In 1860 a private wharf was constructed that stretched 650 feet downstream and ended at the Perry Claim where Captain William Perry had several cotton sheds. This wharf fell into disrepair during the Civil War and all but its western end at the foot of Soda Street was consumed by a shift in the course of the bayou.
House of the Seasons
The House of the Seasons is a historical home in Jefferson, Texas. It is an exclusive destination offering bed and breakfast accommodations with private dining, and is an ideal location for weddings, special events and tours.
Union Missionary Baptist Church
The Union Missionary Baptist Church has been a historic center of worship for black residents in Jefferson, Texas since 1842, when it’s doors opened to all people of color. Thanks to the interest and support of the local community, and their partnership with the Collins Academy team, the church site is facing a restoration.
A new wharf was constructed in 1872 that extended from Walnut Street all the way to Washington Street. The last visit of a steamboat to Jefferson occurred in 1903.
First Public Wharf
In 1854 this wharf was constructed between Walnut and Soda streets. Wharves were important for Jefferson’s economic development. They not only made it easier for loading/offloading merchandise, but contributed to the expansion of the warehouse district, wholesale trade, and city coffers. For every steamboat that arrived at the landing, the city collected a $20 wharfage tax.
City Water Facilities
This concrete structure was part of the City of Jefferson water facilities dating from 1905 when the water works plant was built and mains were laid. This structure housed a 10’ X 12’ well, drawing water directly from the Big Cypress Bayou.
This wooden trestle was built between 1897 and 1901. The M-K-T, also known as the “Katy”, was the first railroad to enter Texas from the north. Over time it connected many points south, including Galveston and Houston.
First Steamboat Landing
Jefferson’s first steamboat landing was located at the water’s edge. The first steamboat to land here was the Llama captained by Wellington W. Withenberry in 1845. This event inaugurated the age of the steamboat in Jefferson and in the following decades led to an economic boom and population growth.
Located between Polk and Walnut Streets, the turning basin provided enough room for shallow water steamboats to maneuver and turn around. This location was near the waterline of the original landing and turning basin.
Steam Saw and Grist Mill
Jefferson’s earliest industry was a steam saw and grist mill established in 1845. It was first owned by Arthur Hicks; later improved and operated by William Baker, Job Baker, Isaac Stephens, and John O’Hara. This mill is mentioned by Edward Smith in his 1849 Account of a Journey Through North-Eastern Texas.
Paddlefish Project Area
A science enrichment program studying the reintroduction of the American Paddlefish, Polyodon spathula, to Big Cypress Bayou and Caddo Lake.
A project of the Collins Academy www.CollinsAcademy.com
The Port Jefferson History & Nature Center is an outdoor learning center and environmental park highlighting historic locations and promoting environmental preservation.
Construction of its trails and boardwalks were completed in June of 2013 by Bristol Environmental Remediation Services under contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The City of Jefferson is a non-federal sponsor, and owns the property and all improvements.