Displays and Exhibits
The Goller Room
Located on the ground floor, the Goller Room has permanent exhibits as well as our rotating display case, gift shop and office. It is also used as an assembly/orientation room for group tours.
The Drawing Room
The Drawing Room showcases some of our more elegant pieces with historic furnishings from many old Cole County families - Houchin, Price, Gundelfinger, McCarty, Major, Stephens, Hyde, Jaeger and others.
The gold-leaf pier mirror is one of a pair that was at each end of the Thomas Lawson Price double parlor. It was made in France from architect's specifications, circa 1854.
The ornately carved writing table was presented to Governor David Rowland Francis (1889-1893) for serving as President of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri. The bookcase against the wall is one of the oldest pieces from the Price mansion, an heirloom of Lucy Bolton Price's family. It was brought to Missouri by General and Mrs. Price when they moved from Charlottesville, Virginia about 1829-1831. The curtains in the glass door sections are sealed in and have never been removed since the bookcase was built. The marble is from Italy.
The DeLong Room
One of the most outstanding displays is our collection of Inaugural Ball gowns. Worn by former Missouri "First Ladies", these gowns portray most vividly the fashion trends through the years. Faint echoes of gala inaugural balls seem to linger in the fragile laces, the rustling silks and shimmering satins. The earliest models, bedecked with frills and furbelows, buttons, bustles, and bows, recall the ornate elegance of the Victorian period. More modern gowns display simplicity of line and style.
Our museum is the only private not-for-profit museum in the country that has inaugural gowns of their First Ladies on display. In order to protect the fabrics and do justice to the collection, we rotate these displays quarterly.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert E. Holloway, Jr. have made a major contribution to our museum collections—the china and crystal used by Governor Samuel Baker while he was in office, 1925-1929. Mr. Holloway is a nephew of Nell Baker, wife of the governor.
The collection includes 8 place settings of Heinrich and Company (Serb, Bavaria) china, hand-decorated and painted by Pickard, Inc., with 23K gold over floral-etched design. In addition there are 8 place settings of crystal by Rosenthal Glassware Company (Serb, Bavaria) decorated with 23K gold over floral-etched design by Pickard, Inc.
Before becoming Governor, Samuel Baker was an educator in the public schools of Jefferson City, progressing from High School Principal to the position of State School Superintendent. Nell was a native of Jefferson City and a stenographer for the Missouri Supreme Court.
Sam Baker was elected Governor on the Republican ticket and according to the Missouri Ruralist was “common as an old shoe”. The Bakers had one daughter, Mary Elizabeth—14 years old at the time of the inauguration.
Mrs. Baker worked on making the Mansion more livable—renovating and re-decorating, including ordering the china and crystal we now have on display in our museum.
The B. Gratz Brown Bedroom
This room was completed and dedicated April 11, 1984, in memory of Benjamin Gratz Brown who built the row houses that are now our museum. Many of the artifacts and furnishings in this room belonged to Governor and Mrs. Brown's family. This includes three portraits of B. Gratz Brown at different ages in his life, and many other items.
Benjamin Gratz Brown was born May 28, 1826, the only child of Judge Mason Brown and his first wife, Judith Bledsoe Brown, at "Liberty Hall," Frankfort, Kentucky. The house had been designed by Thomas Jefferson and occupied an entire square in Frankfort and was home to five generations of the Brown family. A framed picture of the building is part of our display.
B. Gratz Brown studied law at Yale University and practiced in St. Louis; served as editor for the Missouri Democrat (a newspaper of considerable influence in St. Louis); served in the Missouri House of Representatives in 1862 and the U.S. Senate from 1863 to 1867; was governor of Missouri 1870-1872. He died December 13, 1885 in St. Louis.
On August 17, 1858, B. Gratz Brown married Mary Hanson Gunn, daughter of Calvin Gunn, Missouri's first official state printer. Miss Gunn was 17 years old at the time and Mr. Brown was a 32 year old state senator. Their framed marriage certificate hangs in this room.
This Conte crayon drawing, on the left, of Governor Brown, dated 1887, was done by a daughter after his death in 1885.
The image on the right is an oil painting of B. Gratz Brown as a child by an unknown artist.
The Price Bedroom
This room was named for Thomas Lawson Price who came from a distinguished family background. He brought his family to Jefferson City from Virginia about 1831 and became a very successful and influential citizen. He established the first mail stage line between Jefferson City and St. Louis; he participated in building Missouri's railroads; he served in the Missouri Legislature, in the national Congress, and as Jefferson City's first Mayor and Lieutenant Governor.
The home which he built on High Street was the finest of its time; it is said to have cost $100,000 in 1842. It was magnificently furnished and was the center of social and political activity in Jefferson City. The building stood on the corner of High and Washington Streets, the present site of the Missouri Supreme Court , and was demolished in 1904. Several items from the Price mansion were acquired by CCHS and are showcased in our museum. The most imposing piece of furniture displayed in this room is this hand-carved, half-tester bed.
There is an oil portrait of Lucy Pope Hawkins and son, Scott Pope Hawkins. Mrs. Hawkins (1878-1969) was a benefactor of CCHS. Her son, Scott was a naval aviation cadet attached to the USS Chicago. In January 1938 he died in a fall from an airplane while searching for another plane lost at sea. His body was never recovered and his empty mausoleum is at Riverview Cemetery in Jefferson City.
Granny's Attic on the top floor of the museum showcases many smaller objects, historic pictures, children's toys and items that might typically be found stored in the attic of this old house. It has been a favorite display for all generations.
Rotating Display - Goller Room
The rotating display case is located in the Goller Room. The contents of this case are changed often, to keep it fresh and interesting, and the displays have a different theme each time.