on July 19, 2006
You should visit the former house of Ernest Hemingway. It was bought for Pauline and Ernest Hemingway by Pauline's uncle Gus in 1931 (Pauline was Ernest's 2nd wife). The Hemingway House is the only house in Key West with a basement and the first house on the island to get indoor plumbing, fireplace, and a swimming pool (Hemingway was outraged at what the pool ended up costing).The famous author owned the home until his death in 1961, and he lived there with countless cats, whose descendants, including the famed six-toed cats, still roam the premises. Hemingway built the brick wall around the house in an effort to get some privacy from the crowds of tourists. It was during those years that the Nobel Prize winner wrote some of his most greatest works, including “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, “A Farewell to Arms”, Death in the Afternoon” , and “The Snows of Kilimanjaro”. Hardware store owner Charles Thompson introduced him to deep sea fishing. Among the group that went fishing was Joe Russell (also known as Sloppy Joe).Definitely take the guided tour (45 min. or so); the guide will tell you interesting stories and offer insights and anecdotes into the Hemingway’s, the house and the town. You will see rooms of his house with glass cabinets that store artifacts, books, and his study. 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. Even if you're not a Hemingway fan, the place is worth the visit for the house's architecture and lovely garden.
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