Jefferson is the county seat of Marion County, Texas, located in the northeast corner of the state. It has a population of just over 2,000 people and is a historic city filled with antebellum mansions and haunted houses. Located on the Big Cypress Bayou, the town boasts a vivid presence in Texas history. Visitors from all around the world come to enjoy the town. Scroll to see the full list with photos or jump to the table of contents.


Jefferson Historical Museum

Jefferson Historical Museum

© Jefferson Historical Museum

The Jefferson Historical Museum resides in the 1888 stately red brick building that once served as the Jefferson Post Office and the Federal Courthouse. It contains artifacts pertaining to the history of Jefferson and of Marion County.

The museum has four floors of exhibits, which include 1880s homestead furnishings, art, antique guns, needlework, dolls, crockery, quilts, fine porcelain, china and silver, and Caddo Indian artifacts. On the museum property there is a replica of an early 1900s railway depot that contains an HO gauge model railroad that took over thirty years to build. The railroad has 193 feet of track, and is a miniature of a 1950s Texas and Pacific Railroads train.

Jefferson Historical Museum, 223 W. Austin, Jefferson, TX 75657, Phone: 903-665-2775


The Grove

The Grove

© The Grove

The Grove is a historical house and private residence in Jefferson that was built in 1861 in the Greek Revival architectural style. The property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has been featured in many television shows about the paranormal, as it is said that The Grove is haunted. In the Grove’s emporium, visitors can buy books with a haunted house theme.

Over the years, the house has been a home to many families, and at one point it was a restaurant. It has been remodeled to resemble a fine 1860s home with period furniture and décor. Hour-long tours of the house led by the current owner are held on weekends; reservations are required for all tours. Visitors are also welcome to visit the Grove’s property, which has a particularly nice butterfly garden.

The Grove, 405 Moseley Street, Jefferson, TX 75657, Phone: 903-665-8018


Jefferson Ordnance Magazine

Jefferson Ordnance Magazine

© VisitJeffersonTexas/Facebook

The Jefferson Ordnance Magazine, built in 1863, is a brick structure and part of a network of sites for transporting ammunition downriver during the Confederate war effort in the American Civil War. Made of brick, the magazine is 10 feet square, 15 feet high, and a foot thick, with ventilation slots to keep the interior cool.

Its strategic location during the war has become its downfall, as the Big Cypress Bayou is encroaching on it, eroding the shoreline, and putting its survival in jeopardy. The Jefferson Ordnance Magazine is on private property and can only be viewed from a distance; interested visitors can see it from a boat on Turning River Basin Riverfront Tour or from a train car aboard the Jefferson and Cypress Bayou Railway.

Jefferson Ordnance Magazine, Historic Jefferson Foundation, Phone: 903-665-7064


Caddo Lake State Park

Caddo Lake State Park

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Caddo Lake State Park is a wilderness of swamps and bayous amongst cypress trees hung with Spanish moss. The State Park is located 13 miles southeast of Jefferson near the town of Karnack. The 26,000-acre lake has over seventy types of fish in it, so it is perfect for anglers, who catch mostly largemouth and white bass as well as crappie.

Visitors may bring their own kayaks or canoes for exploring the lake’s 50 miles of paddling trails, or they can rent a boat at the park. The park is full of wildlife, including alligators, as well as armadillos, turtles, minks, beavers, and white-tailed deer. Caddo Lake State Park has camping facilities and cabins for rent, and it is perfect for picnicking and hiking.

Caddo Lake State Park , 245 Park Road 2, Karnack, TX 75661, Phone: 903-679-3351


Famous Howe Truss Train Trestle

Famous Howe Truss Train Trestle

© Martina/stock.adobe.com

The Famous Howe Truss Train Trestle was originally built in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania by the Phoenix Bridge Company back in the year 1897 and was later installed in 1907 in Jefferson, Texas. The “Howe Truss” bridge design was introduced by William Howe. One of the main reasons people visit this famous bridge is the LED light show that takes place from dusk to dawn every evening. This beautiful light project was installed on the "Howe Truss" Train Trestle in 2018 by Longview Lights and first premiered on July 4th of that year to more than 1,500 people. Map


Museum of Measurement and Time

Museum of Measurement and Time

© Museum of Measurement and Time

The artifacts in theMuseum of Measurement and Time were once the private collection of Jefferson residents Johnny and Edith Ingram. To this day, the elderly couple oversees the museum and gives excellent tours to those who visit.

The museum has a reputation for excellence and for eclectic items. They have over 400 clocks, mostly American made, from the period 1700-1900; more than 1,000 salt and pepper shakers, some of them practical, others whimsical; rare and vintage maps from the 19th century; and a large number of items relating to surveying. Johnny Ingram was a Professional Engineer and Land Surveyor who became interested in the early period of surveying and started a collection of early surveying tools. Next read: TX beaches

Museum of Measurement and Time, 301 North Polk Street, Jefferson, TX 75657, Phone: 903-665-6668


Historic Jefferson Ghost Walk

Historic Jefferson Ghost Walk

© Historic Jefferson Ghost Walk

Paranormal television shows and books consider Jefferson, Texas to be one of the most haunted places in the United States. The ghost walks, which are given on Friday and Saturday evening, acquaint visitors with the violent occurrences in Jefferson’s past on a walk through some of the town’s most haunted locales.

Unlike other ghost tours, the historian who leads this one has managed to gain access to some of the buildings, and the walk in the dark through the Old Mill is, by all accounts, very creepy. The Historic Jefferson Ghost Walk tour lasts two hours and paints a colorful history of Jefferson and the people who met their untimely ends in the town. Comfortable shoes are recommended, and reservations are required.

Historic Jefferson Ghost Walk, Tour leaves from: The Sandwich Shoppe, 101 S. Market Street, Jefferson, TX 75657, Phone: 903-601-3375


Lake O’ The Pines

Lake O’ The Pines

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Lake O’ The Pines is a 17,000 acre reservoir of Big Cypress Bayou. It has extensive parks with tall pines along its shores and an excellent fishery that has stocked the lake with large mouth, white, and spotted bass as well as catfish, crappies, sunfish, and pickerel.

Alley Creek Park and Brushy Creek Park are the best of the parks for camping overnight, Cedar Springs Park has a lovely picnic area, and Lakeside Park and Johnson Creek Park have great beaches and swimming. The park has marinas and boat ramps for people who bring their own watercraft. Pontoon boat rentals are available at Johnson Creek Marina.

Lake O’ The Pines, Contact info: 2669 Fm 726, Jefferson, TX 75657, Phone: 903-665-2336


Jefferson General Store

Jefferson General Store

© Jefferson General Store

The Jefferson General Store was built in the 1860s and was the first hardware store and general store in the region. It was ideally located at the turning point for the riverboats, and as such, stocking the store was easy. The same family owned it from the 1860s until 1977, and its current owners have beautifully preserved it. The original cast iron safe is still used today.

With its wooden floors and baskets of goods, the Jefferson General Store still resembles an old-time emporium, and visitors will love the five cent cups of coffee and five cent cups of ice cream. A nickel is all you need to operate the old-fashioned juke box as well. The store sells gifts, southern memorabilia, and the penny candy of long ago.

Jefferson General Store, 113 E. Austin Street, Jefferson, TX 75657, Phone: 903-665-8481


Scarlett O'Hardy's Gone With the Wind Museum

Scarlett O'Hardy's Gone With the Wind Museum

© Scarlett O'Hardy's Gone With the Wind Museum

O’Hardy’s Gone With The Wind Museum opened on November 27, 1998 in historic Jefferson, Texas. The museum is the private collection of Jefferson resident Bobbie Hardy, who has spent her lifetime amassing collectibles of the novel by Margaret Mitchell and the film by David O. Selznick. The walls are covered in movie posters from all over the world, and there is a vast store of film memorabilia, including reproduction costumes, movie stills, dolls, jigsaw puzzles, figurines, and the autographs of notables such as Clark Gable, Vivian Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, and Butterfly McQueen.

A beautiful GWTW-themed Christmas tree decorated with dozens of Gone with the Wind ornaments is on display year-round. The museum has more than one hundred foreign editions of the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, in dozens of different languages, and a signed first edition of the book. The museum gift shop offers souvenirs relating to the novel, its author, and the motion picture. More info

408 Taylor Street, Jefferson, TX 75657, Phone: 903-665-1939, Map


Singleton's Virginia Cross Home

Singleton's Virginia Cross Home

© Singleton's Virginia Cross Home

This beautiful antebellum home was constructed in 1859 in Greek Revival architecture. Built from Cypress lumber with heart pine floors, the house is decorated in period wallpaper and contains antique furnishings consistent with the style of the times. The house remains a family home and is only open for tours on Saturday afternoons. Reservations are required.

Tours of Singleton's Virginia Cross Home last approximately 45 minutes and allow visitors to take in the beautiful antiques, the history of the house, the lives of the previous owners, and the stories behind acquiring the furnishings that now grace the home. The beautiful display of antique dolls is a highlight of the home’s collectibles.

Singleton's Virginia Cross Home , 401 N. Soda Street, Jefferson, TX 75657, Phone: 903-665-3938

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Excelsior House Hotel

Excelsior House Hotel

© Excelsior House Hotel

The oldest hotel in the state of Texas, the Excelsior House Hotel in downtown Jefferson is a historic hotel that has welcomed guests since the year 1858. Among its list of famous guests over the years are Steven Spielberg, Lady Bird Johnson, Rutherford B. Hayes, Oscar Wilde, and Ulysses S. Grant. Owned and operated since 1961 by the Excelsior Foundation and the ladies of the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club, the hotel is full of old world charm and beautiful antiques. Ideal for a romantic getaway, the Excelsior House Hotel also serves a Plantation Breakfast during the weekends.

Excelsior House Hotel , 211 W Austin St, Jefferson, TX 75657, 903-665-2513


The House of the Seasons

The House of the Seasons

© The House of the Seasons

A historic home in Jefferson, The House of the Seasons is a charming bed-and-breakfast with great hospitality that offers tours of the historical grounds, as well as hosts special events and weddings. Tours of The House of the Seasons are offered Monday to Saturday throughout the year at 11:00am, with the exception of December 24th through December 26th and December 31st through January 2nd. The beautiful Victorian Garden features a granite walkway meandering around the gazebo and through the garden. From the house, a “secret garden” can be seen consisting of formal plantings, bird baths, and native plants.

The House of the Seasons, 409 S Alley St, Jefferson, TX 75657


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