Historic and Haunted Jefferson, Texas Getaway

Jefferson, Texas is nestled deep in the Piney Woods of East Texas, a beautiful drive just 2 ½ Hours from Dallas, Texas. You will know when you arrive, the stresses of the city will melt away as you stroll the brick lined streets frozen in time with antique stores, the general store, hotels, and restaurants. Boasting over one hundred buildings and houses with historical markers, many offer bed and breakfast accommodations.

Jefferson is also one of the most haunted towns in Texas! Curious? There is no more qualified and entertaining guide into the paranormal world than Jodi Breckenridge. She owns and operates Jefferson Ghost Walk. You will feel a chill go up your spine as she relates factual history, genuine legends and ghost tales. Be sure to ask Jodi about the Bio channel and A&E flying her out to California to shoot a show called “My Ghost Story” and then coming to Jefferson to film with her another show called ” Fact or Fiction!”
Tickets or call: 903-665-6289.

I believe the key factor to keeping Jefferson Historically intact and buzzing with tourists is down to The Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club. I was honored to speak with member Elaine Johnson on my recent stay at the Historic Ruth Lester House. It was clear from speaking with Elaine the members love every minute spent preserving and sharing the history of the town. There is always an event in the works but this coming weekend is especially exciting. They will present the 70th Annual Jefferson Pilgrimage . Let them take you back to the 1800s. Choose from the infamous Diamond Bessie Murder Trial Play that portrays the true story of Diamond Bessie and Abe Rothschild who arrived in Jefferson in 1877. Following a picnic across Big Cypress Bayou, Abe departed town. Two weeks later, Bessie’s body was found in the woods, shot through the head!

Love beautiful homes? The Historic Home and Garden Tours will be held Friday, May 5th and Saturday, May 6th, 11:00am to 5:00 pm. There will lots of excitement moving through the streets and all through Jefferson with Pilgrimage Parade and town skirmish this weekend.

Even if you are not staying there, see the Excelsior House Hotel. They have so much town and hotel history in the lobby area alone. Please say hello to the ever-gracious General Manager Nancy Canson and the charming Kimberly Lebrun for me. They will make you feel right at home. They can also help you tour the Atlanta, private rail car of notorious railway baron Jay Gould of New York, and find how it came to rest in Jefferson!

What better way to see a historic town than by horse and carriage. My “must do” every visit is to The Lone Star Carriage Company of Jefferson Texas owned by Liesl Moody 903-926-8216.

Looking for a little time on the water? I always call on Howard Leftwich Big Dreamer Tours & Guide Service for a Caddo Lake Swamp Tour in Uncertain, Texas just a short drive from Jefferson.
Tell him Teal sent you 214-675-3713.

Now you must be hungry! Although there are many wonderful places I enjoy eating, the top favorite has to be The Hamburger Store. For over fifty years they have served up a wide variety of delicious food at very reasonable prices served in 1950’s style car lovers décor.

Happy Trails!
Teal L. Gray


Other helpful links:
Marion County Chamber of Commerce
Historic Jefferson Railway
Diamond Don RV Park
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