Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cloudy Cross Creek

Mom and Dad Ephemera live a half hour from Cross Creek, and I've wanted to stop by this old Florida town for some time. And since I started an Old Florida Facebook page, I'm always looking for new images from Florida's past.

Cross Creek is home to author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and the town doesn't appear to have changed much since she wrote about it in her novels. My first stop was her house, and on this cloudy day the interior was closed for maintenance. I took that as a good sign for two reasons: 1.) I'll have to visit again when it's open, and 2.) In these days of every tightening state budgets, they can still afford to maintain this wonderful Cracker home (her home is a state park).

Rawlings moved to this rural community in North Central Florida in 1928. On the front porch of this house she wrote her literary classic The Yearling. Today you can see her home and farm much like it was when she was there.

Chicken and ducks wander the citrus grove near Rawlings House

Rawlings barn still houses a tractor and much
of the equipment used to keep up the farm

A yellow 1940 Oldsmobile is parked in the carport

Looking towards the house from the barn

Screen doors and screen porches made living in Florida
in the days before air conditioning tolerable

The garden behind the house

The tenant house was home to the help that worked for Rawlings.
Idella Parker, Rawlings' maid, claimed that fellow Florida writer
Zora Neale Hurston visited Rawlings and stayed in the tenant house.

The front porch of the tenant house

Down the road from Rawlings home is the Yearling Restaurant, a Florida institution I remember fondly from childhood. I recall dining on fried catfish, softshell turtle and frog legs. Oh and delicious hush puppies! Re-opened after being closed for a lengthy period, the parking lot was full on this Labor Day weekend. Another place I'll have to return to for a more in-depth visit.

Further down the road I stopped to photograph the sign for Twin Lakes Fish Camp. Florida's rivers and lakes used to have an abundance of places like this, as sportsmen were drawn to fish and hunt in the state's wilder regions. Today they are rare survivors from a simpler times.

Beyond Cross Creek lies the small town of Evinston, home to the state's oldest post office located in its small general store. The US Postal Service, in retraction mode as the market for "snail mail" continues to shrink, is planning to close the little office, which may be the death of the town. And so it goes for Old Florida in the 21st century.


  1. Enjoyed this post about Cross Creek very much. You always seem to find the old FLA spots that are just great and somehow untouched. Perfect.

  2. You should have stopped in at the Yearling. Great country cooking. And a decent blues player.