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.
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.
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.
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 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.