Night at Museum raises $1.6K

Published 9:55 am Monday, September 21, 2015

In just 90 minutes with a cast of characters throughout Vicksburg’s history, the Old Court House Museum raised $1,600 to help support the city’s oldest privately run museum.

About 160 visitors in all took a walk Saturday night through the historic structure in the heat of downtown Vicksburg during the Old Court House’s first ever Night at the Museum, curator Bubba Bolm said.

“For it being the first time, it was accepted well by the public,” Bolm said. “It was a really good first night and a strong something to build on.”

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Visitors were greeted by a guide who took them through the courtyard of the museum where they met re-enactors portraying Jefferson Davis and Vicksburg’s founder Newitt Vick. Inside, presentations included re-enactors portraying museum founder Eva W. Davis, a Confederate surgeon and Theodore Roosevelt.

Among one of the first groups to take the tour was Curt Cooksey, who said he was not a history buff but greatly enjoyed the event.

“I thought they kept it on a level where everyone could enjoy it,” Cooksey said.

Cooksey said the most enlightening part of the tour was the Civil War medicine show offered by Dr. David Harris, a retired dentist who took over the show from the late Joe Gerache.

“My favorite part was the surgeon and learning what they had to go through back then. You wouldn’t want to have to go through having a limb removed,” Cooksey said.

Re-enactors and tour guides performed an original script by Morgan Gates, a member of the Warren County Historical Society, the group that runs the museum. Gates said the museum plans to hold the event annually.

“Look for even bigger and better next year,” Gates said.

The 2016 tour is expected to include a different and expanded cast of characters, he said.

“There were a lot of people who walked these halls,” Gates said.

Money raise form the event will go toward museum operations and projects. The Old Court House is run on private donations, historical society memberships, admissions and gift shop sales. It receives no state or federal funding.

Construction of the former Warren County Courthouse began in 1858, and the building owned in 1860. It functioned as the seat of government until 1939 when it was slated for demolition. Eva W. Davis persuaded the board of supervisors to save the historic building, and in 1947 it opened as a museum.

The museum is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is $5 for adults and $4.50 for adults over 65 and $3 for students.

For more information, call 601-636-0741 or visit