Watkins Museum, Taylorsville
Recipient of a 2014 Heritage Award for Restoration
The Watkins Museum was originally a general store, established by the Watkins family in 1902. J.T. Watkins also edited and published a newspaper here until his death in 1930, at which time his daughters Hattie and Marie took over the operation. In 1968, the building and its contents were donated to the town of Taylorville and opened to the public as “The Watkins Museum” on April 16, 1972. The building has undergone many restoration efforts in the past, and just three days after the celebration of an extensive restoration of the original façade, Hurricane Katrina took its toll, shifting the building on its foundation. The contents of the museum was salvaged and stored, while the building underwent a meticulous $250,000 restoration. The town of Taylorsville worked closely with the Mississippi Department of Archives and History and J & H Construction Company to complete the restoration and hired Communications Arts Company to oversee the interpretive plan. The Watkins Museum is open once again, sharing the story of early life in Taylorsville. To learn more, visit Taylorville High School student Erin Blackledge’s excellent website, www.watkinsmuseum.com.