Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hemingway's House in Key West


As an English major in college, I studied Ernest Hemingway. I admit I wasn't all that interested in his novels--I was more into writers like Jane Austen and George Eliot, to be honest. But I think if I had seen the house Hemingway lived and wrote in during the most prolific time of his career--with those gorgeous yellow shutters!--I might have paid a little more attention in my Modern Lit class.


According to the Hemingway Home website:
Legend has it that Hemingway owned the home from 1931 until his passing in 1961. The Spanish Colonial style home was constructed of native rock hewn from the grounds and boasts the first pool built in Key West. The pool, built in the late 1930's, cost $20,000. This price prompted Hemingway to take a penny from his pocket and press it into the wet cement of the surrounding patio and announce jokingly, "Here, take the last penny I've got!" That penny is still there.



Ernest Hemingway with one of his cats, whose descendants still roam the grounds of the property today:


According to the Hemingway Home website:
The story goes that Hemingway made the acquaintance of a sea captain who owned an unusual six-toed tomcat. Upon his departure from Key West, the captain presented the cat to Hemingway. Today many of the numerous cats that inhabit the grounds still possess the unusual six toes.
To see more photos from Hemingway's home in Key West, check out Carl Miller's gallery.


  1. Nothing beats a home with a good story! I had never heard about the six toed cats, pretty cool. Thanks so much for coming by, your comments are so sweet. Love the new blog, looking forward to all the beachy goodness you have for us.

  2. Hello Julia!
    Enjoyed your post very much! I really love to hear about homes with a unique history. Those porches on homes like that are amazing-I imagine myself sitting, feeling the sea breeze brush past my face, as I rock in my chair, kitty on my lap, dog by my side, reading a good book! Thanks for the sweet daydream-hope you are having a fun weekend~Tam! :D

  3. Michele and Tam, you found me! I hadn't even told anyone about this little blog yet. So nice to get a couple of comments from you. Thanks for being my first followers here at the beach house! :-)

  4. Oh, beautiful Julia! My parents visited Hemingway's house in Cuba. We've also been on on {walked on} of his fishing boats.

    Your blog looks know I'm a fan of anything beachy! Come visit us and we'll show you around our area. There are islands with amazing homes just minutes from us!


  5. Oh, I've been here, Julia, and it was lovely. I agree - I was never a huge fan of the writing, but the house was beautiful!

  6. Such a dream.....I love it!

    Guess what?! I've got 2 six-toed cats!! They are brothers, Eli and Moses. The cats with extra toes are know as Polydactyls, which means many digits. I love their mitten feet!

  7. I am so excited about this site! I love, love, love all things beach house! Thanks for the inspiration!

  8. I visited this house last summer. It was oh so wonderful!

  9. OOOh you sneaky hooked on Vamp you! I am LOVING this new Thang!

    Oy. THAT sounded odd. be completely honest...Have been to his house twice. Not so nice in the heat of September. Lot's of crated cats and cat pee smell. But lovely to see where he perhaps typed his stories.

  10. What a beautiful home. The yellow shutters really give it that mark of distinction. Really love seeing a picture of him living there, having a meal with his cat :) I might Even have liked to have been a little mouse inside those walls! despite all the cats.

    My Joey had an extra toe on all of his paws. They were so soft and wide, and always gentle, my sweet boy.

    Have a great day :) and come visit us at AtticMag.


I'm so glad you stopped by. Kick off your flip-flops and stay awhile! ~Julia :-)