The Atalanta (210 W. Austin St., 903/665-2513) was a private rail car used by railroad tycoon Jay Gould. It’s rather odd that this elaborately designed and elegantly furnished car ended up in Jefferson , since the city rejected Gould’s plans to bring a railroad through the town. Upon being spurned, he high-tailed it out of there, predicting Jefferson’s demise (he was partly right, since the town never regained its steamboat-era splendor of the 1860s).
The Atalanta features nearly a dozen rooms containing opulent interior materials such as mahogany, crystal light fixtures, and silver bathroom accessories. Located downtown across from the Excelsior Hotel , it remains a major attraction in Jefferson’s heritage tourism industry.