Antiques & Old Homes in East Texas

While I had been hiking Caddo Lake, my mom was enjoying a cup of coffee on the porch of our guest cottage Airbnb. She was starting her day off right in preparation of the “old lady” day we were about to have. The rain had held off for my hike, but was ever-approaching. Luckily, our first stop was a cute little coffee shop in the main square of Marshall, TX, right across from their general store, which had an old red pickup truck out front.

I got a latte and shared a blueberry scone at Joe Pine Coffee, which was really repping east Texas. Texas is full of pride, but small towns in Texas even more so. Our main attraction, the Weisman Center, was right next door – an antique shop with three stories of treasures to explore. My mother and I weren’t really looking for anything in particular, but we both love looking at antiques. We could honestly browse any kind of shops all day (even without buying anything), and you’ll see we do a lot of that this trip.

After browsing classic dishware and fur coats and antique furniture, we worked up an appetite, but luckily the Weisman also had a little cafe style shop on the first floor. My mom and I both got quiche and salad and watched the rain pour down from the big front windows. It felt a little bit like we were a mother-daughter duo in the 1950s out for a bit of fancy department store shopping and a small bite.

With my mom’s luck, by the time to leave the rain had stopped and we made our way to the Starr family home. I’m not sure if all small towns in East Texas have home tours, but that’s what we look for. My mom loves all the family drama and history over the years, but I love the architecture and home furnishings. It’s like IKEA for antiques; you get to see exactly how a home was made up in the past. Also, everything is just so beautiful. I really think I should be in my seventies by now for how much of an old lady I am.

It was time to leave Marshall and head to Jefferson, which was only about a twenty minute drive north. We immediately went to the Jefferson Museum, which we’d passed up on last time, but kept hearing how amazing it was. We started at the train model display, which was pretty cool. I’m not super into trains (especially models), but all the detail in the miniature town was very interesting. The museum itself was a bit disappointing. It was like browsing an antique shop, except everything was behind glass, so not really worth it in my opinion. We could pop over next door and see basically the same stuff, except buy it for ten bucks.

After constantly checking her watch since the next stop was my mom’s pick, it was time to visit Scarlett O’Hardy’s Gone with the Wind Museum. The “museum” was just Mrs. O’Hardy’s personal collection of Gone with the Wind memorabilia. There was a lot to look at, but my favorite was all the different editions of the book, categorized by year, and then by language. Ah, I do love books.

We checked into the carriage house (or guest house) for the House of the Seasons, an historic home my mom and me both had fallen in love with on our last trip. I had barely put my bags down before my mom was urging me to head back to the main street of town. Night was approaching at this point, and she wanted me to get my tarot reading. (More on that next time.)

After a (spoiler: awful) reading, we walked around an antique shop that was about to close. We were ready to jump back into being in Jefferson and get excited for our girls weekend. And what did that mean? Ordering a big fancy bread basket from Austin Street Bistro. I’m not kidding, I had dreamed about this bread basket after my last visit. We ended up sharing a meal since we were so full from the bread, but it was all worth it.

After a good, long dinner, we decided to walk around to digest and see what might still be open. This was definitely a town where people were only out and about from 10 a.m. to 5 p. m. The good ol’ Jefferson General Store was still open, which was cutely set up as an old time-y store with a malt station and candy by the pound, but all the goods were modern and brands you’d recognize. My mom spotted some cute soaps, and it made me remember the big tub we had back at our home for the night. It was time for a spa night!

When we got back to the House of the Seasons, we put on the fancy white robes, stuck our feet in the big bubble bath (with jets!), and applied our newly bought face masks. I think at that point it wasn’t even 9 p.m. but we were both beat. We’d seen a lot (and learned a lot), and we were ready to get in bed. We were truly embodying the old person spirit of the town.

The next morning, we headed to breakfast at the main house, only to find ourselves sharing a table with the owner! This was my mom’s dream. She got to ask all about what he did, who he was, and how their paths might’ve crossed entertaining big wigs in Dallas. I was more interested in how he acquired his antiques for the house and the truth about ghosts in the old house.

During our tour, they were adamant about there being no ghosts in the House of the Seasons (particularly because the town is supposed to be a hot spot for ghost hunters). However, the chef had a couple of little interesting details like a certain mirror being always flipped up and heavy pressure if you laid in one particular bed upstairs. But you didn’t hear any of this from me, or who I spent a private breakfast with on my last morning in Jefferson.

We explored a bit of our favorite house with Georgiana, who also gave us our original tour when we came last year. The owner came around some of the first floor with us, telling us a couple of stories from when he first purchased the house in the early 70s, and then my mom and I got to ask all the questions we wanted. It was honestly very cool. To recap from last year, The House of the Seasons is called that because of the cupola (a small square top of the house that has windows), and how each of the four windows has a different color to represent every season. Well, because we were private guests, we actually had access to go up to the cupola!

Our great moods carried us for the rest of the day around town, exploring all the antiques and stopping by my favorite ice cream. The handmade blackberry ice cream from this tiny food truck is still my fave. It lived up to its memory. Overall, had mostly highs (one major low with the tarot) and I was ready to officially cross Jefferson off my to-do list! What other East Texas towns can I explore next?

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