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Jefferson, Texas

Various dates between 1836 and 1840 are cited as the beginning of Jefferson at a river landing on Big Cypress Bayou. Whatever the date, early settlers were already established when the town was laid out in 1842.

Jefferson early became a major East Texas river port of entry, the Big Cypress was then navigable by steamboats from New Orleans. The discovery of nearby iron ore brought smelters and plow works, while plentiful pine and cypress stimulated the lumber industry.

Today. Jefferson is one of Texas' most historic towns. More than 30 structures bear state historical medallions.

Here was one of Texas' first breweries, and in 1873 the world's first ammonia refrigerant ice plant. It was the state's first city to utilize artificial gas for street lighting, and shortly after the Civil War, reached a peak population of 30,000 with as many as 15 steamboats at a time lining the docks, and scores of wagon trains passing through on the way West.

For today's traveler seeking quiet reflection of a past era, it is a fortunate result. More than 60 bed and breakfast accommodations are offered in historic buildings.

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Turning Basin River Boat Tour

45-minute narrated tour of Big Cypress Bayou, featuring riverport history of Jefferson. Just below old trestle across Polk St. bridge (U.S. 59)

Jefferson, TX Tours

Historic Homes Tours

Many of city's fine old homes are open during annual Historical Pilgrimage, first weekend in May and Candlelight Tour first two weekends in Dec. Others, below, are private residences and are generally open at times listed;

Jefferson, TX Tours


Jefferson Hotel

A cotton warehouse in 1861, converted to hotel 1900, restored as country inn and restaurant. Turn-of-the-century iron beds, Victorian dressers, rocking chairs; 22

Jefferson, TX Historic Hotels


Things to do near Jefferson, TX

Scarlett O'Hardy's Gone with the Wind Museum

Features one of the largest private collections of memorabilia from this epic story of the Old South. Among the hundreds of i...

Woodlands Resort & Country Club, The -King / General

Course Access: ResortHoles: 18Reserve Advance Tee Times: 7 days...

St. Clair Museum of Gladewater

Mementos and artifacts of city's early days. Open Mon. - Fri. 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. at 817 N. Main St....

Woodlands Resort & Country Club, The -Pines

Course Access: ResortHoles: 18Reserve Advance Tee Times: 7 days...

Birmingham Forest Lake & Golf Club

Course Access: PublicHoles: 9Reserve Advance Tee Times: Yes...