Jefferson Civil War Days

Civil War
The Great Locomotive Chase – The Andrews Raid & Naval Battle of Port Jefferson

The Historic Jefferson Railway captures the spirit of the Civil War during Pilgrimage & Civil War Weekend in Jefferson, May 3 and 4, 2014, by recreating the battle of the Great Locomotive Chase with soldiers, sailors and Marines from the North and South.  The living history camps along the Big Cypress Bayou come alive as the cannons fire and the battle rages to gain possession of the train.  The gripping tale of The Andrews Raid is the Civil War’s most fascinating railroad story.

The Great Locomotive Chase and Naval Battle of Port Jefferson will be held on Saturday, May 3, with trains departing from the Historic Jefferson Railway in downtown Jefferson at 12:00, 1:00, 2:00 and 7:00 and Sunday, May 4 at 11:30.  Ticket price is $15 Adults; $12 Children under 12; 10% senior and active military discount.  Lap children under 4, free.   A portion of each ticket will be donated to the Marion County Chamber of Commerce.  We will have ticket sales online within the next few days, or call Melissa for reservations. 903-742-2041.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday is a day of learning for school groups, sponsored by the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, to draw attention to the history and romance of the Civil War way of life.  The Living History Camps will demonstrate Camp Life and Military Activities and includes a train ride aboard the Historic Jefferson Railway as the story of The Andrews Raid unfolds alongside the Big Cypress Bayou.  See a gunboat with real live cannon fire.

Price for Living History is $3 per student; train ride is $5 per student.  School groups – reserve now.  Call Melissa for reservations. 903-742-2041.

On Saturday, May 3 and Sunday, May 4, 2014 The Naval Battle of Port Jefferson joins the skirmish as a replica ironclad gunboat, the Virginia, fires from cannons on the banks of the Big Cypress Bayou River.  This is the largest naval civil war re-enactment west of the Mississippi and will be represented by US Naval Landing Party, Western Gulf Squadron, as well as a contingent of SeaScouts from Baytown, Texas.
See a Civil War Naval Unit that shows a seldom seen side of the Civil War.  Naval Forces were a pivotal part of the war.  As Naval Living Historians, the Squadron shows the true side of Naval and Marine life on both sides of the war, demonstrating how they dressed, lived and fought during the war.
Famous campaigns were planned and conducted for the primary purpose of capturing or destroying railroad lines of value to the enemy. On the morning of April 12, 1862, the most famous locomotive of the Civil War, the General, was hijacked by the Union civilian spy, James J. Andrews, and his men. After a nail-biting eight hours and 87 miles, the Southerners captured the General, James Andrews and several of his men.
The Merrimack was a Union cruiser, captured by the South in Norfolk Virginia, and renamed the Virginia.  The Jefferson Battle that Never Was will feature the Virginia, fighting from the banks of the river, while the Navy landing party, Marines and soldiers fight to capture the train.
Experience a true civil war naval battle aboard the Historic Jefferson Railway, the only venue available to see this re-enactment.  Reminiscent of the landing parties that aided the regular land forces, from both above and below the Mason-Dixon Line, it will be a unique experience.  Keep your seat on the train as the battle takes place on both sides of the track and from the gunboat in the river.
Take a step back in time as the Historic Jefferson Railway takes you on an excursion that circles the Piney Woods along the scenic Big Cypress Bayou.  You’ll view a Confederate Powder Magazine from the Civil War era and remains of many sites from the 1800’s still visible along the track.  The train will stop about half-way for the Naval Battle of Port Jefferson.  The antique train is a restored gas-powered Plymouth Locomotive built in 1964.  The open-canopied observation cars provide an excellent view of this exciting event along the river.

Navy Battle re-enactors can camp free at Diamond Don RV Park with lots of space, trees and plenty of amenities for re-enactors, including water, hay, split wood, restrooms and showers.  Lunch on Saturday and Sunday will also be provided to the re-enactors.  Transportation will be available from the RV Park to other events in town. Limited RV sites with water and electric are available to re-enactors in the Navy Battle at no charge. First come, first served.  Call Melissa for reservations. 903-742-2041.

See all of the Jefferson Civil War activities at The Historic Jefferson Railway train rides and battle have been arranged so that you can participate in the other major events in Jefferson, too.

Diamond Don’s 12th Annual Vintage National Motocross


Diamond Don’s 12th Annual AHRMA Vintage National Motocross will be held April 11-13, 2014 at Diamond Don RV Park located one mile from Jefferson, Texas. Over 800 entries are expected for this event which includes Cross Country and Trials on FridayVintage Motocross on Saturday with Post-Vintage on Sunday.

 Come see Lacie Carpenter and Rebel Rose on Friday evening, 7:00-9:00. This will be an outside venue.  Concessions and non-alcoholic beverages are available at the RV Park.  BYOB but drink responsibly.  Lacie says “that like the fiddlers before me, I keep the sound true, but amp it up a little with my 7 string Mark Wood fretted, yes, fretted Viper”.  She and her friends love playing bluegrass, Celtic and a little rock and roll.  Lacie is the winner of six East Texas Music Awards; but the ones she is most proud of is Fiddler of the Year 2012 and 2013.

 The weekend will be full of motocross legends, including at least seven inductees to the Motorcycle Hall of Fame.  Here is your chance to visit with and race against some of your idols: Steve Wise, Marty Tripes, Brad Lackey, Donnie Hansen, Jim Gibson, Trampas Parker, Trey Jorski, Scott Burnworth and Guy Cooper.

 Guy  Cooper, aka “Airtime”, will headline this year’s event as Diamond Don’s Legend for the weekend. He won the AMA 125 National Motocross Championship in 1990 riding a Suzuki, and he can still beat anyone on the track.  Look for him to be out in front on a replica 1984 CR 250 Honda built by Scott Sears, X-Treme Vintage YZ.

You will definitely want to see Marty Tripes 100cc Revenge Races on Saturday and Sunday.  The fastest racers in the world will be on the gate to race their 100cc vintage bikes.  Jim Gibson, Guy Cooper, Trampas Parker, Trey Jorski, and Scott Burnworth and more than 20 other past pros of motocross line up on the same gate.  What a race!!

 Tripes won the Superbowl of Motocross at the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1972, just a few weeks after turning 16.  He also won the first FIM 250cc motocross United States Grand Prix in Unadilla in 1978.  In his career, he won 11 National Championships and was inducted into the Motorcycle Hall of Fame in 2001.  His Revenge race reminds us of the old days of racing in the late 60’s and early 70’s.  Back in the day, the 100cc class was the toughest competition of the race day.

 Join the Sunday devotion at 7:30 am, led by Steve Wise, Steve & Christ Ministry, and Roy Jenkins, chaplain, announcer, journalist and author of the “Dirt Bike Ike” series.  Wise succeeded in motorcycle racing beyond his wildest dreams.  He has traveled around the world sharing his faith in Christ at various churches, racetracks and special events.  Jenkins has been serving the MX racing community for over a decade and released his latest book last year,“Racing Fuel for the Spirit”.  Roy will lead the congregation in Vintage Hymns while strumming his guitar.

 The wide, flat grassy pit area offers great viewing of the racetrack that runs through the pasture and into the piney woods.  Diamond Don has created a natural terrain grass track reminiscent of the early 70’s.  The track runs through the 1880’s ruins of an old sawmill and along the Big Cypress Bayou River.   Spectators will enjoy all of the action and can camp out at the park for the weekend.

Jefferson is nestled deep in the Piney Woods of East Texas and seems frozen in time.  It is a charming town and an elegant reminder of a bygone era. There are over a hundred buildings in the city with historical markers. Many historic homes offer bed and breakfast accommodations.  Dozens of other historic buildings house museums, craft and antique shops and restaurants.

For a full schedule and event information, visit

City Wide Rummage Sale

The City-Wide Rummage Sale will be April 4 – 6 throughout the entire Historic Riverfront District. Come and browse through all of these amazing sales and find yourself that one of a kind heirloom that you have always wanted.  Most of these sales will be walking distance from the Carriage House and we still have a few rooms left for that weekend.  For more information, contact the Marion County Chamber of Commerce at 903-665-2672.

Shakespeare Under the Stars

By the Light of the Moon!

Shakespeare Under the Stars

Celebrate Spring 2014! March 20, 21, & 22 @ 7:30 PM
The magic of Shakespeare is presented by East Texas Performing Arts, Inc. Directed by Sara Whitaker.
Tickets: $15 available at

Or call 925-497-3915 or 847-722-8798.

Beloved scenes from Romeo and JulietRichard III, and
A Midsummer Night’s Dream featuring talented actors, an exciting sword fight, beautiful costuming, and wonderful small town ambiance at the bandstand in Otstott park.

A special treat for Jefferson residents is Pastor Jeff Taylor portraying Thisbe, the fairest maiden in all Babylonia.

True love, murder, reconciliation, family rivalry, fairies and sword fighting only begin to describe what audiences will experience.

Mardi Gras 2014 – Jefferson Style

It is Mardi Gras time!  Time for King Cake…Time for Parades…and Time for Floats and Masked Strangers.  The Carriage House has a front seat to all of this with the parades floating right by the front porch.  Our guests will kick back, relax and enjoy all of the festivities right from the center of it all…Downtown Jefferson’s Historic Riverfront District.


2014 Historic Jefferson Railway Schedule

Historic Jefferson Railway

2014 Calendar of Events 

Dates, Events and Pricing are subject to change at any time. 

Events may be cancelled or rescheduled due to weather or maintenance

 Enjoy a narrated day excursion or evening Gator Ghost Train running along the Big Cypress Bayou. 

See historic remains from the 1800’s, native wildlife and hear the history of Jefferson.

Every train includes a stop at the Alligator Observation Pit – you’ll get a chance to feed them, too.

 Spring Schedule Runs Every Saturday March 8, 2014 through June 7, 2014 

Depot opens at noon

2:30 and 4:30 Narrated Historical Day Tours

7:00 Free Ghost Stories in the depot

8:00 Gator Ghost Train

Summer Schedule Runs Every Weekend June 13, 2014 through August 30, 2014 

Depot opens at noon

2:30 and 4:30 Saturday Narrated Historical Day Tours

7:00 Friday and Saturday Free Ghost Stories in the depot

8:00 Friday and Saturday Gator Ghost Train

Open Air Coach

Adults $12; Children under 12, $10; Lap Children are free

Active Military & Senior 65+ receive 10% discount.

All Fares, plus tax.

(Schedule and pricing may be adjusted for special events)

Enclosed Coach

Adults $15; Children under 12, $12; Lap Children are free

Active Military & Senior 65+ receive 10% discount.

All Fares, plus tax.

(Schedule and pricing may be adjusted for special events)

March 15, 2014

St. Patrick’s Day Express

Saturday Narrated Historical Day Tours:  2:30 and 4:30

Saturday Free Ghost Stories at the depot at 7:00

Saturday, Gator Ghost Train at 8:00

Celebrate the Green aboard the St. Patrick’s Day Express, an antique narrow-gauge train running along the scenic Big Cypress Bayou.  The historic depot will be decked out in green.

April 10-13, 2014

Diamond Don’s 12th Annual AHRMA National Vintage Motocross

National Vintage Motocross which includes Charity Golf Tournament on Thursday,  Cross Country and Trials on Friday,Vintage Motocross on Saturday with Post-Vintage on Sunday.  The weekend will be full of motocross legends.  Come out and see Gary Bailey, Marty Tripes, Brad Lackey, Danny LaPorte, Chuck Sun, Steve Wise, Trampas Parker, Billy Liles, and Trey Jorski, Guy Cooper and Jim Gibson.

April 19, 2014

Easter Egg Express

Saturday Narrated Historical Day Tours:  2:30 and 4:30

No Gator Ghost Train

Come ride the Easter Egg Express, an antique narrow-gauge train running along the scenic Big Cypress Bayou.

May 2, 2014

Civil War Living History and The Great Locomotive Chase/The Andrews Raid Re-enactment

Complete with a gunboat and cannons

Special pricing for school and youth groups, $5 per person.

Train departs from Diamond Don RV Park

Friday Narrated Historical Day Tours: 9:30, 11:30, 1:30

May 3-4, 2014

Special Schedule for Jefferson’s Civil War Weekend

The Great Locomotive Chase – The Andrews Raid Re-enactment

Naval Battle of Port Jefferson.  Complete with a gunboat and cannons

Saturday Narrated Historical Day Tours:  11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 6:30

Sunday Narrated Day Tour:  11:30

Come ride an antique narrow-gauge train and experience the story of The Andrews Raid, the Civil War’s most gripping railroad story.  Come see the living history camps along the river, and the soldiers from the North and South re-enacting the Great Locomotive Chase and the Naval Battle of Port Jefferson, complete with cannons and gunboat – the largest naval civil war re-enactment west of the Mississippi.

May 10, 2014

Mother’s Day Express

Saturday Narrated Historical Day Tours:  2:30 and 4:30

Saturday Free Ghost Stories at the depot at 7:00

Saturday, Gator Ghost Train at 8:00

Mothers receive a 10% discount when accompanied by their children.

May 17-18, 2014

Jefferson Train Days

Saturday Narrated Historical Day Tours:  12:30, 2:30 and 4:30

Sunday Narrated Historical Day Tours: 1:30 and 3:00

Additional Runs may be added depending on attendance

Jefferson’s 3rd Annual Train Days includes 4 Destinations, One Boarding Pass.  Jefferson Historical Museum and the Texas Pacific Train Depot & R.D. Moses train layout; Historic Jefferson Railway; Jay Gould “Atalanta” business car; and Model Train Displays at the Jefferson Transportation Center.

June 6-8, 2014

3rd Annual Route 49 Biker Rally

Live music, Diamond Don’s infamous BBQ for pre-registered guests, Poker Run, Biker Games and more – to be held at the Diamond Don RV Park (Cypress Bayou RV Park).

June 13,2014

Friday the 13th aboard

Friday evening, Gator Ghost Train at 8:00

Free Ghost Stories at the depot at 7:00

Have a haunting good time aboard our special Friday the 13th train ride through the eerie woods along the Big Cypress Bayou.  Is the tale of the Bigfoot sightings along the railroad track fact or fiction?  What else awaits you in the dark and scary woods?  You’ll have to ride the train to find out!  Includes a stop at the Alligator Observation Pit.  You’ll get a chance to feed them, too.

June 14, 2014

Father’s Day Express

Saturday Narrated Historical Day Tours:  2:30 and 4:30

Saturday Free Ghost Stories at the depot at 7:00

Saturday evenings, Gator Ghost Train at 8:00

Fathers receive a 10% discount when accompanied by their children.

July 5, 2014

4th of July Celebration & Fireworks

Saturday Narrated Historical Day Tours:  2:30 and 4:30

Saturday Free Ghost Stories at the depot at 8:00

Saturday evening, Gator Ghost Train at 9:00

The Historic Jefferson Railway will offer a special July 4th weekend with a celebration of flags along the Big Cypress Bayou as the history of Independence Day unfolds in the Narrated Historical Day Tours.  Come see the Support Our Troops display thathonors the United States Military. For our evening train, we will have a fireworks show.   (Note: we will be closed on Friday, July 4, so that we don’t conflict with City of Jefferson activities).

July 26, 2014

National Day of the Cowboy

Saturday Cowboy Trains:  12:30, 1:30, 2:30

Saturday Free Ghost Stories at the depot at 7:00

Saturday evenings, Gator Ghost Train at 8:00

Historic Jefferson Railway recognizes pioneering men and women, known as cowboys, who helped establish America’s frontiers.  The cowboy and his horse are central characters in history.  Enjoy the rough and ready cowboys of the Lonely West Traveling Gun Show complete with gunfights and a train robbery.

August 29 & 30, 2014

Labor Day Celebration at Historic Jefferson Railway

Saturday Narrated Historical Day Tours:  2:30 and 4:30

Friday and Saturday Free Ghost Stories at the depot at 7:00

Friday & Saturday evenings, Gator Ghost Train at 8:00

Celebrate Labor Day at The Historic Jefferson Railway.  Come see the Support Our Troops display that honors the United States Military. Active Military personnel ride free.

October 4, 10-11, 17-18, 24-25, 31, 2014

Runaway Fright Train & Halloween Festival

The Runaway Fright Train will feature “Nightmare on Christmas Street”.  As you ride through the dark woods, you’ll feel the spirits reaching out for you. The scenes and haunters along the track will keep you at the edge of your seat and give you a laugh now and then, too.  This Halloween Theater on wheels is professionally directed by East Texas Performing Arts and is appropriate for all ages.  Halloween Festival has free activities, with train ticket purchase, that include mini-maze, mini-haunted house, children’s crafts and games.

November 27-29, December 4-7, 11-14, 18-21, 2014

Rail of Lights Christmas Train

Make this a Christmas to remember aboard the Rail of Lights Christmas Train.  The unforgettable ride aboard an antique narrow-gauge train departs on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Thanksgiving through December 22.  (Closed December 1).  Passengers will enjoy lighted vignettes along the Cypress Bayou River as they hear The Christmas Story Around the World.  December 25-29 & 31, 2014

Rail of Lights New Year’s Train

Blast into the New Year aboard the Rail of Lights New Year’s Train. Passengers will enjoy lighted vignettes along the Cypress Bayou River as they hear the tale of New Year’s traditions, customs and superstitions from Around the Globe. Each of the trains will feature beverages, noisemakers and a simulation of the New Year’s Eve Ball dropping in Times Square followed by a fantastic fireworks show.

Historic Jefferson Railway

Live Music Fireside this Saturday Night


Bonfire-02The Carriage House is pleased to announce that Jim Taylor will be performing this Saturday night fireside at the Carriage House Bed and Breakfast.  Jim, an acoustic guitar player, will be singing folk hits from the 1960s and 1970s such as the Beatles, the Mamas and the Papas, and George Strait. We plan to host this event by the fire pit in the Garden Courtyard but if the weather does not cooperate, we will all sit by the fireplace in the warm and cozy parlor. So grab your favorite winter drink and join us for a sing along by the fire this Saturday, Feb 8th at 7pm.

Valentine’s Weekend Carriage Rides

The horse drawn carriage will be in Jefferson for Valentines’s Weekend (weather permitting). The carriage can pick you up here at the Carriage House and will whisk you off on a romantic ride through the Historic Riverfront District from 2 pm to 9pm both Friday and Saturday. They are offering two packages for the weekend.  If you are interested, please let me know what day and what time and I will book it for you. I have been told that they are already booked from 7pm to 9pm on Friday.  So if you are interested, you will want to let me know soon so that I can book your favorite time. I can also add the charges to your room for extra convenience if you like.

Cinderella Carriage Ride –  Your romantic ride will take place in a fairy-tale Cinderella carriage with a driver in formal attire and your sweetheart will be handed a box of chocolates and a rose at the time of pick-up.  The price for a half hour ride is $110 and for $135 for an hour.
Traditional Carriage Ride – If you want a more low-key ride you can go with a traditional ride with the standard carriage.  A half hour ride is $65 and an hour is $90.

World Wetland Day Observed in Jefferson

In observance of World Wetland Day, Port Jefferson History & Nature Center invites the public to participate in the planting of native wetland trees to benefit the new riverfront park and the City of Jefferson.

The event will start at 10 AM on Saturday, February 1, at the entrance to the east end of the park across from the Jefferson Transportation and Visitor Center.  After planting is completed in the park, participants will be able to acquire a limited number of trees for their own properties.

Participants should dress appropriately for the weather and bring flat edged shovels to use as “Dibble bars” in the planting process.

Trees to be planted include bare root bald cypress and water tupelo.Caddo Lake

The theme for World Wetland Day 2014 is wetlands and agriculture.  Wetlands provide natural infrastructure to support agriculture, providing reliable water and fertile soils.  There is a great need for wetland and agricultural sectors to work together for the best shared outcomes.

Valentine’s Dinner at Enoch’s Stomp Winery

Are you looking for something romantic to do for your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day.  How about a quiet dinner at one of East Texas’s most beautiful wineries.  For reservations, please call Enoch’s Stomp Vineyard and Winery at 903-240-1587.

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