We packed a picnic lunch and went to experience some “Art on the River”. To be more accurate it feels like a stroll over a wooden walkway through the bayou with some sculptures. Located along the Big Cypress River at the Jefferson boardwalk, the art installations almost blend in with the dense trees and I like that the two coexist in that way. After reading about the motivation behind the art installations not only am I glad we visited, but I look forward to future installations as they approach their 1 year anniversary in September.
Our daughter spotted legions of dragonflies in blues, greens and oranges. There were butterflies all around us and tiny toads hopping at our feet. We have had so much rain the water is high and moving pretty quickly. We spotted egrets and various other bright colored birds perched in the trees. The wooden walkway gives a great vantage point to see deeper into the forest and appreciate the wildlife. The path is mostly shaded and provides ample photo opportunities. Be aware the mosquitos are also abundant.
We moved on to a nice park like setting with tables close to the Jefferson Historical Museum for lunch. After refueling we made our way to the museum. We didn’t know the museum is undergoing renovations and improvements but we were still able to make the most of our visit. We started on the second floor because the top floor is currently closed. One of the most interesting things about the museum is the fact that it served as the original courthouse and post office in Jefferson built in 1888. The building kept the painted names above each room and one of the main exhibits is housed in the courtroom. It was fascinating to take a step back in time. We viewed Caddo Indian artifacts like arrowheads, pottery, bead-work and tools.
The Civil War collection is stocked with military items such as uniforms, canteens, ammunition, rifles and pistols. There are some original letters and historic photographs documenting the war. The art and antiques were particularly interesting because you could get a real sense of daily life from the furniture to the fashion and decor. The museum does a nice job of including information on where the items came from, many were donated from local prominent families from Jefferson, Marion County and even from around the world. Reading the history behind each piece allowed us to connect with people trying to rebuild after the war and the challenges faced by the community at that time.
This Texas flag has been to the moon!
Our daughter enjoyed the children’s toys, dolls and nature related items. I appreciated the maps depicting Jefferson landmarks and how things have evolved. There is also a room dedicated to genealogy that would be fascinating to sift through. Overall there is so much to look at it would be impossible to see everything in one visit. I think it’s wonderful that the museum is getting renovated. Jefferson is such a unique place to visit and brimming with history and stories the museum deserves some updates and attention.
Future plans include adding an elevator to make it more accessible. In addition to traditional museum displays they are incorporating interactive exhibits, video presentations, audio soundscapes that will bring your senses back in time plus slide shows and much more. We look forward to going back for a visit in the Fall of 2019 when the museum is set to unveil these new features. In the meantime it offers a nice cool place to visit between shopping to leisurely improve your knowledge of Jefferson’s past.