Hi guys! I’m finally back from vacation! A huge thank you to Deb, Tara, Emily and Ruthie for filling in for me while I was gone. I was away for 1 week and needed another week to catch up when I got back. Actually, I’m still catching up! Am I the only one who feels like she needs a vacation after vacation??
My husband and I took a trip to Florida. We stopped at Port Saint Lucie first to visit family and then the two of us drove down to Key West. This was my first time ever to Florida and I have to say, now I really get it. It’s beautiful, and the Keys are such a unique place, I really loved it there.
Aside from the normal vacation activities (swimming, sunning, jet skiing through the Gulf of Mexico!, etc) I did manage to find a historic home tour there! Key West has a section called Old Key in the middle of town, where there’s tons of amazing old architecture to be seen. We were able to tour a home that once belonged to Ernest Hemingway, its a big attraction in Key West.
It was a little rainy this day, and all the photos are cell phone pics so they’re not the best quality. This is the outside of the home. The first owner of the home was a man named Asa Tift. Asa was a marine architect, he had the house built in 1851, at which time he was one of the wealthiest men in the United States. Unfortunately, Asa lost his wife and two of his children to the yellow fever plague during the 1850s. He remained in the home and never remarried until he died in 1889. Ernest Hemingway first visited Key West in 1928. Even though the home had been abandoned and boarded up since Tift’s death, it still caught the eye of Ernest Hemingway and his first wife, Pauline. Pauline’s rich uncle bought the house for the couple for $8,000 which was the amount of back taxes owed on the property.
Its a center hall colonial style home. This is the entry way. See the arched doorway in the back that leads outside? All the exterior windows and doors in the home are shaped like this.
To the right of the foyer is the living room, which unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of because there were so many people in there. This living room photo is from HemingwayHome.com.
I did get a shot of this cool antique chair in the living room.
To the left of the entry hall, is the dining room. Since the home has been turned into a museum, all the artwork is Hemingway memorabilia.
How amazing is the dining set? I LOVE the large antique nail heads on this chair.
Look at this old farmhouse table!
That gallery wall contains Hemingways family photos, including pictures of each of his four wives!
The kitchen is in the rear of the house. This area was roped off, but they had a video tour in there for people with disabilities who couldn’t take the full tour.
Look at those French doors with the arched transom!
Upstairs was also extremely crowded, but I did get a pic of the antique bed in the master, complete with a sleeping kitty on it. The house has 26 cats, all decedants of Hemingway’s 6-toed cat.
And this is a better view of the bedroom- image also from HemingwayHome.com.
This antique cabinet was in one of the secondary bedrooms.
This was one of two bathrooms. Those wooden chairs are birthing chairs. I don’t want to know how they worked.
Doors in the master lead out to the second floor porch. This pic is the porch in the rear of the house, which wrapped all the way around the front and to the other side. Originally, this back porch had a cat walk out to the garage building where Hemingway would go to work. Sadly, due to a hurricane the cat walk is no longer there.
The office space where Hemingway worked above the garage is still in tact. (Photo from HemingwayHome.com.) the lower portion of the garage is now a book store.
The gardens are truly amazing also. This is a shot taken from the second floor porch of one of the side gardens.
Back downstairs and outside, there are beautiful winding pathways and tropical gardens all throughout the property.
The pool was seriously beautiful! One of Hemingways wives had this put in while he was away, and it cost $20,000 at the time-more than they paid for the house!
On one side of the pool is a beautiful pergola and a flagstone patio. This is truly my dream pool and yard!
On the opposite side of the house, there is an antique tiled pathway.
And yet more winding paths and gardens.
There is SO much more interesting history to this home, (I didn’t even get to the legacy of the cats!) way more than I could fit in a single blog post. If you are ever in Key West this is a must see attraction! Take the guided tour, because the tour guide was amazing! To see more photos (including this one) and read more on the history of this amazing home visit HemingwayHome.com.
Linking up at: Between Naps on the Porch.