Step back in time to 1930’s Floirda farm life with a visit to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park. This historic, cracker-style, farmstead was home to the Pulitzer prize-winning author of “The Yearling” and many other books.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896 – 1953) was an American author who’s best known work, “The Yearling,” earned her the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939. Rawlings also happened to be a resident of rural North Central Florida, a fact clearly reflected in much of her writing.
Other Rawlings titles include “South Moon Under,” “Golden Apples,” “When the Whippoorwill,” “Cross Creek Cookery,” and “The Sojourner.”
Fans of the “The Yearling,” whether the novel or the 1946 film starring Jane Wyman and Gregory Peck, will be excited to know that it was written right here at the author’s Florida farm. The backwoods homestead and surrounding “Cracker” country were a major inspiration for the work.
Of course, you don’t have to be a fan of the author to enjoy visiting the park! Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings historic homestead has been restored to how it was when she lived here in the 1930’s.
Visiting Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park
The park includes a number of historic structures, including Rawlings original farmhouse, barn, and tenant house. The grounds also include an orange grove, a seasonal vegetable garden, and a nature trail. Anyone who has read her autobiographical work “Cross Creek” will undoubtedly recognize many facets of the farm.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park is open year ’round. For a more immersive visit, however, try to come between October and July, when they offer tours from a docent in period costume. Fun! The house is a prime example of Cracker architecture: a wood frame structure wrapped with verandas to shade the walls and windows from North Florida’s heavy sun.
Geo-cache fans can also enjoy hunting for the hidden geo-cache box in the farmyard. An adjacent county park offers picnic facilities, a boat ramp to Orange Lake, and a playground.
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park
18700 South CR 325, Hawthorne, FL 32640
Open daily, 9am to 5pm
Guided tours offered October through July, Thursdays through Sundays. Learn more at: www.floridastateparks.org
Dine at The Yearling
If you’re looking for somewhere to eat while you’re in the area, stop by the Yearling Restaurant at 14531 East County Road 325 in Hawthorne. This historic and popular restaurant and lounge specializes in traditional, rural Floridian fare like catfish, frog legs, grits, and gator. Recommended!
Gainesville Area Lodging
Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast is only a quick, half-hour’s drive from Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park. Come enjoy the natural cypress lake our North Florida B&B is on, then explore! Our convenient location near Starke, FL puts Gainesville, Jacksonville, the University of Florida, and much more within easy reach! Book your stay at Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast today!