Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896 – 1953) was a novelist and short story writer who published 12 books in her lifetime. “The Yearling” is her best known work. It won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1939 and was made into a major motion picture, starring Jane Wyman and Gregory Peck, in 1946. Other popular titles in her catalog include “Cross Creek,” “South Moon Under,” “Golden Apples,” and “The Sojourner.”
Even more exciting, most of those stories and books were written right here on the veranda!
Rawlings, who hated city life, moved to rural North Central Florida from New York with her husband in 1929. She loved old Florida country living and it infused much of her work. Her memoir, “Cross Creek,” for example, details her daily life at the historic farmstead.
Nothing beats visiting the real place, however. Luckily, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park is just a half hour’s drive from Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast!
Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park
The grounds include the original Rawlings farmhouse, barn, and tenant house, restored to their 1930’s appearance. This includes decorating them with the author’s personal items and other period antiques. You’ll even see her typewriter on the screened in porch, where she wrote so many of her books and stories.
The house is a perfect example of classic Cracker architecture. Verandas wrap the wood frame structure to help shade it from the oppressive, North Florida sunshine.
The grounds also include ducks and chickens, an orange grove, vegetable garden, and a nature trail you can explore. Fans of Rawlings’ “Cross Creek” memoir may recognize many details from the book.
Guided tours, presented by docents in period costume, are available from October through July. Visitors outside this season can still tour the house and grounds. Learn more at: www.floridastateparks.org
Other Area Attractions
Stop by the Yearling Restaurant at 14531 East County Road 325 in Hawthorne. This historic and popular restaurant offers traditional, rural Floridian fare, such as catfish, frog legs, grits, and even alligator.
Wanting to explore even more of wild Florida? Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park is just a short drive away and home to lots of wildlife, trails, fishing, and boating.
Micanopy, Florida’s oldest, continually inhabited inland settlement, is also just minutes away. With 38 buildings on the National Historic Register and antique shops galore, it’s the perfect addition to any day-trip!
Best of all, it’s all just 30 minutes south of our North Florida inn, Hampton Lake Bed & Breakfast. In fact, 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!