With so much Southern heritage in such a small town, it’s necessary to visit some of the sites that make Jefferson  so historically significant.
One of its crown jewels is the amazing House of the Seasons (409 S. Alley St., 903/665-8000, www.houseoftheseasons.com , tours available at 11 a.m. Mon.–Sat., $7.50 per person). Built in 1872 by Col. Benjamin Epperson, a prominent businessman and friend of Sam Houston, this magnificent home contains architectural elements representing styles ranging from Greek Revival to Italianate to Victorian. The house gets its name from the glass encasement on top of the house, featuring colored glass representing each season of the year.
A visit to Jefferson is incomplete without a stop at the fascinating Jefferson General Store (113 E. Austin St., 903/665-8481, www.jeffersongeneralstore.com , 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Sun.–Thurs., 9 a.m.–10 p.m. Fri.–Sat.). Walking through the creaky front screen doors offers a true step back in time, with vintage trinkets and current-day souvenirs mingling in a historic 1870s mercantile setting. Touches of bygone days are everywhere, from the signature five-cent cup of coffee to the homemade pecan pralines to the soda fountain. Jams, salsas, T-shirts, and candy round out this unique experience.
Also well worth a visit is The Grove (405 Moseley St., 903/665-8018, www.thegrove-jefferson.com , call for tour information, $6). Referred to as “the most haunted house in Jefferson ,” the Grove is a private residence built in 1861 that was recently listed on the National Register of Historic Places. An hour-long tour offers a fascinating glimpse into the home, along with stories about the supernatural experiences of the owners, including a lady in a white dress that always takes the same path through the house when she appears. Its paranormal activity is so legendary, it landed the Grove on the cover of A Texas Guide To Haunted Restaurants, Taverns, and Inns.
Just outside of town is the stately Freeman Plantation (Hwy. 49 West, 903/665-2320), built on nearly 1,000 acres in 1850 by Williamson M. Freeman. Guided tours educate visitors about the Victorian antiques and the family that occupied the home during the antebellum period.