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Bringing the past alive

The Oktibbeha County Heritage Museum was established in 1976 to celebrate our nations 200th birthday. In the heart of Starkville, Mississippi, an 1874 Mobile and Ohio railroad depot houses the museum that preserves the past of our community's bygone culture. In 2009, the Heritage Museum received an award of Excellent in Historic Preservation for interior renovations.

The Museum contains numerous permanent exhibits including information on Native American and early county history; civil ware, military and location aviation history; early home life, school and church keepsakes and much more. Visit our permanent exhibits page for more information.

Museum Revitalization

The museum extends special thanks to these organizations for generously supporting special projects:  Friends of the Museum (FOM), Greater Starkville Development Partnership (GSDP), Kiwanis Club of Starkville, Starkville Area Arts Council (SAAC), Starkville Civic League, Starkville Oktibbeha Achieving Results (SOAR), Starkville Rotary Club, and Town and Country Garden Club.

The museum also has benefited from collaboration with Mississippi State University (MSU) classes and groups: architecture, communications, Day One, Maroon Volunteers, graphic arts, human sciences, landscape architecture, and Service Dawgs.

The Oktibbeha County Barn Quilt Trail held its kick-off at the Heritage Museum on October 18, 2014. Featured on the trail are 15 barn quilt squares.


The trail begins at the Habitat for Humanity Resale Warehouse (Hwy. 82 and N. Montgomery) and winds through Starkville to the Oktoc community, then on to the Noxubee Refuge. 

2014 Oktibbeha County Barn Quilt Trail

In the summer of 2014, the Friends of the Museum paid to have more painting done: the museum’s front porch (its benches, railings, and ramp) and the pavilion’s wooden stairway encasement and benches.


An MSU graphic design class produced the museum’s barn quilt square for the Oktibbeha County Barn Quilt Square Trail. The Friends of the Museum paid for the production of the museum’s quilt square, and Rick Sherman, of Sherman Exteriors, donated his labor to install it. The eye-catching, colorful, wooden square is on the south side of the building.

2014 Freshen Up and Barn Quilt Square

2013 Pavilion Completion

In spring 2013, the pavilion was completed, the lawn was enlarged, and additional landscaping was installed. A dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting was held for the green technology demonstration pavilion on April 15, with more than 100 community members present. Pervious pavement may be installed later for the parking spaces.

Museum trustees and Friends of the Museum presented plaques to MSU faculty members Cory Gallo, Hans Herrmann, Brian Templeton, and Wayne Wilkerson. The plaques expressed appreciation for their exceptional leadership, dedication, and service on the multi-year rain garden and pavilion projects for the Heritage Museum.

Cory Gallo, of the MSU landscape architecture faculty, facilitated the purchase and installation of a convex mirror at the pavilion’s northwest corner (at pavilion’s right-rear, at roofline). The Friends of the Museum paid for the mirror, whose purpose is to allow viewing at ground level of the plants growing on the pavilion’s roof.

2013 Pavilion Completion

2012 Construction of Green-Roof Pavilion

In the summer of 2012, MSU landscape architecture and architecture faculty and students began constructing a green-roof pavilion on the museum’s grounds. They installed a winding staircase for future rooftop viewing.


In the fall 2012, the faculty and students partially enclosed the pavilion’s stairway with vertical wood strips for security and safety. They also did additional work on the pavilion, made benches for it, and installed plant materials on the roof. The pavilion is wired for electricity and has LED lighting in its ceiling. They installed a sidewalk, which is partially edged with train tracks.

2009 Rain Garden Project

In 2009, a multi-year project called the rain garden began on the grounds of the museum. The landscape design uses an aesthetically pleasing, sustainable system of water control for the museum’s property.


Mississippi State University landscape architecture faculty and students provide free design and labor, with support from Master Gardeners, in-kind donations, and grants.


Friends of the Museum provides funding for this extensive project’s materials.

2008 Renovation

The museum has seen revitalization in recent years. A major renovation of the museum’s interior was undertaken in 2008.


The museum closed while the interior was refurbished, exhibits were created, and layout was changed.


A grand reopening occurred at that year’s end.

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