Back in 1961 Elvis Presley came to the quaint community of Yankeetown, Florida. It was during that summer that he spent filming his 9th movie, “Follow that Dream”. Visitors come from all over to explore this small town that hosted one of the most popular celebrities of the 20th century to the area.
Elvis Presley was casted for the role as “Toby” in the 1962 film “Follow that Dream”. The movie was based on a 1959 novel called, “Pioneer, Go Home!” by Richard Powell. After careful consideration “Follow that Dream” was scheduled to be filmed in the quiet coastal areas of Levy County, Florida.
During the filming, young girls made the trek from miles around to see if they could catch a glimpse of Elvis. During the filming he stayed in nearby Crystal River at the Port Hotel.
While filming lasted the two months of July and August of 1961, Elvis spent most of his time in the Yankeetown area. Now known as Follow that Dream Parkway, State Road 40 was used in the filming as Elvis cruised through the countryside towards the Gulf of Mexico.
On the southwest shore of Pumpkin Island is the site where the Kwimper homestead was located. In fact the Bird Creek Bridge still stands today.
Violet Sky’s Visit
Being an Elvis fan myself I found it exciting to see a film location from one of his most popular movies. It surprised me to see that the film was shot in a quite area and that much of it still looks the same. The bridge, the view out to the Gulf and the scattered palm trees of what is left of the Kwimper homestead is interesting.
So much history and film action must have took place in what is now a desolate fishing bridge and woods. The quietness of the calm waters and rustling palm trees makes way for your imagination to run wild on what it must have been like here during the summer of 1961.
How to Visit
The tourist signs for the “Follow that Dream” film site are located in front of the Withlacoochee Gulf Area Chamber of Commerce. This building is located at 167 Highway 40 in Inglis.
The Kwimper Homestead and the Bird Creek Bridge are located on Highway 40 (Follow that Dream Parkway). The last bridge before reaching the Bird Creek Boat Launch is the site of the filming location. It is the south end of Pumpkin Island.
Both sites are free to visit and definitely worth a stop if you are in the area!
Thanks for reading and as always, keep on truckin’!