Parker County Today August 2017 - Page 62

60 creaky spirit bridge is not enough, there is the food. Fresh beignets, sweet crepes, succulent crawfish, and other bayou favorites are readily available, as are recognizable Texas standards like chicken fried steak and barbecue. A perfect start to your day explor- ing Jefferson is a hearty breakfast at The Bakery. There is no wrong choice from the morning menu, but you will be sorry if you miss the chance to taste French toast made from fresh homemade cinnamon raisin bread. If, later in the day, your sweet tooth needs attention, return to The Bakery for a turnover, strudel or its famous Sinful Brownie. After breakfast, stroll down to the Chamber of Commerce and take inventory of your choices of activi- ties for the day. There are museums, tours, carriage rides, classic car displays, and, depending on the time of your visit, plays and concerts. Chamber staffers are helpful and knowledgeable of most of the enter- tainment options. History buffs might make plans to be around for one of five performanc- es of the “Diamond Bessie” Murder Trial or the Battle of Port Jefferson Civil War reenactment in May, or April’s cemetery tours, similar to Weatherford’s Talking Tombstone Tours. According to the Handbook of Texas Online, “Diamond Bessie” Moore arrived in Jefferson early in 1877. “When a well-dressed man and woman calling themselves ‘A. Monroe and wife’ got off the train and registered at the Brooks House in Jefferson on January 19, 1877, events were set in motion that led to the first big-name trial in Texas.” Monroe was actually Abraham Rothschild, the son of Meyer Rothschild, a Cincinnati jeweler and a traveling salesman for his father’s jewelry business. He had met Bessie Moore at a brothel in Hot Springs, Ark., several years before. On the Sunday morning after their arrival, Rothschild bought two lunches for a picnic and the couple was seen disappearing into the fog as they crossed the footbridge over Big Cypress Creek. Upon the discovery of Bessie’s body, which now rests in Jefferson’s Oakwood Cemetery, Rothschild was found and tried in what turned into a national media event. The play is scheduled for May 5-8. Tickets are required, but are free. Visit riverportambassadors.com or jefferson-texas.com for more informa- tion on any of the city’s events. After a morning of history, it’s time to eat. For a quick midday repast, stop by Auntie Skinner’s Riverboat Club for a fresh-fried catfish sandwich and a frosty libation. Fresh ingredients and fast, friendly service get you satisfied and back to your vacation quickly and inexpensively. For the afternoon, book a tour on Caddo Lake. One highly regarded trek is offered by Caddo Outback Backwater Tours, which operates small boats and personal tours. It’s fun to tour by day and even better by night. Outback’s owner John Winn has lived on Lake Caddo most of his life, and his knowledge of the lake and its twisting, turning water trails through cypress thickets and tattered Spanish moss is respected in the area. “If you don’t know the lake, you can get lost really easily,” Winn said, guiding a flat-bottom boat through the shallows of a thick cypress bog. “I have sheriff’s deputies and game wardens who call me to come find lost boaters in these bogs. Most of the time, it’s in places they don’t want to go.” Winn is a source of knowledge for all things pertaining to the lake. “There are a series of boat roads,” he said, pointing to a sign as he maneuvers his tiny craft past a beaver lodge. “As long as you stay on those you really shouldn’t get lost. But, I want to take people deeper into the lake, to the places I like to see.”