Things to Do – Georgia Visit the State Capitol Museum
Georgia’s State Museum in the capitol may be famous for its two-headed cow [and two-headed snake] but it offers so much more. Located on the top floor of the 1880s capitol, the museum is a large assortment of educational and historical exhibits featuring unique aspects of the state, along with a few oddities like that cow.
The museum got its start in 1889 as a place to showcase examples of Georgia’s geological and mineral wealth. Over the century and a quarter since, the exhibits and collections have dramatically expanded. There are seven small scale dioramas showing two great industries, peach packing and turpentine production, along with five others depicting the flora and fauna in four traditional state regions and the Okeefenokee Swamp.
Many exhibits highlight important times in state history. These go back to Native American civilizations, the evolution of state capitals in Georgia and modern events centering on Civil Rights and the ERA. Quite appropriate are also the sections dealing with how bills are passed in the General Assembly and the functions of various state executive departments.
Perhaps the most interesting are those dealing with the natural resources of Georgia, both past and present. Excellently documented cases feature fossils, minerals and various marbles. My personal favorite was the exhibit of “state animals and materials.” Who knew that the state reptile is the gopher tortoise or that the state insect is the honeybee?
On top of all this, there are endless portraits on all floors and statues/busts of famous Georgians. Although primarily politicians, Margaret Mitchell, Crawford Long and Robert E. Lee can also be found. The State Museum is open to the public whenever the capitol is open and is free. Parking is available at the nearby Underground Atlanta and there is easy access to the capitol from the Georgia State MARTA Station.
So go and enjoy all that you can learn in a beautiful environment about your state and don’t forget to check out that two-headed cow.
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