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This room houses our latest exhibit entitled, “Great Events at the Historic Capitol.” It covers many significant events, from 1845 to 1977, that took place in this State Capitol building. There are four main topics in the exhibit: “Flags of the Capitol” showcases many different flags that have flown over the Capitol building throughout the years. One flag is an authentic re-creation of the large United States flag flown here at the end of the Civil War when the Capitol was officially turned over to Union forces. In the “Capitol During Wartime” case, documents, artifacts and photographs relate the State’s involvement during eight wars from 1845 to 1977, (the Mexican American War through Vietnam.) Perhaps the most intriguing item in this exhibit is the 1917 Russian rifle that was found buried at the Capitol. Another topic entitled “It Happened Here” is a timeline of interesting events that took place within these walls. It includes well-known and important events, such as visits by President McKinley, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Roy Rogers, as well as, some little known events, like the pistol duel over the Governor’s daughter, the Florida snowball fight and a speed typing demonstration.
Rounding out the quartet of topics is “Capitol Square” which features artifacts that have been lost around the grounds throughout the years and then found during the construction of the new Capitol in the 1970s. Items on display range from old ink wells, horseshoes and rustic keys. The highlight of the room is one of the two old Mountain Howitzer cannons that stood on the Capitol steps from 1905 and were removed in the 1970s.
In 1902, this room was one of the rooms for the Department of Agriculture and its six staff members. The walk through doorway in the north wall was cut through the existing brick wall in 1902 and linked this room to the Office of the Commissioner of Agriculture. There was also a spiral staircase in this room that led downstairs to other rooms belonging to the Department of Agriculture.