Hemingway House-Key West

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Hemingway House-Key West

Hemingway House

The Hemingway House, located at 907 Whitehead Street in Key West, Florida, is a historic landmark and a testament to the life and legacy of one of America’s greatest writers, Ernest Hemingway. Built in 1851, this Spanish Colonial-style mansion is where Hemingway lived and wrote for nearly a decade during the 1930s. The house is now a museum that offers visitors a unique glimpse into the author’s life and the literary works he created during his time in Key West.

Ernest Hemingway moved to Key West in 1931 with his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer. The house was a wedding gift from Pauline’s wealthy uncle, Gus Pfeiffer. The couple fell in love with the island’s laid-back atmosphere and vibrant community, which profoundly influenced Hemingway’s writing. During his residence, Hemingway produced some of his most significant works, including “A Farewell to Arms,” “To Have and Have Not,” and “The Snows of Kilimanjaro.”

Architecture

The Hemingway House is a striking example of Spanish Colonial architecture, featuring thick limestone walls, high ceilings, and wide porches. One of the most notable aspects of the house is its lush, expansive garden, which provides a tranquil oasis amidst the bustling streets of Key West. The garden is home to a variety of tropical plants, a swimming pool, and a beautiful brick pathway that winds through the property. The pool, built in 1938, was an extravagant addition at the time, costing $20,000, and was the only one of its kind in Key West.

Inside the house, visitors can explore rooms filled with original furniture and personal belongings of the Hemingway family. The author’s writing studio, located in a separate building on the property, has been preserved exactly as it was during Hemingway’s time. The studio offers a fascinating look into his creative process, with his typewriter, books, and other memorabilia on display. This intimate glimpse into Hemingway’s life and work provides a deeper understanding of the man behind the literary legend.

One of the most charming and unique features of the Hemingway House is its population of six-toed cats, descendants of Hemingway’s own pets. The writer was given a polydactyl cat named Snow White by a ship’s captain, and today, around 60 cats live on the property. These cats, many of which have six toes, are cared for by the museum staff and have become a beloved part of the Hemingway House experience.

The Hemingway House is more than just a museum; it is a vital piece of literary history and a cherished part of Key West’s cultural heritage. It attracts thousands of visitors each year who come to walk in the footsteps of one of America’s greatest writers and to experience the unique charm of the property. The house stands as a testament to Hemingway’s enduring legacy and his deep connection to Key West, offering an unforgettable experience for literary enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.

Conclusion

Whether you are exploring the beautiful gardens, visiting the historic rooms, or simply enjoying the company of the famous cats, the Hemingway House provides a rich and immersive experience that captures the spirit of one of the 20th century’s most influential authors. It is a must-see destination for anyone visiting Key West and a lasting tribute to the life and work of Ernest Hemingway.

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