The Horton House – One of the Most Historical Jekyll Island Attractions

North of the Jekyll Island Historic District on North Riverview Drive, sits one of the most historic and interesting Jekyll Island attractions, the Horton House. It was first constructed on Jekyll Island in 1743 by Major William Horton, a top military aide to Georgia founder General James Oglethorpe. The two-story colonial house was made from “tabby”—a type of concrete created by burning oyster shells into lime—and was built in response to the destruction of Major Horton’s first home by the Spanish, during a time in which Spain and England were fighting for control of the Georgia coast.

Major Horton is also known for building Jekyll Island’s first road (a sandy path that can still be traveled today) as well as Georgia’s first brewery, just down the road from the Horton House. The brewery supplied ale to the troops stationed at Fort Frederica; unfortunately, its ruins have mostly fallen into the DuBignon Creek, but it’s still worth the visit.

From 1790 until 1886, the Horton House (and all of Jekyll Island, for that matter) was owned and occupied by the family and descendants of Christophe Poulain du Bignon, a French officer seeking to escape the ravages of the French Revolution. On the Horton House property, there is also a cemetery in which several DuBignon family members are buried, including John Eugene DuBignon, who sold Jekyll Island in the late 1800’s to the Jekyll Island Club. Once the Jekyll Island Club acquired the property, Horton House became a luxury playground for the wealthy and powerful.

Today, The Horton House is one of the most interesting historic Jekyll Island attractions. It stands as a permanent shell of its former glory—a testament to the enduring place of Colonial Georgia in American history.

Hours and Admission Pricing

The Horton House is open all day, every day, year-round, as it is a place for self-guided tours. The eight interpretive panels on the property allow you to get a glimpse of the lives of the Horton House occupants, including English colonists, Native Americans, African Americans, and French privateers. There aren’t many things to do on Jekyll Island that are 100% for free, but this is certainly one of them. Parking is free as well.

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