Excelsior House Hotel

Jay Gould’s Private Rail Car

Jason “Jay” Gould (May 27, 1836 – December 2, 1892) was a leading American railroad developer and speculator. His special train car “The Atalanta” is on display across from the Excelsior House Hotel on Austin Street. The private parlor car has a luxurious interior with four staterooms, lounge, dining room, kitchen, butler’s pantry and ballroom. He named the train car after the Goddess of Speed. It is ironic the train car ended up in Jefferson, because the town rejected Gould’s bid to pass his railroad through the town. After his rejection, he wrote in the hotel guest register “The End of Jefferson” and now the trophy car is owned and operated by the Excelsior Foundation. For tour tickets and times, call the hotel at (903) 665-2513.