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Historic Jefferson Texas: Walking Tour #1

Jefferson is a city rich in history, much of which can best be viewed by meandering the streets of Historic Downtown. The walking tours provide just a glimpse of Jefferson's well-preserved past.

The tour begins and ends at the Excelsior Hotel.

Call 903-665-3733 or visit www.VisitJeffersonTexas.com for more information.

Printed copies of this map are available at the Jefferson Visitor Center, 305 E. Austin St, Jefferson, TX 75657.
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1. Excelsior House Hotel
211 W Austin St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
This historic hotel has been in continuous operation since the 1850's. It was built by Captain William Perry, who brought the first steamboat to Jefferson in 1844. It is now owned by the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club.
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2. The Atalanta
212 W Austin St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1882. The private railroad car of Jay Gould, an American industry and rail-road tycoon. It contains all original fixtures. Tours are available by appointment at the Excelsior House Hotel 903-665-2513.
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3. Captain William Perry Park
213 W Austin St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
Captain William Perry park was named for the builder of the Excelsior House Hotel.
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4. Jefferson Historical Society Museum
223 W Austin St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1888. This former Federal Courthouse and Post Office is now the home of the Jefferson Historical Society and Museum. Note the magnolia tree, planted as a seedling by former First Lady, Lady Bird Johnson, from the tree on the White House lawn planted during the term of President Andrew Jackson.
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5. Sterne Fountain
Cast of pure bronze by the JL Mott Foundry in New Your City, the fountain was given to the City of Jefferson in 1912 by the children of Jacob and Ernestine Sterne. The statue is of Hebe, the Greek goddess of youth. Notice the different levels of the fountain, intended to serve water to horses, dogs, cats and people.
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6. Carnegie Library
301 W Lafayette St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1907. One of only two Carnegie donated libraries still functioning as a library, this building was constructed based on Andrew Carnegie's strict guidelines. Partial to wooden floors, 16-foot high embossed metal ceilings and two-story structures, his influence is still evident today. One floor was originally designed for community functions and included both a kitchen and auditorium.
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7. Ruth Lester Memorial
209 W Henderson St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1869. Originally built as a private residence, then used as a Catholic Convent, the building is now connected to the Jefferson Playhouse.
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8. Jefferson Playhouse
211 W Henderson St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1875. Originally constructed as a Jewish Synagogue, the building is now used for various local productions and annually for the infamous "Diamond Bessie Murder Trial Play" during Jefferson's Historical Pilgrimage each May.
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9. First United Methodist Church
305 W Henderson St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1863. 1863. Standing on the site of Jefferson’s first church, this congregation was first formed in 1844. They first worshipped in a log cabin on this site, replaced by a brick structure in 1860, then by the wooden structure in 1883. The church bell was cast in 1858 from 1500 Mexican dollars and the lead art glass was installed in the windows in the early 1920’s.
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10. Cumberland Presbyterian Church
501 E Jefferson St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1872. The church was built by John Ligon in a neo-Gothic style and located across from the park that once served as a city market-place. It contains many of it's original furnishings.
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11. Jefferson House
407 E Jefferson St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1850-1860. Constructed by Bartholomew Figures, a large land owner, in a classic Greek Revival style.
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12. Emmert House
408 E Jefferson St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1868. This was the early home of Alice Emmert, the first female school superintendent. Between 1924 - 1926, Claudia Taylor, later known as Lady Bird Johnson, boarded here while a student at Jefferson High School.
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13. Christ Episcopal Church
703 S Main St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1868. This neo-Gothic church was built eight years after the original congregation was organized and still contains the original pews.
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14. Secession Hall
310 E Jefferson St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1856. Judge WS Todd purchased this house in 1858. He was an avid Civil War secesssionist who name his son William Secession Todd.
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15. House of the Seasons
409 S Alley St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1872. The colored glass in the cupola of this home depicts the changing seasons. This Italianate structure was built by Benjamin Epperson, a lawyer and large landholder.
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16. The Manse
407 E Delta St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
This highly stylized Greek Revival home was formerlly owned by the Presbyterian Church. It was also once owned and used as a meeting place for the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club.
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17. Alley McKay House
306 E Delta St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1851. One of several homes built by Dan Alley, a founder of Jefferson, in a classical style.
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18. Guarding Oak
301 S Friou St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
A lovely renovation on the site of an 1859-era home.
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19. Old Rowell House
301 S Alley St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1858. In the classic Jefferson cottage style, this home was owned for many years by JH Rowell, Sr., a prioneer business man in Jefferson.
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20. Captain's Castle
403 E Walker St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1858. Known as the Rogers McCasland home.
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21. Old Atkins House
407 E Walker St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1859. A private residence, built in a classical Jefferson style of architecture.
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22. Alley-Carlson Home
501 E Walker St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1861. Owned by the same family until 1991, this home features original furnishings. Now owned and opened for tours by the Jefferson Historical Society and Museum.
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23. French Townhouse
502 E Walker St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1861. Built by Dan Alley, Jr. with Victorian architectural features. It contains the original interior wooden structures.
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24. Bateman-Rowell House
307 N Vale St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1862. This Greek Revival home has the original gas meter (circa 1867) inside the hallway. it also has the original servant's quarters, gazebo, outhouse, milk barn and chicken house.
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25. RS Terry Home
109 W Henderson St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1880. This Victorian home, built by a cotton broker, has fine architectural window and door treatments.
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26. William Clark Home
201 W Henderson St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1851. This Victorian cottage has classical lines and features windows which extend to the floor.
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27. Beard House
212 N Vale St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
1860. This neo-classical home has Victorian columns and outstanding steamboat Gothic trim. It was built by Noble Birge, a merchant and civic promoter of navigation projects.
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28. Site of Brooks Hotel
209 N Vale St
Jefferson, TX 75657, US
Site of the historic inn where the infamous Abe Rothschild and Bessie Moore stayed, prior to her death, which is the basis for the "Diamond Bessie Murder Trial" play.
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Delta Street Inn
206 East Delta Street
Jefferson, TX, United States
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Delta Street Inn
206 East Delta Street
Jefferson, TX, United States