Thursday, September 10, 2015

A Visit To Jefferson City Missouri

Hello all,

During our recent travels, we did a week's stay in Missouri; mostly because of a stupid crack in our RV windshield.  We decided to make the best of the situation and take a look around while in the state of Missouri waiting for the repair.

When we finally dropped Grace at the repair facility we decided to go to the state capital Jefferson City. Along the way we made a few stops.
The first stop was an Amish store called Deutsches Heim where there was all manner of food and furniture stuff.

Hello all, Striking Viking here. The Trippin' Sista asked me to assist on the commentary. I am standing in Deutsches Heim at the cheese case. Whoaaa...all bets are off!! We ended  up with three different varieties of cheese, some of which are still in our refrigerator. Excellent!

The store was also packed with all sorts of bulk food items. If you were looking for that hard to find baking staple, like potato flour for example, you will find it here. I got a secret thrill just cruising the aisles looking at their selection.

There were some very interesting clocks for sale. These clocks  are unlike any I have ever seen and come in a variety of styles. The link shows more.

We continued on towards our destination. This is a shot of one of the streets in Jefferson City, which incidentally I don't believe Thos. Jefferson ever visited.

Although the day was overcast, it didn't dampen our enthusiasm when we reached our destination, the Missouri State House.

The grounds of the capitol are very picturesque and meticulously maintained. There is a large marble fountain to the left of the entry drive.

The Governor's Mansion is adjacent to the State House, and is a very imposing structure in it's own right. One can only imagine gentlemen and ladies disembarking from their carriages and strolling arm in arm up the walk to attend a gala evening with the Governor.

A short distance down the hill is the railroad station. Just think of the day when travel was time consuming and eventful, and the whistle of the approaching train would bring folks out to welcome travelers and provide services to luminaries and common folk alike.

This is the First Baptist Church. quite the imposing pile of stone. I guess they built it to last.

We did take the opportunity to take a Capitol selfie. Capital, Cap it All? You decide. This sort of shot takes a little effort, the framing, the squat required to achieve even ain't easy.

This is the Supreme Court building. It is across the street from the Capitol.

Standing in perpetuity outside the Capitol is a statue of the city's namesake. He appears to be relaxed and composed at the same time.

There was a magnificent stained glass window above the entry. It measures about forty feet square.

The building was capitalized (if you will) by a bond issue. When the bonds were inaugurated they were oversubscribed by one and a half million dollars and this excess had to by law be spent on the furnishings of the building. This is reflected in art, historical, evocative and inspirational throughout.

There are plaques displaying the miniature portraits of legislators past, each identified by year, name and district served. In this way history is preserved for public servant and visitor alike.

When we arrived at the rotunda, we were greeted by a small sign that read. 

Visitor Center and Tours begin on First Floor. - 
You are on the Third Floor.

Well, at least we got our exercise in climbing those stairs. From now on, we will use the elevator.

Once we found the visitor center, we were told that the tour would start in about 10 minutes. The rotunda itself is opulent.

The State Seal is executed in brass on the floor of the rotunda. It features the date of statehood 1820, two grizzly bears ( of which there are none in the state) and twenty five stars. At the time statehood was granted, there were only twenty four states and it is theorized that the twenty fifth was a tongue in cheek reference to Missouri's star shining brightest.

The panels surrounding the rotunda were commissioned from a well know British landscape artist. Interestingly enough, he was convinced to take the commission although he felt that his work was to be displayed in some "American city no one has ever heard of", and refused to even come to Jefferson City, but sent his assistant to oversee the installation of the paintings.

In one wing of the First Floor there is a museum highlighting Missouri's natural resources and important contributions to the nation.

There is a sculpture of a Frontiersman on display. Many people suppose him to be either Davy Crockett or Dan'l Boone. According to our guide Emmy he is neither merely a representative individual of Missouri's frontier spirit.

In the Congressional lounge there is a mural by Thomas Hart Benton showing important scenes of Missouri history from it's inception to the present time of the artist's installation, in December of 1936. There is an exhaustive description of the entire mural here

The Congressional Hall is large and august, but not ostentatious. The chief clerk and sergeant at arms sit on either side of the chamber.

If one looks to either side at the gallery level, one can see more public galleries for citizens to view the proceedings of the representatives. 

On the wall of the chamber is the Seal of the United States, reminding Missourians that their deliberations are always subject to the oversight of the Federal Government.

 Behind a velvet rope was the main entry to the office of the Governor who was not in attendance at the time of our visit.

On the First Floor opposing the Missouri exhibit was a Museum of historical artifacts related to Missouri. Some of the history details information on the dark chapters of America's past, particularly in relation to slavery.

At the time of the State's founding, language was included that prohibited slavery. Although Missouri sided with the Union during the Civil War, many Missourians  traveled to neighboring states like Kentucky or Arkansas to fight with Confederate troops. This could and no doubt did result in brothers opposing each other on the field of battle.

There is a plaque describing the history of cannons captured during the Mexican American war, which resulted in the US taking ownership of southern lands formerly in Mexico's possession.

This is one of the cannons which was captured at that time. Although it was taken in 1856, it still appears to be in good working order.

Part of the museum deals with living conditions of soldiers during the Civil War. Having some small knowledge of actual conditions at the time, I can say that this is a heavily sanitized version of the horrors of that conflict.

 There is a diorama of a typical Missouri farm having been carved out of the wilderness. It shows house and barn as well as outbuildings all constructed in American Log fashion. Prior to the Louisiana purchase, most homes were constructed in the French Log style which had the logs vertically placed instead of horizontally. The ubiquitous split rail fence fronting the road was both decorative and practical. It preserved the wood for later building projects, and helped to define boundaries.

This bell was from the battleship Missouri, a true american dreadnought. More information on BB-63 is here. Of interest is that we actually visited the Wisconsin, Mighty MO's sister ship in a previous blog post. She is berthed in Norfolk Virginia whereas Big Mo is berthed at Pearl Harbor.

There is a plaque describing the bell and it's history.

On display are the seals of each branch of the Armed Forces. Each of the services has it's proponents, fans and veterans of service.

A somber reminder of the participation of Missourians in past conflicts is detailed, along with the numbers of each who served as a combatant.

There was a finely detailed model of BB-63 along with a description of her.

A reminder to those who have served is displayed in a corner. The American flag is Flanked by the Missouri standard, and as though they keep constant watch; the POW-MIA flag is safely ensconced between them.

The US Navy flag is displayed adjacent to the display for the Missouri.

The US Coast Guard flag is displayed along with one other. Although I believe it to be the US Marines, I am not sure and stand ready for correction if any one reading this can identify it.

Another evocative photo shows the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery. These installations always stand to serve as a reminder to current and future generations of those who gave their all in defense of the nation.

 A tenderly preserved Mail Coach reminds one of the day prior to modern road or rail travel. Travel was tiring, dirt and potentially dangerous. A sign reminded passengers that if a runaway should occur, it was better to stay in the coach than try to jump. Chances of survival were better even if the coach was upset, and chances of injury or even death from jumping out were increased.

A nearby display had a traveling salesman's case. This showed the tools, materials and finished product of a shoe company. Keep in mind that one would probably order the shoes and place a deposit then wait a lengthy period of time for the shoes to arrive.

We called to find out how they were doing with Grace. We found out she was ready and that they closed at 5. A quick check of the time showed us that it was about twenty minutes past three, and since the shop was an hour and a half away we beat feet in their direction to pick her up.

All in all it was a busy day, and we enjoyed sharing it with you. Cheerio!