefferson Davis lived & worked.
Should you find yourself in Richmond & if you’re a Civil War buff, or a history buff, or museum buff, or just a buff, the Museum of the Confederacy & Southern White House are definitely worth a few hours of your time.