A yearling ©Author Adventures

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1896-1953), the author of The Yearling, lovingly wrote one of the most detailed descriptions of rural Florida life ever published, which is probably why the book became a classic. It is an eloquent epic story that concludes with an unforgettable ending.

For more information about the author, click here: authenticflorida.com.

She was a contemporary of and had a long friendship with another iconic Florida writer — Marjory Stoneman Douglas. You can read about Marjory Stoneman Douglas here: https://authoradventures.org/trails/by-state/florida/douglas-marjory-stoneman. Unfortunately, their friendship faded when the two had a disagreement about the portrayal of real people in a fictitious novel, according to Marjory Stoneman Douglas: Voice of the River. Eventually, Rawlings left the Florida homestead behind to resolve personal challenges that emerged later in her life.

The House and Historic Park

Read about the house and location here: Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic Park. Owned and operated by the Florida State Parks department, the address is 18700 S. CR 325 in Cross Creek, Florida. Cross Creek is a relatively small town and about a 25-minute drive south of Gainesville (that is, about halfway between Jacksonville and Orlando).

According to the Florida State Parks website:

“Her cracker style home and farm, where she wrote her Pulitzer prize-winning novel The Yearling and other wonderful works of fiction, has been restored and is preserved as it was when she lived here. The park is open every day and visitors may tour the house with a ranger in period costume from October through July on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 10 and 11 a.m. and at 1, 2, 3 and 4 p.m. Picnic facilities, a boat ramp to Orange Lake and a playground are located in the adjacent county park.”

The public is welcome to visit the state park named for her in Cross Creek (see exploresouthernhistory.com/rawlings.html).

This is the first stop on Florida Author Adventures Trail #1.

Patricia Smart