Endangered Historic Sites

Willoughby Gregory Plantation House


This plantation house constructed between 1843 and 1847, remains as one of Gadsden County’s few antebellum houses and is a companion house to the Jason Gregory, (Willoughby’s brother) house at Torreya State Park. The house is almost a perfect square, 3 bays wide on its front & rear elevations and 4 bays wide on the sides. It has a typical Georgian plan with a center hall running the depth of the house, upstairs and down, flanked by 4 rooms, 2 to a side, for a total of 8 rooms. Above it all is a hipped roof with a two-story Victorian portico. One remaining Doric column on the enclosed rear porch clearly indicates the Greek Revival styling of the original building. At the building’s rear a modified framed kitchen remains connected. Interior detailing is simplified Greek Revival particularly noted in the house’s eight matching fireplace mantles.

The house was maintained through its ownership by Imperial Nurseries, serving as its headquarters but subsequent leasing to another company, Berry Nurseries, led to its abandonment. The wood Victorian two story portico is rotting and there are signs of roof leaks. Further compounding the problem of deterioration is the recent news of Berry’s closing which will certainly result in further deterioration while Imperial seeks a buyer for the property. Its significance to Florida and its territorial history could be lost through ignorance even though the building is separately listed (#83003520) on the National Register of Historic Places.