Who are the Historians?

Who are the Historians?

See Also: Historic Byway Overview, Historic Travel Guide


Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

The quote below from Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings captures the deep connection many people feel for this wild and untamed area of Florida. She discovered a spiritual bond with nature itself here, and has been one of the area’s great storytellers, with the location of her most famous novel, The Yearling, set along the scenic byway.

If there can be such a thing as instinctual memory, the consciousness of land and water must lie deeper in the core of us than any knowledge of our fellow beings…We cannot live without the earth or apart from it, and something is shriveled in man’s heart when he turns away from it and concerns himself only with the affairs of men. – Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, from her novel, Cross Creek.


Amazon: The Yearling
YouTube: The Yearling

Dana Ste. Claire

Dana Ste. Claire was raised near the byway, and fell in love with the area and its people so deeply, he wrote a book, Cracker, about the complex and often misunderstood history of that group. This is a photo of Herbert Kinsey, at whose house Dana learned how swamp cabbage and cooter (turtle) were prepared and eaten. As a boy Dana marveled at the resourcefulness, pride and wisdom of Kinsey, whom he now regards as the “ideal cracker.”



Amazon: Cracker: Cracker Culture in Florida History
YouTube: The Truth About Grits


Rick Tonyan

Rick Tonyan spent years researching local Florida “cow hunter” involvement in the Civil War for his novel, Guns of the Palmetto Plains. Rick considers himself a “Florida Cracker,” and has cracked a whip since he was a boy. This “cracking” of the whip is one thing that made the Florida cow hunters unique – they kept the cattle together with the sound of the whip, to avoid the entanglements lassoes would bring in the Florida foliage.




Guns of the Palmetto Plains (Cracker Western)
Rick Tonyan Cracks a Whip