The Hemingway House is located in Key West, Florida in the historical section of town.
Since 1968 the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum has been National Historic Landmark. This lovely, impressive home was built in 1850 by Asa Tift, for his family. In the 1850s Tift was one of Florida’s wealthiest men. He was a talented marine architect and successful salvage wrecker. The house was built in the Spanish-Colonial style. It is a two-story villa with New Orleans wrought-iron porch railings, balcony supports, and beautiful Italian marble fireplaces.
It was most unfortunate that yellow fever killed Asa’s wife and two children. During the Civil War Tift went to New Orleans to build battleships. After returning home he built a fountain in front of the house to resemble one of the battleships he left unfinished in New Orleans.
Later on, Ernest and Pauline Hemingway came to live here and raise their two boys. This was the place where the author was inspired to write. Hemingway was a journalist and writer. He published seven novels; six short story collections and two works of non-fiction. In 1954 he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
Hemingway discovered that the town of Key West was just the place to relax and get away from it all. Here from 1928 to 1938 he enjoyed his privacy, his family and could devote himself to his writing. This is where he wrote some of this best work like “To Have and Have Not” in his studio loft on the second floor of the carriage house behind the main house. Hemingway wrote with pencils and his sister Sunny and wife Pauline typed the manuscripts for him.
Pauline was his second wife and found it a challenge to live with him due to his drinking and his straying ways. However, she found the strength to live with him and do her best. She remodeled the house to make living easier for both of them. A catwalk was built to connect the second-floor master bedroom to Ernest’s floor loft in the carriage house. Pauline and Ernest filled the house with European antiques and other decors from Paris and other places in Europe that they had shipped to Key West.
Today visitors to the house can see all the furnishings and family treasures. Things changed greatly during the Great Depression and Hemingway was disappointed when his house was put on maps of famous places for mainland tourists. When it all got to be too much in 1935 he had a stone wall built for privacy. His marriage to Pauline fell apart and in 1939 they were divorced. From then on Hemingway lived in Cuba with his new wife, Martha, while Pauline continued living in the Key West home with their two boys. The new marriage fell apart as well and Hemingway married once more with Mary. This marriage lasted the rest of his life.
Hemingway used the Key West home as a stop-over residence when he was on his way to somewhere or when he wanted to see his boys. When the Cuban revolution erupted in 1959 he moved to Idaho with his present wife and stayed there until his death. In 1961 Hemingway killed himself and his Key West one was sold to resident Bernice and her husband. The made the house into a private museum and lived in the loft area. Here visitors can see Hemingway furniture and memorabilia.
It has been discovered that people who take their own lives choose to stay in this world, looking for the peace they couldn’t find while alive. Hemingway struggles with diabetes, sight loss and other physical issues which led to mental depression. He then followed in the steps of his father and shot himself in the head while living with his fourth wife, Mary.
Some of his best and most serene moments spent in life were at his Key West home. He once told others that this was the place where he would like to spend his after-life. This house was also a safe haven for Pauline Hemingway with happy memories with her husband and the happy times spent raising her boys. Both Pauline and Ernest Hemingway still live here. Hemingway likes to stay in his writing workroom and his apparition has also been seen around the main house. Neighbors have seen him looking out of a second-floor window and being a friendly fellow he has been seen waving to people going by.
Pauline has been seen by tour guides and guests. She has appeared at the top of the central staircase. While living she enjoyed looking out of the window on the staircase to see her husband writing in his loft and to see her children playing outside. She is still there helping her husband as the sound of a typewriter can be heard. Imagine if after death Hemingway could come out with a book.
There are eyewitness accounts and paranormal investigations. So both Pauline and Ernest Hemingway continue to enjoy their home and find peace there.