Cave Dwellings: A Day At Historic Jefferson, Texas
Cave Dwellings

Buckhorn Creek, Lake O' The Pines, Jefferson, TX

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Day At Historic Jefferson, Texas

  The wind blew all night long.  It blew in Den’s side of the bed and out mine.  I finally closed my window after covering my head with the sheet didn’t seem to help. It stayed about 64 degrees again all night long.  We got up , had coffee and a sausage and cheese muffin and took our walk. 

We headed into Jefferson about 11AM, going right down Rt. 59 from our park…I should say, after detouring around the closed bridge, down by the railroad tracks and THEN getting on Rt.59. I need to give you a little history of Jefferson. I know, I know…not ANOTHER history lesson…Bear with me and you will be better informed when I include my photos..

“Jefferson, Texas is located on Big Cypress Bayou in the Cypress Valley of Northeast Texas. It is the County seat for Marion county. Named for Francis Marion, a Revolutionary War patriot who was known as the "Swamp Fox", Marion County was created in 1860. Jefferson was named for Thomas Jefferson, and was conceived as a port city by Allen Urquhart and Daniel Alley, who saw its potential as the head of navigation when they prepared a plan for the town site in 1841.

    In 1845, when obstructions were removed from Big Cypress Bayou, steamboats could reach Jefferson from New Orleans. After the arrival of the first steamboat, Jefferson became a boom town where many pioneers to Texas first set foot on Texas soil when they disembarked from the steamboats. Jefferson became a port of entry into the Republic of Texas and then the State of Texas. It was also a shipping port for those who wished to sell agricultural products, especially cotton. Cotton was brought to Jefferson from as far away as Dallas by ox wagon and then sold in Jefferson through receiving, forwarding, and commission merchants to markets in New Orleans and St. Louis.

    During Jefferson's Golden Era as a steamboat port from 1845 until 1875, it became a cosmopolitan town like most port cities with a confluence of cultures and businesses. The architectural styles, which developed in Jefferson during this period of prosperity, resembled those of New Orleans. The homes were primarily of Greek revival design.   When the log raft was removed by the Army Corps of Engineers in the year 1873, the water level in Big Cypress Bayou was reduced and navigation to Jefferson was threatened. Railroads were also extended during this period of time across Texas, which reduced Jefferson's commercial market area. The town ceased to be a prominent port city and commercial center. However, many of the mid-nineteenth century homes and buildings remain.”

OK, now you have a better idea of this town. I just LOVE history!!

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This is the Excelsior House Hotel …Guesthouse since the 1850’s.  People who have stayed there include President’s Grant and Hayes, Oscar Wilde and Ladybird Johnson.  Here are some pics we took inside..(clik to enlarge)

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  I absolutely LOVED Jefferson and I highly recommend it.  It is like going to New Orleans without the insanity..The lady at the front desk of the Excelsior insured us we could wander around and take any photos we wanted.  She even showed us the way out into the courtyard where they had a lovely fountain and a pond with fish and turtles…

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We walked the historic district where we saw Jay Gould’s famous Pullman railroad car, The Atalanta . He had it built especially for him by Mr. Pullman.  Jay Gould was apparently a financier, and also was apparently a crooked one.  He was involved with Boss Tweed and was instrumental in trying to manipulate the market, helping cause Black Friday and the Stock Market Crash of 1929…

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I have so many pictures and it is getting late…I will continue my saga of Jefferson Texas tomorrow.. I really fell in love with the town.  Like I said, it is like going to the Bayou country of Louisiana without the hassle..and soooo much history to see.  The architecture is totally New Orleans, too.  I will blog more about our trip tomorrow…As for now, I want my jammies on and a campfire.. 

1 comment:

  1. Wow, great pictures, you got Sam's attention Donna, standing on the observation platform of the Pullman car, He's a train fanatic.
    Be Safe out there. Sam & Donna..