Jefferson -- Only 14 Miles from Pine Needle Lodge
(903) 665-2911

Jefferson was founded in 1836 and is the 5th oldest town in Texas. The first paddlewheel steamboat, Lama, successfully navigated Caddo Lake and announced Jefferson to the South in 1845, also the year Texas entered the Union. The concurrent births of a transportation system and a state made Jefferson a major destination of the second early wave of immigrants to Texas.

Subsequently, the developing cotton industry and the means to move it to market gave Jefferson the title of "Gateway to Texas". Soon the city's tonnage shipped was second only to Galveston, Texas.  Jefferson's wealth built culture and drew the best and brightest. Jefferson's growth continued through 1872, when again concurrent events led to its decline.

The first of these was Jefferson's failure to become a railhead city at the time that land transit began to supplant water for the inland movement of freight. Second, was the destruction in 1872 of the "Great Raft", a natural dam that formed Caddo Lake. With Caddo Lake disappearing, water trade declined and ended the possibility that Jefferson might get a second chance at becoming a rail center.

Nonetheless, Jefferson with its grand homes and brick streets flourished for some 30 years. Today, it lives again with museums and antique shops, its brick streets clatter with horse-drawn carriages, and its buildings house restaurants that rival those of the paddlewheelers plying the waters of Caddo Lake en route to and from Jefferson. Most guests at Pine needle Lodge visit Jefferson during their stay with us.


For reservations or further information, call (903) 665-2911 or write
400 PR 7805, Jefferson, TX 75657

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