Author, photographer, naturalist, entrepreneur — Gene Stratton-Porter was a woman ahead of her time. Her Cabin at Wildflower Woods is nestled on the shores of Sylvan Lake amongst 148 acres of fields, woods and beautiful formal gardens.
Gene Stratton-Porter is Indiana’s most widely read female author, as well as a gifted nature photographer and entrepreneur. She began her career writing about nature for magazines. Soon she decided to reach larger audiences by sweetening her nature studies with a veneer of fiction. Porter's first novel was 1903’s The Song of the Cardinal, although Michael O’Halloran, 1915, was the first book she wrote in Rome City.
In her lifetime, 1863 to 1924, Porter authored 12 novels, seven nature studies, three poetry books, children’s books and numerous magazine articles. With an estimated 50 million readers, her works have been translated into several foreign languages as well as Braille. Eight of her novels were produced as motion pictures.
The Cabin at Wildflower Woods
Designed by Gene Stratton-Porter and completed in 1914, the cabin is nestled on the shores of Sylvan Lake, near Rome City, Ind. The exterior walls are of Wisconsin cedar logs, and local wild cherry panels the entrance hall and dining room. There are three extraordinary fireplaces: one of polished English brick, one constructed of Native American artifacts and stones collected from other states and one of puddingstone. The vast, undeveloped forest provided a rich source of material for her nature studies, writings and photography.
Furnishings in the home are arranged and maintained to reflect Porter’s lifestyle. Much of the furniture and personal collections, including Porter’s library, are preserved at the home.
As you visit the site, be sure to enjoy the loving touches Gene added to her little bit of paradise. Masterfully sculpted from Bedford limestone, great horned owls perch atop puddingstone pillars; a 35-bed formal garden accented with a 120-foot-long wisteria-covered arbor; Sower’s Woods’ beautifully maintained trail benches provide a quiet place to relax; and an artesian well and puddingstone walkway grace the shoreline of Sylvan Lake.
The gravesites of Gene Stratton-Porter and her daughter Jeannette are located on this 148-acre site.
The Song of the Cardinal, 1903
At the Foot of the Rainbow, 1907
A Girl of the Limberlost, 1909
The Harvester, 1911
Michael O’Halloran, 1915
A Daughter of the Land, 1918
The Keeper of the Bees, 1921
Her Father’s Daughter, 1921
The White Flag, 1923
The Magic Garden, 1927
What I Have Done with Birds, 1907
Birds of the Bible, 1909
Music of the Wild, 1910
After the Flood, 1911
Moths of the Limberlost, 1912
Birds of the Limberlost, 1914
Homing with the Birds, 1919
Tales You Won’t Believe, 1925
Poetry and Essays:
Morning Face, 1916
The Fire Bird, 1922
Jesus of the Emerald, 1923
Let Us Highly Resolve, 1927
Gene Stratton-Porter Home
Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site is open:
Tuesday – Saturday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.
Closed Mondays and December through March, except by appointment.
The grounds are open dawn to dusk year-round.
Tours begin every hour on the hour with the last tour beginning promptly at 4 p.m.
Purchase admission tickets in the Carriage House Visitor Center.
|Children under 3||FREE|
Indiana State Museum members and members of other State Historic Sites Friends Groups get FREE admission and a 10 percent discount in the gift shop!
*Child: ages 3 through 12
*Senior: age 60 and older
Group/School Tours: Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more and for school groups. Call 260.854.3790 to schedule your group.
DIRECTIONS AND PARKING
Where to park
Visitors may park in the free Visitor’s Parking lot on Pleasant Point. Visitors with mobility disabilities may park in the lot nearest the Carriage House Visitor’s Center or call 260.854.3790 for a free ride in the Limberlost Trolley.
Wild Game Cookout
All wild game used for the program has been donated by local hunters.
Gene Stratton-Porter Autumn Tea
Experience the elegance of days gone by at our annual autumn tea. Enjoy lovingly-baked delicacies such as savory snacks and sweets, a variety of teas and a guest speaker. Before tea time, take a guided tour of Gene’s Cabin and formal gardens. If you choose to wear your “tea-time best” make sure your attire includes appropriate walking shoes. Festive hats are part of our tradition!
Second Saturday Hike
Join us on the second Saturday of each month for leisurely hikes exploring the 148 acres of GSP through the changing seasons. Hike topics might include trees, wildflowers, restoration and even rocks. Come prepared to explore and discover the details of the land that Gene so lovingly called Wildflower Woods. This event is rain or shine so please dress appropriately.
October 17 & 18
This annual event is suitable for all ages and is more about the fun of Halloween – treats not tricks! At this event, you’ll learn about owls, bats, raccoons, snakes and other creatures of the night. Children are encouraged to attend in costume and enjoy treats at various stops along the way. Be sure to dress for the weather and bring a flashlight to guide your way! This is a rain or shine event.
Volunteer Appreciation Dinner
At GSP, we love our volunteers and this dinner is held in your honor! We would like to show our appreciation for all your hard work and celebrate the past year’s events. Enjoy an evening of friendship and good food as we say thank you. Please bring a guest you feel may enjoy becoming a part of the Society or our invaluable volunteer team!
"A Dream of Beauty" Holiday Walk
See the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site when it’s all decked out for the holidays. Gene’s Cabin will be open and decorated according to her description of the Christmas of 1917, which she called “A Dream of Beauty.” Guests can enjoy live entertainment, holiday goodies, crafts, a cookie contest and horse-drawn wagon rides around the property. Santa will arrive in a very special way at 2 p.m. and will visit with children and families until 6 p.m. so bring your list!
EDUCATION EVENTS & STANDARDS
AT GENE STRATTON-PORTER S.H.S.
Gene Stratton-Porter, an accomplished Hoosier writer of novels and nature studies, was one of the foremost naturalists of her time. She also formed a production company that made eight of her own books into motion pictures. This site contains her original cabin from 1914, 148 acres of fields, woods and beautiful formal gardens with 35 beds along the shores of Sylvan Lake.
Academic topics covered:
- Natural History
- Early 20th Century Culture (1913 - 1925)
- Art, Science, Reading and Writing
Grades K – 12
GSP School Group Tours
A Tour of Gene’s Cabin:
Grounds and Garden Tour:
Grades K – 12
Design your Education Workshop
Educators may request a specialty program for an additional fee; program topics include natural
Cabin Lawn/Lake Front
The cabin lawn is a small, grassy area overlooking the 675 acre Sylvan Lake. Amenities include a lakefront boardwalk and dock.
North Garden Lawn
Offers a spectacular view of the 35 bed formal garden and 120-foot long wisteria-covered arbor.
South Garden Lawn
A small, flat, grass-covered lawn overlooking the 35 bed formal garden..
A screened gazebo in the Southwest corner of the 35 bed formal garden.
The picnic shelter has eight picnic tables and will provide a shaded, dry area perfect for a family picnic or reunion.
A grass-covered lawn that is ideal for playing all sorts of lawn games during your family outing.
Visitors Center Second Floor
An indoor space providing elevator access, one bathroom, and a kitchen area for food prep.
For rental information email Tiffany Conrad or call 260.854.3790.