Tucked away in the charming town of Jefferson, Texas stands a true gem of history and hospitality. The J. H. Benefield, Sr. home was known as the "Gay 90's" house because of the many social affairs that were held in the drawing room when Jefferson was a leading port in Texas. Located at 1009 S. Line Street, it is a Queen Anne Victorian style house, with fine architectural details, as is typical of the spacious old homes built around the turn of the 20th century. The house became a recorded Texas landmark in 1966.
The plot of land that this beauty proudly stands on was originally owned by Lucy A. Alley, the wife of none other than Daniel N. Alley, a founding figure of Jefferson. In 1881, Julius Ney purchased the property for $875 and hired the skillful craftsman, E.S. Hooper and Will Singleton to build this grand home. The original structure was recorded as a charming one and a half story frame house with six rooms, a porch and one bathroom.
On June 14, 1907, a young bachelor, J.H. Benefield, brother to famous novelist Barry Benefield, purchased the house and property for $2000. The young Benefield later brought his bride, Justa Glass Benefield, to the house and together they raised two children. In 1933, the Benefield's began renovations. During this period a large bedroom with a sitting room was added downstairs as well as two new bathrooms upstairs. For nearly a century, spanning from 1907 to 1998, a member of the Benefield family has graced the halls of this historic residence.
Since that time, the residence has gracefully transitioned through the hands of several subsequent owners, each giving their unique touch through thoughtful renovations that have collectively contributed to the beauty it radiates today. The home retains its authentic allure, boasting the original "heart of pine" wood floors, working fireplaces, dormers and unique turret. The distinctive turret, accompanied by exquisitely crafted stained-glass windows, stands as a testament to the timeless craftsmanship that graced this home.
The current owners and innkeepers, Tommy and Nicole Blakely are excited to share their home with you on the 2024 Candlelight Tour of Homes.
The Painted Ladies of Jefferson, formerly known as Captain's Castle, also known as the Rogers-McCasland home, was so named by Captain Thomas J. Rogers, a confederate officer and local pioneer banker. In the early 1870's he combined two older houses, one already located on the present site (the back part of the existing structure) and the other, an imposing landmark of Tennessee Planters Architecture (the two-story front portion), he moved across town on log rollers, with oxen, from down on the river front.
The moved in portion, built during the 1850's, is said to have been one of the town's most elaborate, bawdy, houses during its river boat heyday. This colorful home, furnished with many antiques of the period, has a Texas Historical Medallion and is listed in the National Register of Homes worthy of preservation. It was first restored by Judge Joe McCasland, a prominent local attorney.
This historic Bed and Breakfast has never been on the Candlelight Tour of Homes. The new owners, Andy Stack and Lisa Ethridge have been busy making many renovations and extensive landscaping, and are excited to share them with you on its first Candlelight Tour of Homes.
The Tarry House is an American Craftsman style home which emerged between 1900 and 1929. These homes were a backlash against the Industrial Revolutions mass-produced Victorian architecture, which prized ornamental decoration as opposed to the Craftsman's natural and simplistic form. The Craftsman homes were very popular in California and the Midwest, however, the Tarry Home, built in 1919 by Radford Tarry, is purported to be the oldest brick Craftsman in East Texas.
The Tarry House was in utter disrepair, a shell if you will, but was purchased in 2019 by a local contractor, Joe McDonnell and his wife, Carmen, only the second owners of the home and began its restoration keeping the original windows, attic framing, wrap-a-round front porch, and front facade of the home using the original brick. The Benson's then purchased the home and completed the renovation. The townspeople of Jefferson were delighted when the McDonnells took on this task of bringing the Tarry House back to life, and now that it's completed the current owner, Mike Chandler, wants to share it with you on the Candlelight Tour of Homes.
The Sherrill-Benefield House was built by Benjamin F. Sherrill just before the turn of the century in or around 1895. Mr. Sherrill served as Jefferson's mayor at one time and was still living there in 1900, according to the census. A fire occurred early in the 1900s that burned the top story and was rebuilt as the siding on the second story is different, which leads to its charm. J. H. Benefield, Sr. bought the home around 1947. It was being operated as a boarding house at the time. When Mr. Benefield's son, James Henderson Benefield, Jr. married Verla Jane Stutz in November of 1948, he gave the home to them, and they lived there until December of 2011.
The Sherrill-Benefield House is of Victorian/Farmhouse architecture. These features include several roof gables, a large bay window, and a large wrap-a-round porch with round columns. The side porch was closed in by a previous owner, but was restored back to the open porch by the new owners, Avery and Kathy Harper. The house has the original floors, a grand staircase, and four fireplaces. The Harpers have been working hard on restoring and renovating the Sherrill-Benefield house and look forward to sharing it with you on the Candlelight Tour of Homes.