Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic Home, Famed Author of “The Yearling”
Tucked away on the banks of Cross Creek, the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings home still stands as a gateway to the past. Her farmhouse is reminiscent of days gone by and the inspiration for her popular books are seen in the landscape around the place.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings moved to Cross Creek, Florida in 1928 with her husband Charles. After she visited the state she immediately fell in love with the area. She had long craved a tranquil landscape in which she could write her books. They bought the land including the house.
She lived in the Florida cracker style farmhouse which still stands on the property today. Charles and Marjorie made several remodels to the residence. Most of Rawlings original furnishings are also still within in the home. Her farm was complete with a barn, chicken coop and several other outbuildings which housed the livestock and equipment. Fruit trees and a garden allowed her to have plentiful food in the remote location.
Charles did not like living in the rural and humid climate of central Florida. Marjorie and Charles Rawlings divorced in 1933, which led her to put more time into her writing. Among some of her most notable books is The Yearling which won a Pulitzer Prize in 1939. She also wrote Cross Creek, Cross Creek Cookery, When the Whippoorwill, The Secret River and so much more!
Rawlings lived here from 1928 until the early 1940s when she was faced with a lawsuit. Her novel Cross Creek told the tales of the local area in which her homestead sat. In her book she mentioned a neighbor woman who sued her for libel after she disapproved of her presentation of her character. Rawlings won the case but was forced to pay that woman $1 for damages to her name. After this Rawlings did not feel as welcome at Cross Creek.
Although she kept her quaint farm home, she spent most of time at a cottage in coastal Crescent Beach. While she lived in Crescent Beach, she met and married hotelier Norton Baskin.
After her death, the Cross Creek place was donated to the University of Florida where she once taught writing. Later it was managed by the state of Florida and opened to the public.
Violet Sky’s Visit
This home has such a peaceful atmosphere and is abundant in vegetation. Rawlings wrote in Cross Creek, “I do not understand how any one can live without some small place of enchantment to turn to”. It seems as though this home was truly her escape from the world along with her inspiration to be creative.
The staff on site were very helpful and willing to answer any questions. It was interesting to explore this place because it seemed lost in time to the 1940s.
How to Visit
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park is located at 18700 S. County Road 325 in Cross Creek, Florida. Home tours are offered throughout the week but the grounds are open every day. There is a fee for entrance to the park grounds. For more information please explore the official website here.
Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’.