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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



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



Things to do near Jefferson, TX

Lanana Creek Trail

Six-mile rustic trail through Pecan Acres Park along Lanana Creek. Scenic trail follows paths once traveled by Indians. ...

Scenic Drives

Excellent forest scenery along highways in all directions. Stands of Virginia shortleaf pine are seen south of Hemphill at co...

London Museum and Tea Room

Located across from the rebuilt school, this small museum recalls the horror of the 1937 school explosion that rocked the nat...

Texas Country Music Hall of Fame and Tex Ritter Museum

New $2.2 million, 13,000-square foot facility that pays tribute to Texans who have made an indelible mark the country music i...