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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



First Bed and Breakfast in Texas/Pride House

First bed and breakfast in state. This Victorian mansion features more than 30 original stained glass windows and 12

Jefferson, TX Historic Hotels

Things to do near Jefferson, TX

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...

Magnolia Ridge Country Club

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

Elkins Lake Country Club

Course Access: PrivateHoles: 18Reserve Advance Tee Times: 2 days...

Houstan County Lake Camping/Parks

Crockett Family Resort From Loop 304 on the northwest side of Crockett, take FM 229 approximately 7 miles west, and turn r...

R. G. LeTourneau Museum

Houses many of famed industralist's patents and business artifacts; some of his early earth-moving equipment on display. On L...