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History

History

The city of Jackson was founded in 1821, and was originally called LeFleur’s Bluff, for the French-Canadian trader who operated a trading post in the area. The name didn’t last long as the Mississippi State Legislature looked for a new location for the government, originally in the Natchez area. After surveying areas they landed in LeFleur’s Bluff, which had “beautiful and healthful surroundings, good water, abundant timber, navigable waters and nearness to the Natchez Trace.”

On November 28, 1821 LeFleur’s Bluff became Jackson, in honor of Major General Andrew Jackson; who would later become President, and the permanent seat of government for the state. Between then and now, three capital buildings were built. The first was a small two-story building that was soon replaced by a newer Greek Revival architecture building, after the adoption of the state constitution in 1832. This government building remained in government use till 1903, then served as state offices until the 1950s and became the State Historical Museum in 2005. After receiving extensive damage from Hurricane Katrina, it was reopened in 2009. The third capitol building was completed in 1903 and is very similar to the White House. Today it is a major tourist attraction and the focus of Mississippi State Government activities.

There are many more buildings in the Greater Jackson area that are full of history. The Governor’s Mansion is the second oldest residence of its type in the nation and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Jackson’s City Hall, which was built in 1846, is still the working seat of municipal government. Today it is one of the most photographed locations in the city, the massively-columned building and surrounding garden stands strong today, it was also spared in the burning of the city during the Civil War, all three times.

Although less than 8,000 people lived in the Greater Jackson area at the turn of the century, its population began to accelerate in the 1900s, and is now one of the most dynamic growth areas across the Sunbelt. This major metropolis has become a prime location, its equal distance between Memphis and New Orleans to the north and south; and between Dallas and Atlanta to the east and west, makes it a major distribution center.

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