Celebrating the Historic Jefferson Highway Route through Bonham
By Bonham Visitor Center
Sep 23, 2023
Print this page
Email this article

Bonham, Texas -- The Bonham Visitor Center is excited to announce that we will be designating Bonham’s section of the historic Jefferson Highway with historic site sign dedications, historic route sign dedications, sociability rally, & presentation by the Jefferson Highway Association September 22 and September 23, 2023. 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 will be the first City in the great State of Texas to mark the historic route.

We invite you to celebrate with us and recognize the Jefferson Highway to help bring a greater awareness of this historically significant highway not only in Bonham, but the State of Texas, and the nation.

The festivities will kick off with a Meet & Greet at the Bonham Visitor Center located at 327 N. Main St. Bonham, TX 75418 on Friday, September 22, 2023 at 4:30pm. Enjoy opening remarks by Bonham’s Mayor, H.L. Compton and a presentation by Roger Bell, the President of the Jefferson Highway Association. This is a great opportunity to learn about the history of the Jefferson Highway, its significance to international travel and tourism and the economic growth and development that it brought to Bonham in the early 1900s.

The celebration will continue on Saturday, September 23rd at 11:00 a.m. on the main stage of the Bois d’Arc Festival located at 1100 W. 5th St. Enjoy remarks, a proclamation reading & presentation by Mayor H.L. Compton to the Jefferson Highway Association and the
citizens of Bonham.

Then, join us by designating Bonham’s section of the historic Jefferson Highway with historic site sign dedications. Three locations will be given Historic Site Signage to be dedicated as they were on the original route, specifically built during and/or for the Jefferson Highway and still standing today.

11:30 a.m.- Jefferson Highway Historic Site Sign unveiling and dedication at United Motors of Bonham located at 301 N. Main St.

11:45 a.m. - Jefferson Highway Site Sign unveiling and dedication at Powder Creek Bridge located at 583 S. Main St. Bonham, TX 75418.

12:15 p.m. - Jefferson Highway Historic Site Sign unveiling and dedication at the Sam Rayburn House located at 890 W, TX-56, Bonham, TX 75418.

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 1910s National Auto Trail system and was named for President Thomas Jefferson and inspired by the east-west Lincoln Highway. In the early 1900s, 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)

The City of Bonham is celebrating its 175th Anniversary this year (2023). The theme of this year-long celebration is “Remember our Past, Celebrate the Present, & Look to our Future.”

The knowledge of Bonham’s role in the Jefferson Highway falls in direct correlation with our mission statement for the year and preserving our past as we celebrate the present and look to our future. A new generation of Bonhamites are very excited to bring the Jefferson Highway Travel Tourism route back to life and continue to show the perseverance and pride as was expressed for this driving route over 100 years ago.

We truly hope that you will be able to attend one or all of these great events. Please contact us at 903-583-9830 with any questions or comments.