Florida State Parks 75th Anniversary Logo
A front view of the plantation house at Torreya, built in 1849 by Jason Gregory and moved to its current site in 1935. An outside view of Torreya's Year-round Universal Recreational Tent (YURT), which sleeps five in rustic comfort. This fall/winter vista, taken from the campground overlook, shows the high bluffs and ravines found in the park. Visitors watch as a demonstrator cooks over an open fire just steps away from the Gregory House. (Photo by Cole Sweazy)
Torreya State Park
The sun slants across the rear of the white clapboard Gregory House and its broad green lawn. (Photo by Larry Arrington)

History and Culture

The high bluffs overlooking the Apalachicola River make Torreya State Park one of Florida's most scenic places. The park is named after a rare species of Torreya tree. In the 1800s the Apalachicola River was an important interstate highway. More than 200 steamboats traveled the Apalachicola River. The Gregory House, which originally sat across the river at Ocheesee Landing, was built around 1849 by planter Jason Gregory. After the Civil War and the abolition of slavery the plantation declined. The Gregory House was donated to the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1935. It was then dismantled, moved across the river and re-constructed in its current location.

This historic 1938 photo reveals the flowering stems of the endangered Florida Torreya tree.

Torreya Tree

Torreya State Park is named for the Florida Torreya tree, which grows almost exclusively within its borders. This conifer tree, known scientifically as Torreya taxifolia, is an endangered species named for 19th century American botanist John Torrey.

Taken circa 1938, CCC enrollees survey the Apalachicola River from a high bluff overlooking the waterway.

CCC Enrollees

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) provided jobs for thousands of young men in need of work during the Great Depression. Their labor, in turn, helped create some of Florida's first state parks, including Torreya, which opened in 1935.

The Gregory House undergoing reconstruction by the CCC between 1935 and 1941.

Gregory House

One of the projects the CCC tackled at Torreya was moving and rebuilding the Gregory House. The Gregory House, part of a prosperous plantation before the Civil War, originally stood across the river from the park at Ocheesee Landing. In 1935, the CCC moved the house to its current location and restored it for possible use as a small hotel.

The scenic Stone Bridge built by the CCC.

Stone Bridge

The CCC also created wonderful artistic works at Torreya such as the Stone Bridge on the historic park drive. The bridge is now a stopping point along one of the hiking trails.

A CCC enrollee standing on a rafter of the old cotton warehouse.

Cotton Warehouse

This old cotton warehouse once stood along the river within the park - a reminder of the days when the cotton industry helped feed the area's economy.