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Girl of the Limberlost

Updated on December 19, 2017

Elnora Comstock, The Girl of the Limberlost

This is Elnora Comstock, better know as the Girl of the Limberlost.

I am planning to read several books written by Gene Stratton Porter - starting with her most famous book - A Girl of the Limberlost. This is the next book I am going to read.

This lens is made for the Book Club Quest for January 2013.

Image Source - Elnora Comstock - Cover Picture of the Book - A Girl of the Limberlost

Gene Stratton Porter
Gene Stratton Porter

Gene Stratton Porter


Geneva Grace Stratton was born in Wabash County, Indiana in 1863. Her parents were Mark and Mary Stratton. Mark was both a Minister and a farmer.

Geneva was the youngest of 12 children. The children were raised to do chores and help make the farm productive. Gene spent a good amount of her childhood roaming the nearby woods and learning about nature. She apparently did not finish high school but she read avidly anything she could find about the natural world.

Gene's later novel called Laddie (published in 1913) may have been semi-autobiographical since the main narrator of that book is also the youngest of 12 children and her own older brother was called Laddie.

Gene visited Rome City, Indiana, for the first time in 1881 and met her future husband (Charles Porter) in Rome City in 1884. They were married in 1886 and their daughter Jeannette (named after one of Charles's sisters) was born in 1887.

Charles Porter was quite wealthy. He owned several acres of land on which were running several working oil wells. He was also a skilled pharmacist and owned several druggist stores in Fort Wayne and Geneva. Gene Stratton Porter wrote her books because she loved nature - not because she had to support the family.

Image Source - NNDB

Mrs Wilson was married to Donald Wilson. Donald's mother was Ada Stratton - one of Gene's older sisters - who married Franklin Pierce Wilson. Their son Donald was Gene Stratton Porters nephew. Donald died in Rome City, Indiana in March 1961 and his widow wanted to set the record straight about her famous Aunt-in-law.

Book Trailer

This is a brief synopsis of the novel - A Girl of the Limberlost - so you get the general idea what the novel is about.

The Limberlost Cabin - Geneva, Indiana

The Limberlost Cabin
The Limberlost Cabin

This is the Limberlost Cabin in Geneva, Indiana, Gene Stratton Porter lived here with her husband Charles Porter (who was a Pharmacist) and their daughter Jeannette from 1889 to 1913. He owned drug stores in both Geneva and Fort Wayne.

Gene spent a good amount of her time in the Limberlost Swamp. She became an accomplished photographer, an outstanding novelist and she also worked to document the wildlife and the ecology of the swamp.

In 1913, the Limberlost swamp was drained, Gene was devastated. So the family moved to Sylvan Lake, near Rome City in Northern Indiana.

When Jeannette married, she moved out to California with her husband. Gene later moved to California in 1920, where she died in an automobile (car) accident in 1924.

Image Source - The Limberlost Cabin, Geneva, Indiana

The Limberlost Swamp

The Destruction of the Limberlost Swamp
The Destruction of the Limberlost Swamp

The Limberlost Swamp was part of a larger wetlands area, extending south from the Great Lakes. It covered 25,000 acres in Adams County, Indiana and was drained in 1913.

The name Limberlost comes from the nick name of an early pioneer named Limber Jim (McDowell) who apparently died in the Swamp. If anyone asked where Jim was, the reply was "Limber's lost"

Source - Fort Wayne News Sentinel, March 30, 1988

The Limberlost swamp also held a huge variety of animals, birds, moths and trees. Animals included bears, snakes, and wolves. Trees included maple, black walnut, oak and wild cherry - most of which were logged and sent to Canadian ship builders and furniture factories around the USA during the late 1880s and early 1900s. This is probably why the swamp was drained - after most of the trees were milled.

Information Source Little remains of what was once the Limberlost - Indianapolis Star April 1990

Image Source - Jay County, Indiana - Loblolly Marsh

A Romance of the Limberlost - 1938

This movie was made in 1938, directed by William Nigh, and starred Jean Parker and Eric Linden.

Set in the Limberlost swamp of Indiana in 1905. This movie and story are very loosely based on Gene Stratton Porters novels. She never actually wrote any novel called A Romance of the Limberlost. This is the full movie - all 1 hour and 16 minutes.

A Girl of the Limberlost - Have you ever read this book?

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    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Yes, I'm a fan of Gene Stratton-Porter too. I have a lens about her and another about her book, Michael O'Halloran.

      I'm glad you featured this one.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      good jab

    • XxSadieLadyxX profile image


      5 years ago

      nice lense

    • lesliesinclair profile image


      5 years ago

      I had never heard of it, but you write an inviting article on why I might enjoy the book.

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Super Introduction! Makes me interested in that time period.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 

      5 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      My mother read this book when I was a small child and she told me about it. She was not much of a reader and for her to read a book was noteworthy. When I was older, I read the book myself. I did not remember it until your lens. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 

      5 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Thank you for this introduction to The Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter. I had not ever heard of it and found both the author and the book very interesting.

    • paperfacets profile image

      Sherry Venegas 

      5 years ago from La Verne, CA

      The is very interesting. I have not heard of Ms.Stratton-Porter or the novels. Old novels are fascinating because the attitudes are a true reflection of the times when the novel was written.

    • kcsantos profile image


      5 years ago

      I haven't heard of it but this sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing!

    • askformore lm profile image

      askformore lm 

      5 years ago

      I didn't know this book. Thank you for a great review. And a super lens!

    • daisychainsaw lm profile image

      daisychainsaw lm 

      5 years ago

      I haven`t read it, but I`d like to after reading your lens, this sounds really interesting!

    • balancebydesign4u profile image


      5 years ago from Arkansas

      Loved this lens. I haven't thought of this book in a long time. I really enjoyed it. Freckles is good also. Looking forward to reading the others. Hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 

      5 years ago from Central Florida

      Yes, I've enjoyed this book. It's not my favorite of Gene Stratton-Porter's. That honor goes to The Harvester and also Keeper of the Bees. I hope you'll read those too.


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