In 1735, William Horton was granted Jekyll Island by the trustees of the colony of Georgia. Following a Spanish attack that destroyed his first house on the island, Horton rebuilt the home that still stands today with the help of indentured servants in 1743.
Horton distinguished himself through his leadership in the fledgling colony. As one of Gen. Oglethorpe’s top military aides, Horton was in charge of troops garrisoned at Fort Frederica on nearby St. Simons Island.
Horton “found the land exceeding rich” on his Jekyll Island property, and grew a variety of crops to supply the nearby Frederica Settlement. Horton also brewed Georgia’s first beer at his plantation on Jekyll Island. The site also includes the cemetery of the DuBignon Family, which owned Jekyll from 1790 to 1886 and occupied the house as their home from 1790 until sometime in the mid-1800s. The Horton House is one of the oldest tabby buildings in Georgia, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.