Marco Island is home to many different attractions and historic sites, including Captain Horr’s Pineapple Plantation. This attraction is an old 19th century plantation house with an illustrious story behind it.
The site was once the center of a busy town, but it is now a little more deserted and off the beaten path. However, taking the time to visit this Marco Island historic site will prove to be worth your while!
The History of Captain Horr’s Pineapple Plantation
The story of this plantation – and of this island – start with a Civil War veteran. Union soldier Captain John Foley Horr moved around for a while after the war ended, working in Missouri, Tennessee, and eventually settling down in Key West, Florida as a clerk in 1876.
While in Key West, he bought an island which we now know as Horr’s Island and established his profitable pineapple plantation. The plantation itself was first constructed in 1877. During this time and until he left in 1920, Horr and his family participated in the booming business of pineapple production and sales. This of course gave the historic site its name and reputation.
The plantation was also John Foley Horr’s home while he served as the Federal Marshall for the Jacksonville to Key West area under both President McKinley and President Roosevelt. In 1920, he retired to Ohio, and in 1923 he sold the island for a sum of $10,000.
What Makes It Such an Interesting Tourist Stop?
There are plenty of reasons why you might want to take a step off the traditional tourist’s path to visit Captain Horr’s Pineapple Plantation Historic Site.
The most obvious reason is to explore the deep and rich history of the island. Captain Horr is easily the most important modern contributor to the island and the most prominent historical figure there since the Native American tribes that lived in the area.
In addition, there is plenty of wildlife to see! Namely, the house’s ruins have become a home to gopher turtles. These adorable animals tend to come out and watch visitors as they explore the grounds, so you are bound to see at least a few. Florida natives have also commented on the unique and noteworthy atmosphere of this historical site.
Now known as Key Marco
Horr’s Island is now known as Key Marco, and Key Marco is also home to the oldest Native American burial site on the eastern side of the United States, dated 3400 radiocarbon years old.
A gated community is located at the current historic site, but don’t worry, you can just ask for a pass to get in to see the ruins of Captain Horr’s former home! In addition, the pineapple has become a welcoming symbol of the local community.
There is plenty to see and learn about Captain Horr’s Pineapple Plantation, one of the most intriguing Marco Island historic sites. Don’t miss it during your next Marco Island vacation; step away from the beach for a few hours and explore this one of a kind and fascinating historic site!