Welcome to Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn TX Area
If you are looking for a relaxing weekend away from the smog, heat and traffic, the City of Jasper, Texas, is the place to be. Jasper is located in Texas Forest Country in the eastern part of the state just a short distance from the Louisiana border. Jasper is rich in history, dating back to the early 1800s. The city is named after Sgt. William Jasper, an American Revolutionary War hero, who was killed in the battle at Savannah in 1779 while attempting to plant the American Colors.
For a unique shopping experience, visit any of the many locally owned shops. One can find everything from handcrafted furniture to unique jewelry to original art.
Jasper is home to many local artists. The East Texas Regional Art Center features handcrafted jewelry, small works of pottery and art, as well as a library of periodicals, art history and reference guides. The Art Center hosts a new art show once a month at no cost to the public. For more information, visit www.easttexasartleague.org.
History buffs can tour historic homes around town and visit the Old County Jail where the historical archives are kept. The Jasper County Historical Museum is on Main Street in the site of the old Masonic Lodge and Hancock Drug Store across from the Jasper County Courthouse. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday.
Three times a year, the Jasper Community Theatre provides the only live entertainment between Beaumont and Lufkin, Texas. The theater is inside a historic railroad depot known as the Old Depot and situated on the grounds of the Violet Tonahill Center for the Performing Arts. Season tickets are available.
Jasper features two beautiful historic bed and breakfasts. The Swann, a circa-1901 Victorian-style home, was purchased in 1915 by Mahalia Swann and opened as a hotel with down-home cooking. The Belle-Jim Hotel, circa 1910, is a two-story, 17-room frame dwelling downtown. It was named after the owner’s two daughters, Belle and Jim Patten. Lunch is served daily to the public. Both hotels are furnished in period décor. The Beaty-Orton house, a circa 1843 Greek revival, sits on land purchased by Jasper’s founding father Thomas Beaty. The home is now owned by the City of Jasper. Tours are available by appointment.
The Jasper Arboretum, a 7.5-acre garden next to the Beaty-Orton House, features plants and trees that are indigenous to the area, as well as a water feature and butterfly garden. The Arboretum and Sandy Creek Nature Trail, are maintained by the Woman’s Civic Club. The Debney House, now a chic boutique, is the last remaining pre-Civil War residence built just eight years after Texas joined the Union.
Jasper is bordered by four national forests, providing about 339,000 acres of beautiful trees and abundant wildlife and two major inland waterways. The Great American Birding Trail runs along the borders. Just north of Jasper is Lake Sam Rayburn, which is the largest manmade lake in the state of Texas with 114,500 acres of water. “Big Sam” offers loads of water recreation, fishing, hiking, camping and hundreds of tournaments annually. Just west of Jasper on Highway 190 is Martin Dies, Jr. State Park. Nestled among the pines, the park offers an array of scheduled activities throughout the year. Camping, birding, canoeing, biking and fishing are just a few of the features of this beautiful park.
Annually, the Jasper – Lake Sam Rayburn Chamber of Commerce hosts many community activities. March and October provide the arts and crafts festivals with live music, kids’ entertainment, loads of vendors and lots of food. Hundreds of bicycle enthusiasts from all over the nation participate in The Dam to Dam Bike Ride, a 10-100 mile ride from Dam B on the Neches River to the dam over Lake Sam Rayburn. June features the Juneteenth Celebration at Sandy Creek Park and in July, the park hosts the largest fireworks display around. November begins the Festival of Trees and the Veteran’s Day Celebration on the Courthouse lawn. In December, spectators line the streets for the Annual Lighted Christmas Parade. Christmas in the Park kicks off the Saturday after Thanksgiving and runs for two weeks. Featuring train rides through the spectacularly lit park and visits with Santa and Mrs. Claus, Christmas in the Park also includes a spectacular fireworks show that is said to rival those at Disney World!
Jasper is a convenient destination for travelers. Drivers have easy access, as the city is located at the intersection of highways 96 and 190. Those wishing to fly in will land on a 5,500-foot fully lit and paved public airstrip.
Medical care is close at hand with CHRISTUS/Jasper Memorial Hospital, a 59-bed, Level IV trauma center that provides emergency care 24 hours a day with ground and air transfer when needed.
Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Area Chamber of Commerce
For more information on the activities or relocation to the Jasper area, contact the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Area Chamber of Commerce at www.jaspercoc.org or by phone at (409) 384-2762.
The mission of the Jasper-Lake Sam Rayburn Area Chamber of Commerce shall be to promote the economic growth, civic and social welfare of the Jasper and Lake Sam Rayburn Area, and to advertise the advantages, expand and develop the resources of the community.