Late 18th-century explorer Louis LeFleur was on to something. On a bluff high above the Pearl River in the city that a few decades later would be named Jackson, LeFleur set up an outpost, trading goods and services.
Today, on that same bluff, the exchange of culture and ideas and that same spirit of exploration and adventure make up the LeFleur Museum District.
This nearly 500-acre campus includes the Mississippi Natural Science Museum, the Mississippi Children’s Museum, the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum and the Mississippi Sports Hall of Fame, bordering LeFleur’s Bluff State Park.
The LeFleur Museum District formed in 2012 shortly after a grant from Visit Jackson (then the Jackson Convention and Visitor’s Bureau) birthed an “attractions pass” that allowed visitors to purchase one ticket for multiple museum experiences.
The LMD is a consortium, each member playing different roles, each serving as what Susan Garrard, Mississippi Children’s Museum president and CEO, calls “a community center."
“There were four terrific, award-winning museums with tremendous collections, great staff and employees, so it made sense to share what we knew and work together to improve way-finding and infrastructure,” Garrard remembered. “We’re not just a collection of archival things. Though collections are important and tell the story of who we are and what we were, being engaged and in the community is important for the evolution of museums.”