Rear of the Gregory House
Visitors actually approach the
back of the house. The front
faces out over the river.
Florida's Gopher Wood
Extremely rare Florida Torreya
trees grow along the path
leading to the house. Local
legend claims this was the
"gopher wood" used to build
Noah's Ark. - The Gregory House - The Gregory House
Torreya State Park's Antebellum Southern Mansion
The Gregory House
Built in 1849, the historic mansion originally stood
across the Apalachicola River from its present site.
The Historic Gregory House
For many visitors, the focal point of Florida's
Torreya State Park is the Gregory House. A
beautiful Southern mansion built in 1849, the
house is open to the public on a daily basis.

The house was built by Jason Gregory, a
prominent Calhoun County planter, in 1849.
The home originally stood across the river
from the state park at Ocheesee Landing, but
was moved here and restored during the

It originally stood atop five foot high brick
pillars, an architectural feature that kept the
interior of the home safe from the annual
floods of the Apalachicola River. Dr. Charles
Hentz, who lived for a time at the Gregory
Plantation, described rowing a boat up to the
house during one such flood.

During the Civil War, Confederate army and
navy officers visited the home from time to
time. Some of the victims of the explosion of
the ill-fated Confederate gunboat
were brought there for care
until they could be carried upriver to
Columbus, Georgia.

The war, however, spelled the doom of
Gregory's plantation. He moved away and the
house fell on hard times. Although one of his
daughters moved back for a time and
restored the home, it had fallen into disrepair
by the time Torreya State Park was created
during the 1930s.

In a gesture of support for the new park, the
Neal Lumber Company donated the Gregory
House to Torreya State Park. It was carefully
taken apart and moved across the river to the
park site for reconstruction atop the bluff
The project was meticulously done and took
three years to complete. Even the original
wood pegs (used instead of nails) were
saved and used to put it back together.

The Gregory House today occupies one of
the most picturesque settings in Florida. The
front of the house offers a commanding view
of the Apalachicola River and Calhoun and
Jackson Counties beyond.

Tours are provided on weekdays at 10 a.m.
and on weekends at 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4
p.m. (Eastern time).
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Copyright 2011 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.