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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


Jay Gould Private Railroad Car

Jay Gould Private Railroad Car—The "Atalanta" has luxurious interior with four staterooms, lounge, dining room, kitchen, butler'

Jefferson, TX Railroad History

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


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

Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

This 16,550-seat outdoor performing arts center, surrounded by lush, green forest, hosts some of Texas' best live performance...

Ellen Trout Zoo and Park

Fully accredited zoo shows a wide variety of animals and birds; known for its breeding programs for West African crowned cran...

Del Lago Resort

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

Village Creek State Park

Named for the 63-mile long creek which flows through the heart of the Big Thicket. Stream is renowned as a float stream, and ...