Novelist Ernest Hemingway was quite the world traveler. Although he spent much of his life moving from one place to another Hemingway found solace and inspiration in the Floridian city of Key West.

The Hemingway Home and Museum is a popular stop for tourists visiting Key West. Ernest Hemingway first moved to the island in 1929 with his second wife Pauline. It was Pauline’s uncle who purchased the home, located at 907 Whitehead Street, for the couple. Hemingway owned the house for three decades until he passed away in 1961. The architectural style of the home is Spanish colonial. The home is filled with furniture and such from their stay in Europe. Hunting trophies and furs, from Hemingway’s trips on African Safaris, are mounted on the walls.

Legend has it that a friend of Hemingway’s gave him a tomcat with six toes. Descendants of the cat can still be seen roaming around the property. There are over 60 cats residing at the Hemingway House of all breeds. About half of the cats are polydactyl, meaning they have six toes.

The Legend of the Hemingway Home Pool:

In the backyard is a swimming pool that was the first to be built on the entire island. Since swimming pool construction was new the cost was quite high, in fact it was an astounding $20 000 USD. While the cement surrounding the patio was still wet Hemingway pulled a penny out of his pocket and pressed it into the deck exclaiming, “Here, take the last penny I’ve got!” Of course the penny remains in the cement and can be seen by all who visit.


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