The steam train will run throughout the year for special events. For normal scheduled tours, we will run the gas-powered antique locomotive.
WEATHER UPDATE: April 26, 2016
THIS EVENT HAS NOT CANCELLED.
We will be conducting all planned activities April 29-May 1, 2016.
Click here for complete Event Schedule of all activities in Jefferson including 69th Jefferson Historical Pilgrimage, Historic Jefferson Railway, Diamond Don RV Park, Great Locomotive Chase and Naval Battle of Port Jefferson.
There is some confusion surrounding the cancellation of the Battle for Jefferson re-enactment and related activities. However, there is a LOT to do in Jefferson, Texas this weekend. You will want to come for the 69th Jefferson Historical Pilgrimage activities including Historic Homes Tour; Pilgrimage Parade; Stitched, Woven & Hooked Exhibit; and Diamond Bessie Murder Trial. This play has been running continuously for 69 years and is the longest running play in the U.S. The Pleasant Hill Quilters from Linden, will be doing a special Demonstration on The Secrets of the Underground Railroad at 1:00 on Saturday during the Stitch, Woven & Hooked Exhibit. Visit www.JeffersonPilgrimage for more information.
Civil War Living History-Day of Learning will take place on Friday, April 29, at the Diamond Don RV Park. Special pricing for school groups and families of $3. This event is open to the public. Add an optional Steam Train Ride and hear about the Andrews Raid, the Civil War’s most gripping railroad story, for additional $5. (Train ride seating is limited, so please call for reservations 903-742-2041) This event is a fundraiser for Marion County Chamber of Commerce. There will be living history camps, more than 20 educational stations, cannons, gunboat, alligator viewing, crafts and games. Visit www.JeffersonCivilWarDays.com/schoolgroups
The Great Locomotive Chase and Naval Battle of Port Jefferson will be held on Saturday and Sunday. The Historic Jefferson Railway recreates 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 Naval Battle of Port Jefferson joins the skirmish as a replica ironclad gunboat fires its cannons on the banks of the Big Cypress Bayou River. The Navy Battle can be viewed by riding any of the Steam Train rides scheduled on Saturday and Sunday. Train tickets are available online but space is limited so get yours now. Visit www.JeffersonCivilWarDays.com
There are a lot of other activities for re-enactors and the public at the Diamond Don RV Park including living history camps, suttlers, Saturday evening ball, cannon night firing and fireworks. The RV Park will be open to the public on Saturday 10:00-6:00 and Sunday 10:00-2:00. The Saturday evening ball is open to the public and re-enactors. Re-enactors are welcome to camp at the RV Park which will have a designated period camping area as well as modern camping for the re-enactors and the public, including RV sites with water, electric, showers, restrooms, dump station, and free WIFI. Wood, water, hay, noon-day meals and Saturday evening supper and ball is included in the re-enactor registration fee of $8. Visit www.JeffersonCivilWarDays.com
To round out the weekend, visit Antique & Vintage Jewelry Event by Linda A. Adler, G.G. Friday and Saturday, 10:00am to 6:00pm at Black Swan Luxury Bed & Breakfast, 210 W. Austin Street. There will be a Free History lecture at 5:15pm Friday Suffragette Jewelry: The Secret Code of “Give Women (The) Vote”. For more information, call 903-926-2123
For a complete printable calendar of ALL activities in Jefferson, visit www.JeffersonCivilWarDays.com/calendar
Historic Jefferson Railway and Diamond Don RV Park are pleased to report that the campsites and battlefields for the Living History, Great Locomotive Chase and Naval Battle of Port Jefferson are dry, with good drainage so we are not anticipating any camping or battlefield difficulties during next week events.
Re-enactors are welcome to camp out at the RV Park. Those staying downtown in the B&B’s and hotels are welcome to come out to the battlefield on Saturday and Sunday.
As with all activities planned for the weekend, we pray that we will have sunny weather. We will keep our website updated each day as to weather and field conditions. Train tickets are still available online or through a train depot agent. www.JeffersonCivilWarDays.com. 866-398-2038, 903-742-2041
At this time, we are conducting all Historic Jefferson Railway events. While some events in Jefferson may have cancelled for Civil War Weekend due to weather, we are still having the Living History on April 29, and the Steam Train rides & Naval Battles on April 30 and May 1.
Press Release April 23, 2016
The Jefferson Railway & Wetlands Foundation held three fundraisers at the 14th Annual Diamond Don National Vintage Motocross race on April 7-10, 2016 raising more than $5,280. They had a charity golf tournament; a raffle for a vintage bike built by Scott Sears for weekend legend Arlo Englund, and sold a special “Friend of Diamond Don” t-shirt.
Most of this money will be used to support youth activities in Jefferson. The Foundation is sponsoring 177 students from Jefferson to the Day of Learning – Civil War Living History on April 29. They will also help sponsor Summer Adventure in Learning (SAIL Program) directed by Dr. G. Arcolia Jenkins. Last year more than 105 students enrolled in this wonderful summer program.
There were a total of 626 race entries at Diamond Don’s, slightly down from 651 last year. More than 900 people came to the event which is up from 700 last year. People came from all over the world. Several couples were from Australia and one family from England, whose 17 year old son raced and won a trophy.
Lyle Lovett came out last year as a spectator and caught the MX virus. He bought a bike and raced this year and walked away with a trophy.
Arlo Englund, his wife and sister, were a delight as the Legend of the weekend. He enjoyed riding the Scott Sears/Arlo Englund bike. The raffle brought over $3300 and was won by Bruce MacFarlane with Rapid Skunk Racing from Shreveport, LA.
Warren Reid will be our 2017 Legend and Scott Sears is already working on a 125 Honda raffle bike for Warren. We will get ticket sales up soon for this.
Francene and Diamond Don Rainey would like to thank all of their sponsors, racers, employees, volunteers and AHRMA. Without all this support, they couldn’t pull of this race. Don would like to offer a special thank you to Willie Turlington for working around the clock to see that the race track was high and dry. He works wonders with any piece of equipment he drives. Thank you, also, to Melissa Moit for working long hours to answer questions and organize race details and events.