About Cross Creek
Cross Creek is a quiet little town nestled on the creek between Orange Lake and Lockloosa Lake. Driving through and around Cross Creek you’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time in the heart of Old Florida. Old canopied oaks draped with Spanish moss, rustic fishing camps, historic structures and Marjorie Rawlings’ home has been preserved by the State of Florida, all of which contribute to the uniqueness of this quaint community.
In years gone by, Cross Creek was even smaller than it is now. Residents grew citrus and fished in both Orange and Lockloosa for fresh water fish to sell to folks in Georgia. It was a poor community monetarily, but rich in natural beauty and nature’s bounty.
Cross Creek was not well known until many years after Marjorie Rawlings, a Pulitzer Prize winning author of “The Yearling”, brought to light the rare beauty of life at the creek in her writings.
Marjorie purchased 72 acres, with an orange grove and a house in 1928. She fell in love with the isolation, the land and the people. She felt she was home for the first time in her life. Ms. Rawlings began renovating her home in 1930. Preservation experts believe the home was built in the 1880’s as a two-room cabin with a “dog trot,” or breezeway running through the house from front to back. Additional bedrooms were built in the 1890’s, while a dining room and kitchen were added in the 1920’s. The house was not electrified until Rawlings had been living in the house for ten years and even then, the source of power was a Delco generator installed in the nearby pump house.
Marjorie Rawlings wrote many books depicting the people and land in and around Cross Creek which allowed the readers the opportunity to experience Old Florida Charm with the turn of every page. She immersed herself with the people and life in the Creek including farmers, poachers, hunters and moonshiners. She befriended neighbors and participated in stalking deer, hunting squirrels, dynamiting mullet and shooting and eating limpkin. Her most famous book, “The Yearling” earned her a Pulitzer Prize in 1939 and became a movie in 1947. The movie starred Gregory Peck, Claude Jarman and Jane Wyman. Another movie, Cross Creek, was released in 1983 and caused a resurgence of interest and visitors to Marjorie’s home in Cross Creek.
Rawlings died in 1953, but she left far more than just her iconic writings as a legacy. She also left her home in Cross Creek to the Florida Endowment Corporation, now known as the University of Florida Foundation. Since 1970 it has been managed by the Florida Park Services.
Marjorie is buried in the Antioch Cemetery in Island Grove, Florida.