Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Gregory House at Torreya State Park

A focal point of North Florida's Torreya State Park, the historic Gregory House was built in 1849 by Apalachicola River planter Jason Gregory.

Originally located on the west bank of the river at Ocheesee Bluff, site of one of the state's many ghost towns, the house was the centerpiece of a massive cotton plantation that operated in the rich river bottom fields of Calhoun County.

The house was moved across the river when Torreya State Park was created during the 1930s and now graces one of the highest points in Florida. Beautifully restored, the home is open for tours on a daily basis. The front of the home looks out over the Apalachicola River and because of the height of the bluff on which it now stands provides one of the finest views in the state. Miles of country can be seen stretching off to the western horizon.

Other features at the park include the earthworks of a Confederate artillery battery, hiking trails, picnic areas, campgrounds and some of the rarest trees and plants in America. Included among these are the Florida Torreya, an extremely rare tree that grows almost exclusively along the towering Apalachicola River bluffs of Liberty and Gadsden Counties.

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