Roger Cross

Roger Cross (1891- 1979) was a farmer who owned a large parcel of land surrounding Green Lakes prior to its development as a state park.  After the State acquired the Cross farm via contract, Cross had difficulty parting with "the quiet solitude of the primeval forest around Green Lake." He returned to Green Lakes State Park upon his retirement, working as a toll collector for a total of 15 summers. The following is a poem Cross wrote as a reflection on his time as a toll collector at Green Lakes, taken from his book of poetry called Autumn Leaves:

At Green Lake Park
Beside my booth the silent growing trees
    Shelter give, from blazing sun and breeze.
Primeval pillared pine, hemlock, basswood, tower,
    As at their feet grows the modest summer flower;
Blueberry, violet, Solomon's seal, and jewel-weed,
    Carpet green forest floor, with fast maturing seed.
And through the towering virgin timber trees
    Scamper the squirrels and chipmunks; and one sees
Some days, a doe mothering two baby fawns,
    Or then again a stag, that's never seen on lawns.
 My post- the upper toll booth at the Park,
    Checking and charging folks here for a lark -
Folks who will picnic, boat and camp and swim,
    And play or rest, following nature's whim.
Joyful gay children's voices mingle at the beach;
    On the sand the wee ones run and toddle out of reach,
Teen-agers throng the bath-house, the hot dog stand,
    Eager to consume a hasty snack in hand.
Seeking for sunshine, and a dark brown tan,
    But mostly just getting all the fun they can.
At last old Sol sinks to the blazing west,      
    And old and young turn towards their home for rest 
'Til, city bound, the human tide turns 'round: 
    Another day of relaxation found.