As one of the most famous landmarks in Jefferson, the Excelsior House Hotel has been offering gracious hospitality since 1858. However, it was not until 1961 that the ladies of the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club became the proud owners of the hotel.
As the years had not been kind to the property, extensive restoration was undertaken to restore the hotel to its former glory. From the ballroom to individual rooms, each area is decorated in an historical manner, being furnished with antiques to enhance the experience of each guest. A number of rooms are named for prominent figures in Jefferson history. In 1962 the club was presented with the award for the most outstanding historical restoration project in the state.
The Excelsior House Hotel continues to be an integral part of life in the town that the ballroom is often fondly called “the living room of Jefferson.” Events such as weddings, dinners, and other celebrations continue to be enjoyed by Jeffersonians and their guests. Often the festivities extend to the Courtyard and William Perry Park.
Today, the hotel is maintained by the Excelsior Foundation, consisting of eight directors elected from the membership of the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club. The mission of the Foundation is to preserve these historic buildings in a manner which reflects their rich history and heritage. It is the wish of the Directors that all Foundation properties, including the Excelsior House, the Jay Gould Car, the Jefferson Playhouse, and the Ruth Lester Memorial House be maintained so that they may be enjoyed by generations to come.