907 Whitehead Street
Key West, FL 33040
The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum
It was on the advice of John Dos Passos, a fellow member of the “Lost Generation” of ex-patriate artists and writers populating Paris during the 1920s, that Hemingway was first prompted to visit Key West. Hemingway did not go directly to South Florida from Paris, but rather arrived through Havana, Cuba—a city and country that would prove to be critically important in Hemingway’s later personal and professional life. Upon his arrival in Key West in April 1928, the first order of business was to locate the new Ford Roadster that Pauline Hemingway’s wealthy Uncle Gus had so generously purchased for the newlywed couple.
Because the car had been delayed in transit, the Ford dealership insisted that they take up residence in an apartment located above the showroom on Simonton Street. Ernest and Pauline accepted the offer, and he resumed work on a war story he had started on the ocean passage to Key West. Hemingway continued his Paris habits of writing during the early mornings, and taking time to explore his surroundings in the afternoons. The Hemingway's spent three weeks waiting for their car, and it was during this very brief three-week interlude that Ernest—amazingly—finished the partially autobiographical novel about the First World War, A Farewell To Arms.
The Hemingway home was built in 1851 in the Spanish Colonial style and was constructed of native rock hewn from the grounds. The home was in great disrepair when the Hemingway's took ownership, but both Ernest and Pauline could see beyond the rubble and ruin and appreciated the grand architecture and stateliness of the home. The massive restoration and remodeling they undertook in the early 1930s turned the home into the National Historical Landmark that thousands of tourists visit and enjoy today.