Sitting on a high bluff above the Apalachicola River, the Orman House was built by early Apalachicola settler and shipping magnate Thomas Orman in 1838. It is now preserved as Orman House Historic State Park.
Fees: Grounds free. Tours (ranger-led or self-guided) of home, $2 per person.
Open: Grounds open 8 AM to sunset daily. House open Thu-Mon 9-5, with tours hourly except at noon.
With many ships at his command, Orman didn’t need or want Florida’s famed cypress or heart pine. Instead, he ordered wood shipped from Syracuse, New York to construct this grand home.
Apalachicola was an up-and-coming seaport, and over the next 30 years, Orman’s commercial traffic spurred extensive growth throughout the city. Tied in with plantation growers, Orman made Apalachicola a prime exporter of cotton during these years. He was friends with Alvan Wentworth Chapman, a noted botanist, and Dr. John Gorrie, who invented the ice machine. Chapman Botanical Garden, a memorial garden created for Chapman by a local garden club, is now also part of the Orman House Historic State Park complex.
Architecturally, the mansion is a fascinating blend of Federal and Greek Revival styles. Inside, artifacts and stories shared by interpretive guides lead to a deeper understanding of the forces that shaped Apalachicola, a notable historic city that has well preserved its past.
Explore the park
- Chapman Botanical Garden - Chapman Botanical Garden honors the memory of Dr. Alvan Wentworth Chapman, a noted botanist who in 1860 published Flora of the United States. Adjoins the Orman House