Explore our Culture

You don't have to have a PhD to appreciate Jackson's cultural influence.

Historically Significant, Artistically Amazing

Jackson wasted no time leaving an impression on both state and national culture. As the birthplace of the Republican Party, we represented a turning point in the events leading up to the Civil War. A key stop on the Underground Railroad, you can trace its footsteps through town on a walking tour. Head down to Jackson Station – the oldest continually operating passenger rail station in the country – to see where so many slaves hopped on a train bound for freedom.

A Prison Experience You Never Expected

Although we played a huge role in the abolitionist movement, we first served our country with our contributions to the prison industry. Michigan selected Jackson to house its first state prison in 1837. Jackson Journeys will take you behind the imposing stone walls to tell you the unimaginable tales that happened at what was once the largest walled prison in the world.

Housing Michigan’s first state prison put Jackson on the map. It has brought tremendous growth and success, as it beckoned the need for rail lines to pass through Jackson and provided the workforce needed for manufacturing.

The Original Motor City

Our start in the transportation industry began with wagon wheels, but quickly evolved into the manufacturing of automobiles.  At our height, we were home to 25 auto manufacturers and have since been known as the original Motor City. Ye Ole Carriage Shop provides a first-hand look at 18 one-and-only cars that were made right here.

Explore our Art Scene

Take a dive into our arts scene to uncover the stunning art and architecture our area holds. We have a wealth of museums that pay tribute to everything from transportation to military history and fine art. Head downtown to enjoy the dozens of murals that were painted by internationally acclaimed artists during the Bright Walls mural festival. While you’re there, take the self-guided architectural tour to see how iconic times in our world’s history shaped the buildings in our historic downtown area.

If the performing arts are more your thing, we have plenty of theaters and annual events that showcase the arts. When you are in Jackson, you will gain a whole new appreciation for the arts, as it is in the folds of everything we do.




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