Hem lived in Key West while writing two of his most celebrated novels, A Farewell to Arms and For Whom the Bell Tolls. The two-story house with wraparound decks is—as it always has been —protected by palm trees growing out from secret gardens and an army of curious cats. The feline ancestors roaming the grounds today are descendants of those who enchanted Papa Hem during his time in Florida's outpost just a stones throw from Duval Street. Hem made Key West famous, and without his residence there, it probably wouldn't matter that he was a just stone's throw from fabled Duval Street, but I remiss...
Ernest’s friends known as “The Mob", famously fished in the Dry Tortugas for weeks at a time in pursuit of giant tuna and marlin associated with big game fishing. Everyone in the Mob had a nickname, Hemingway's was "Papa"—which would eventually stick with him throughout his life.
Visiting this house was very much like stepping back in time, particularly for those with active imaginations. Had we all day to wander those gardens crawling with cats just like it has always been, we would have stayed. But the Parks call!
907 Whitehead Street Key West, Florida 22040