Around the River and Back in Time

By our last day in Jefferson, Texas, mom and I were experts. We knew to take our time in the morning, tie back the curtains, and enjoy the lazy start of the town. We eventually moseyed on to breakfast after nine, heading to the Jefferson Outpost. This store opened “early” to serve breakfast in the back. We ordered our meal, taking in the easy nature of the community.

After perusing the isles for a bit (think old country store), we headed to our tour on the Turning Basin Riverboat. This small boat held only five of us that morning, making it a relaxing tour that felt personalized since we got to ask all the questions we wanted. The tour took us down the bayou and back, about an hour in length. The width was just about only big enough for us in places, so it’s crazy to think that this town was a major port before the dam broke.

We decided we hadn’t been carted around enough on this trip (haha!) so we headed to the Jefferson Historic Railway, which was just a small passenger train that ran along the river. I think my mom was hoping for old fancy cars, but this was just a metal train with benches that whole families squeezed into. We took a beautiful ride through the woods until the train lurched to a stop.

At the end of this ride, they treated us to an east Texas specialty – alligator viewing! They had it set up so you could watch them feed five adolescent alligators, both up close in the field and further away in the river. You could watch how fast they moved on land and their jumping technique in the water, which was pretty cool.

The whole crowd of us hopped back on the train to head back into the heart of Jefferson, where it was now the middle of the day and hot as heck. Mom stopped in the Jefferson General store for a malt, while I ventured down the block for more of that amazing homemade blackberry ice cream. Side note: the Jefferson General Store is pretty great – they have a ton of stuff and all the candy and toys from everyone’s childhood!

It was time for our final tour of the trip, at the historic home called The Grove. The house wasn’t too big, but I could tell right away after meeting our guide, the owner Mitchell, that he was well-informed on the house’s history. He was a horror author by trade, which is what had initially gotten him interested in the “confirmed” haunted house. Through his research, he learned as much as he could about who all had owned and lived in the house.

It was a great tour, even though to be honest, the home was not that impressive. But Mitchell’s stories added color and life to the home, making it a fantastic tour. He had several ghost tales, including the presence of an old woman in the rocker in the corner, and a playful child ghost in the living area. He also talked about certain renovations that had extended the house, causing one ghost to “enter through an outside wall” which actually had been the porch a long time ago. He had done so much research and talked to previous owners, it was a fascinating look at the daily life of Jefferson.

It was time for mom and I to head out at this point, but we were on such a high from our last tour, we decided one more stop for a late lunch couldn’t hurt. We decided on Kitt’s Kornbread Sandwich, which had been escaping us all trip because of it’s weird limited hours. (Seriously, if you visit, research when everything opens and closes.) But I am so glad we were able to get in and enjoy an original sandwich where the bread was cornbread. It was so good, and so unique!

Bellies full, we headed back home, already making plans for our next trip to Jefferson. For such a small town, there sure is a lot to do and see!

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