Hemingway, Key West
In 1851, Asa Tift, a marine architect and salvage wrecker built the house. It was bought for Pauline and Ernest Hemingway by Pauline's rich uncle Gus in 1931. Pauline was Ernest's 2nd wife. When she divorced him in 1939, Hemingway moved to Cuba. Pauline died in 1951. Only Patrick, one of her two sons is still living.
Hemingway had a lot of friends in Key West, and many of them appeared as characters in his novel "To Have and Have Not" which is about Key West during the depression. Hemingway built the brick wall around the house in an effort to get some privacy from the crowds of tourists peering in through the fence
I think we toured Hemingway house back in 1961, but I can't find that we have any photos of it. It wasn't something that I thought I would do again, but when my sister visited, she wanted to go. So Bob took us and dropped us and we went in and had the tour. Things were more or less the same as they were the first time. They still told the story about the pool. (The house has the first pool in Key West - it cost $20,000 in the late 30s.)
But it was interesting (I didn't know that Pauline replaced all the ceiling fans with a collection of chandeliers) and this time I got some photos. My sister went up into the studio - I didn't want to climb the steps
Hours of Operation 9am-5pm, 365 days a year, including ALL Holidays However I would avoid going when there are a lot of cruise ships in port
General Admission and 30 minute Tour
(5 and under) Free
The house was filled with many beautiful anitques, paintings and old photographs . I especially loved the antique headboard from the 17th century, which was once a spanish gate. The cat sleeping on the bed is one of the 44 cats that live on the property.
Key West and Ernest Hemingway are inseparable. Papa Hemingway's years in town were among his most productive, from a literary standpoint, and his contribution to the attitude and nightlife of the town continues to this very day. Why, even his "cat water fountain" is an antique urinal ripped from the original Sloppy Joes' Bar location in the late thirties.
The house is privately owned, and lovingly maintained. It's so authentic as to still be devoid of air-conditioning. Now, I wouldn't describe the interior as super-comfortable on the hot June day we visited, but the construction of the house, its ceiling fans and the large ceiling to floor windows, make tropical ventilation happen.
Like almost everything in Key West, it costs $10 to get in. Guided tours, once inside, are free...you just congregate at the entrance for the next one to start. You'll be treated to a 30 minute walk through both the house and history. I was especially moved to visit Hemingway's writing cottage out back, left as he'd left it when he departed the area. Seeing Ernest Hemingway's typewriter made me appreciate my quiet-key computer keyboard and nifty laptop even more. :)
Hey, one other fun fact about Hemingway's house...it's the only dwelling in Key West with a basement. Papa was smart enough to buy the highest ground (elevation about 10 feet) in town, and he bought land that had a big chunk of stone below the surface. So, the basement was literally carved out of this stone, which is why it doesn't seep water like most places in Florida would do. Also, during hurricanes, the famous Hemingway cats instinctively hide in the basement, which is usually a safe place to be.
We loved the stories of Papa Hemingway and all his wives, too. And yes, we saw his cats, including a bunch of the famous six-toed mutants. Definitely worth the visit, folks.
After many years of visiting the Keys I finally visited the Hemingway House and even took the guided tour. The reason I never did before is I thought of it as too touristy and assumed I'd be disappointed, shame on me for being so negative. I actually found the house interesting and the tour a fine way to spend 30-45 minutes. We had a great tour guide, he was very knowledgeable, friendly, joked a bit, and kept up a good pace - I was never bored and/or aching for the tour to move on. We almost didn't take the guided tour because it was HOT and we were HUNGOVER but I'm glad we did, I know it made all the difference in our visit. I definitely recommend it.
The house is a really cool place to visit. It costs $10 for entry fee. I enjoyed walking around outside the best in his garden with the cats. Also, the house in the back, which is where he wrote is really neat. They have it where you can only see inside, but not go in. Definitely worth the money. The 2nd picture is of the house with his library, which is out back. The 6-toed cats are everywhere.
On my first visit to Key West I was very excited to visit the Hemingway house. I grew up a very large fan of Hemingways works and setting foot in the house where he penned some of his greatest novels was a personal thrill for me. There is a charge to tour the house, and, it is true, there are six toed cats running around, direct feline descendants of Hemingways own pets.
The swimming pool at the Hemingway Home was the first residential pool built in Key West and is also the largest. It is 65 ft long and the deep end is 9 ft deep. It is filled with saltwater.
The final cost of the pool was $20,000. When Hemingway learned of the cost, he laughed, took a penny out of his pocket and said "Well, you might as well take my last cent." He then threw the penny in the wet concrete near the pool where it can be seen today.
The writing studio used by Hemingway is on the 2nd floor of a building outside the house that was used as a carriage house. The room is exactly the way he had it arranged.
A stairway leads to the room, but this was only built for tourists to access it. It was originally accessed by a catwalk from a cookhouse building which blew down in a 1948 storm.
The bedroom contains a large bed which is actually 2 twin beds put together. You will also see a replica of a cat made by Pablo Picasso that was given to Hemingway. The original was broken by a thief.
Also in the house you will see the dining room, which contains an 18th century Spanish walnut dining table, a chandelier made in Venice, and a Spanish bottle safe which has a great story behind it. There are also bathrooms and a kitchen.
The mansion and home of renowned American author and Nobel Prize winner, Ernest Hemingway, mansion and the gardens, see the house where wrote most of his acclaimed works.
The Ernest Hemingway Museum is home to approximately sixty cats. . The late author's home and second-story writing studio.
Do yourself a favor and stop at the Hemingway House. If you don't want to pay the $10 to tour the house, you can visit the grounds and see the cats for free. The house is beautiful -- the pool...I always want to jump in. Even if you're not a Hemmingway fan, the house is worth the visit.
Absolutely love the Hemingway house! A walking tour allows one to roam the halls of the great writer's living and working quarters. The docents are full of trivial information for example the cats' drinking trough used to be a urinal at the original Sloppy Joe's Bar.
Since we took the girls out of school for this trip, we wanted to tie in a little educational purpose to our visit. The Hemingway House fit the bill nicely.
Ernest Hemingway's most productive years were spent in Key West. And this is the place he did most of his writing
The grounds at the Hemingway House are quite beautiful . There is an impressive collection of exotic plants and trees . My favorite is the African Tulip tree.