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Our Rooms :: Marjorie K. Rawlings' Bungalow

The Marjorie K. Rawlings Bungalow is a delightful little Queen-bed retreat with it's own TV, iPad/iPhone-docking station/sleep machine/Clock radio & bathroom and is located on the first floor of the carriage house. It's unique that it features a private court yard for those lazy afternoons, an electric fireplace for those chilly nights, and a two person Jacuzzi tub / shower, just for the heck of it. This is one of our more requested rooms. This room includes off site parking, less than 300 feet from the Inn.

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Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings – Pulitzer Prize-winning Author of ‘The Yearling’

Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings was a woman with a passion for adventure, fascinated with the remote wilderness of rural Florida and the lives of Florida natives in the early 1900’s. She was born in Washington, D.C. in 1896 and attended the University of Wisconsin receiving her English degree. She married and lived in Rochester and Louisville working as a newspaper journalist, until she received her mother’s small inheritance that enabled her to purchase a 72-acre orange grove in a hamlet called Cross Creek, Florida.

Through her writing and international fame, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings brought Cross Creek to life, capturing the richness of the folks around her – their lives and experiences. By 1933, her first novel was published – South Moon Under. And 5 years later, she struck gold with The Yearling. Receiving the Pulitzer Prize, she was propelled into the celebrity world of fellow writers Ernest Hemmingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Robert Frost and Margaret Mitchell.

Today the Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park is located in Cross Creek. The Rawlings house (a National Historic Landmark) is a notable example of the Cracker (descendents of pioneer settlers) style of architecture, derived from a variety of influences to suit the climate and available technology of the rural South. Here you can visit her ‘place of enchantment’ through the citrus grove where rangers in 1930’s period attire share here home, personal stories and farm life.

Only a half day’s drive from the coast of St. Augustine, Marjorie bought a beach cottage on Crescent Beach. She met and married again, to hotelier Norton Baskin who had been an innkeeper in Ocala. Together they decided to purchase one of St. Augustine’s true ‘castles’, a 19-bedroom mansion built by William Warden, a partner in the Standard Oil Company with John D. Rockefeller and Henry Flagler. They named it Castle Warden Hotel…Norton running the hotel and restaurant…Marjorie entertaining prominent guests.

Although she continued to write, it was The Yearling that became and remained her literary legacy. She and Norton made the Crescent Beach cottage their home, Norton surviving Marjorie by 44 years; in 1997 they were buried near Island Grove, Florida. What happened to their Castle Warden Hotel? It’s now Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum!

We dedicate our bungalow to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings with Baskin’s inscription “Through her writing, she endeared herself to the people of the world”.

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