Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum
The Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum was established in 1976 to preserve and promote the county's heritage. It is housed in the old Mobile and Ohio Railroad Depot, which has been renovated and expanded over the years to accommodate the museum's needs. Visitors will find all kinds of antique and contemporary items on display, all of which seek to capture the history of Oktibbeha County and its unique culture. The museum features many permanent exhibits that deal directly with Oktibbeha County's history alongside rotating exhibits that draw in returning visitors. The museum also seeks to involve the community in its work, partnering with other organizations for projects that expand the museum and the ways it is able to appeal to visitors. With a goal of preserving and sharing the area's rich history, the Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum is an important piece of the Starkville community.
Backstory and Context
The museum has a collection of permanent artifacts that display the history of Starkville and Oktibbeha County. These artifacts include an 1840 piano donated by a local family whose Civil War ancestors played for some Confederate soldiers, Native American and early settler artifacts, Civil War artifacts and other military memorabilia, photographs, and old clothing. Visitors can also learn about local aviation history, Coca Cola's local history, and other information about the town's past. Children will particularly enjoy the miniature railroad layout. The museum also offers various programs, events, and projects throughout the year that keep the community involved in the preservation of the area's local history.
Alongside its permanent exhibits, the museum also features temporary exhibits that offer returning visitors something new to explore. The temporary exhibits the museum displays are primarily loaned to the museum from members of the community or pulled from the museum's archived collections. These exhibits bring a greater variety of history to the museum, drawing in both new and returning visitors. Some of the past returning exhibits include Vintage Valentines, “Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa Around the World,” International Mementos, and Penny Postcard Greeting Cards.
In addition to the exhibits on display, the museum also features several special projects that expand the museum's offerings and enrich the community. One such special project is the rain garden, a sustainable landscaping project that collects water for the museum gardens while also helping with a drainage problem on the grounds. The museum decided to partner with the Mississippi State University Department of Landscape Architecture for the project, allowing the faculty and students of the department to design the project and help with its implementation. The project began in 2009, with construction of its multiple parts taking several years. Today, the project features a green-roof pavilion alongside the landscaping and the infiltration basin that collects the rainwater.
2. Past Exhibits. Oktibbeha Heritage Museum. Accessed July 24, 2019. http://oktibbehaheritagemuseum.com/wordpress/take-a-tour/past-exhibits/.
3. Oktibbeha Heritage Museum. Accessed July 24, 2019. http://oktibbehaheritagemuseum.com/wordpress/.
4. Permanent Collection. Oktibbeha Heritage Museum. Accessed July 24, 2019. http://oktibbehaheritagemuseum.com/wordpress/take-a-tour/permanent-collection/.
5. Rain Garden. Oktibbeha Heritage Museum. Accessed July 24, 2019. http://oktibbehaheritagemuseum.com/wordpress/location/rain-garden/.