Explore the Jefferson Highway

The Jefferson Highway was a famous 2300-mile driving route through the central United States, known as the “Pine to Palm Highway” for the trees found at either end stretching from Winnipeg, Canada to New Orleans, Louisiana. It was America's first north-south intercontinental roadway, built as part of the 1910’s National Auto Trail system and was named for President Thomas Jefferson and inspired by the east-west Lincoln Highway. In the early 1900's, the people of Bonham, TX played a historic role by getting this highway to come through our town. As quoted from the citizens of Bonham “May Bonham live a thousand years less a day, for Bonham would not care to be on the map should the Jefferson Highway go some other way” (Jefferson Highway Declaration, January, 1918).

There is currently a campaign to increase awareness of the Jefferson Highway and secure route marking of the entire length of the highway. Bonham has joined this preservation movement and Bonham is the first City in the great State of Texas to mark the historic route. Three locations have be given Historic Site Signage as they were on the original route, specifically built during and/or for the Jefferson Highway & still standing today. We invite you to travel this historically significant highway not only in Bonham, but the State of Texas, and the nation.

 Start your journey, coming from the "Pines", exploring the Historic Jefferson Highway in Bonham, TX at the Sam Rayburn House - A Texas Historic Site.  - 890 W. State Hwy 56, Bonham, TX 75418. Then, head east on State HWY 56 to Bonham's Historic District and follow the Jefferson Highway Historic Route Signs. Turn right on to Main St to continue your tour on the Historic Route where you will find the Bonham Visitor Center at 327 N. Main St, Bonham, TX 75418. Continue South on Main St and visit an original Jefferson Highway Automotive Garage. Magnolia Oil Co. Gas Station was completed in 1918. It has been partially restored an now is the home of United Motors Garage located at 301 N Main St, Bonham, TX 75418. Explore a few blocks south come to Powder Creek Bridge at 583 S. Main St. Bonham, TX 75418. In 1921, the bridge was updated from a wagon bridge to a reinforced concrete structure to accommodate the increase in automobile travel. Continue south on Main St. and you will merge on to TX - HWY 78 South and head to the "Palms".

               To explore Bonham more, contact the Bonham Visitor Center at 903-583-9830 / info@visitbonham.com.

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