KEY WEST, Florida Keys — The Key West home that author Ernest Hemingway lived in from 1931 through 1939 has been designated a literary landmark.
Hemingway worked on many of his best-known novels and short stories in a second-story writing studio adjoining the Spanish colonial villa at 907 Whitehead St. They include “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “The Snows of Kilimanjaro” and the Key West-based “To Have and Have Not,” his only novel set in the United States.
“Hemingway fell in love with Key West and its energy,” said Dave Gonzales of the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum following a designation ceremony Sunday, March 14. “He lived here only nine years, but wrote 70 percent of his lifetime works in that 9-year period — the most prolific period of his life.”
Hemingway occupied the Key West home with his second wife Pauline and their two sons, and owned it until his death in 1961. Following his death, the unpublished manuscript that was to become “Islands in the Stream” was found in a vault in the property’s garage.
In 1964, the home became a museum honoring the Pulitzer and Nobel prize-winning author. Its literary landmark designation, conferred by a division of the American Library Association, was presented by author Les Standiford.
“This is a recognition long overdue,” said Standiford, whose book “Last Train to Paradise” opens with a scene set on the property. “There are a number of other literary landmarks in Key West, but none dedicated to Hemingway.”
Among the island’s seven other literary landmarks are the former homes of playwright Tennessee Williams and poet Elizabeth Bishop.
Guided tours of the Hemingway house and grounds are offered daily. For more information, click here.
For more information about Key West and the other Florida Keys, explore this Web site.
Mike Ruffo, right, drills into the front wall of the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum Sunday, March 14, 2010, to fasten a Literary Landmark plaque to the house in Key West. Kris Niehouse, left, and Mike Morawski, center, help support the sign. Photos by Rob O'Neal/Florida Keys News Bureau
Visitors to the Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum stroll towards the entrance, shortly after a ceremony was staged designating the site a Literary Landmark. The designation was given by a division of the American Library Association.
The Ernest Hemingway Home & Museum occupies an acre of land with lush tropical gardens and swarms of resident polydactyl cats.