Geneva Grace was born on August 17, 1863 , in Lagro , Indiana . She was the youngest of 12 children born to Mark and Mary Stratton. Mary was not well and caring for twelve children left little time to tend to the youngest. As a result, Geneva , who preferred to be called Gene, spent much of her time outdoors playing alone and during these times of solitude grew to love nature. On April 21, 1886 , Geneva Grace Stratton married Charles Porter.
Gene Stratton-Porter’s most famous novel, A Girl of the Limberlost, was published in 1909. Although she is best know for her fiction, she wrote her novels as a way of supporting the publication of her non-fiction books about nature. She was also a pioneering nature photographer. Over her lifetime, she authored twelve novels, seven nature books, two books of poetry, plus children’s books and articles for magazines. Eight of her novels were also made into motion pictures.
Two of Gene Stratton-Porter’s homes are now state historic sites. Her house in Geneva was named “Limberlost” after the nearby Limberlost Swamp. Her second home, “The Cabin in Wildflower Woods,” is located on the shore of Sylvan Lake, near Rome City .