Background Information About Jefferson, Texas

Jefferson is a pre-Civil War town featuring scenic streets, charming restaurants, quaint bed & breakfast inns and picturesque landscapes. Located in the Piney Woods of East Texas, Jefferson is home to authentic historic landmarks, well-preserved homes built before the Civil War, restored buildings, museums and attractions that transport you back in time to a nineteenth century riverport. Today’s Jefferson is reminiscent of its heyday with antique shops lining the original brick streets, historic home tours, seasonal
festivals and a horse-drawn carriage tour.

Jefferson became a mid-nineteenth-century boomtown with the help of successful and well-bred families, opportunists and a rich assortment of eclectic individuals, while offering a supply point and doorway to settlers and immigrants seeking a new life. The first steamboat to land in Jefferson was the Llama, owned by William Perry. The Llama’s route went from what is now Shreveport, LA, through Caddo Lake into Big Cypress Bayou and westward into Jefferson. 

Soon, cotton and other products destined for market were being shipped down river. By 1845, steamboats were regularly reaching Jefferson, some with up to 130 passengers or more aboard. 

By the late 1840s, Jefferson had emerged as the leading commercial and distribution center in Northeast Texas and the state’s chief inland port, second only to Galveston in total tonnage. Many historic, Old Southern homes were built in Jefferson as it emerged as a cosmopolitan town.

Today, Jefferson is a serene but vivacious historic town with more state-registered historic structures than anywhere else in Texas, many of which are also listed on The National Registry of Historic Places. Jefferson’s rich and diverse history draws tourists year-round who enjoy the trip back in time. 

Jefferson Convention and Visitors Bureau