Colonel T. L. Huston House (1927) & Butler Island Dairy, McIntosh County

In 1926, the languishing lands of the Butler Plantation were purchased by Colonel Tillinghast L’Hommedieu (T. L.) Huston.

Colonel Huston, a veteran of the Spanish-American War and World War I, had previously been a part owner of the New York Yankees baseball team.

He built this house in 1927 and numerous baseball players were among his many guests here, including Babe Ruth.

The Huston dairy barn can be seen on the east side of US 17. The dairy, anchored by a herd of Friesians, proved a difficult enterprise and Huston transformed the property into one of the largest iceberg lettuce farms on the east coast within a decade. The remaining structures on the property, however, date to the dairy era. After Col. Huston’s death in the 1938, the property was purchased by tobacco heir R. J. Reyonlds, Jr.

This structure is said to have been the ice cream shop operated as part of the dairy; more likely, it was an equipment shed, but that wouldn’t explain the windows. I hope to learn more.

In front of the house is one of the landmarks of US 17 in McIntosh County, the old chimney from the steam-powered rice mill  from the 1850s. An additional ruin also remains.

The property is owned by the Department of Natural Resources today; the house is not open to the public, however.




Filed under --MCINTOSH COUNTY GA--, Butler Island GA, Darien GA

9 responses to “Colonel T. L. Huston House (1927) & Butler Island Dairy, McIntosh County

  1. vicky jackson

    Hello. I visited the Huston house/Altamaha River Bioreserve last month while on a weekend getaway. As soon as I laid eyes on it, I was in love!! I spent an hour walking around, taking in all the details and wondering what stories those walls could tell. Who can I talk to about the current stays of this home?

  2. Nanci Posey

    Vicky I spent many happy hours visiting there when Colonel Huston owned and later when the Bryans managed it for R J Reynolds. I can tell you a lot of fun stories, historical and hysterical, if you’d like to reply to my email :

  3. Nanci Grant Posey

    I meant to add in above comment that I remember the ice cream store…it was close to the road on US 17 and a very popular spot for travelers. I don’t think it was open for very many years but the ice cream sure was good!

  4. Pingback: Colonel T. L. Huston House, 1927, Butler Island | Vanishing Coastal Georgia Photographs by Brian Brown

  5. Mary jackson

    Thank you
    I am sending you an email by tomorrow!

  6. Mary jackson

    Thank you

  7. Louise

    This house should be on the National Historic Registry !!! They are trying to tear it down

  8. Mary Sue Murray

    As a child I remember getting ice cream on Butler Island and I don’t think it was the building shown and on that side of 17. Carolyn Davis’s uncle ran it and she would be a good source.

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