Key West has been home to many authors over the decades, and there are still an awful lot of writers here, but perhaps the most famous Key West resident author to date has been Ernest Hemingway, who bought a house here in 1931 with his first wife. That house is now one of the most popular attracations in Key West. It’s located at 907 Whitehead Street and he lived here during winters throughout the 1930s until his divorce from Pauline. He wrote To Have and Have Not here, which is considered Hemingway’s Key West book and sheds light on what Key west was like back in the poverty days of the Depression era.
The house itself was built in 1851 by a merchant and builder of ships named Asa Tift. He built his mansion from coral rock and it has a touch of Spanish Colonial design. The tour takes you through the house and out to the back yard where the once-beautiful tile 60 foot swimming pool and writing office above a garage are found. The pool was incredibly expensive and cost almost the equivalent of a quarter of a million dollars in today’s economy. The lush side garden is fun, with benches for resting your feet and gazing at the cats, which by the way are everywhere. The tourguides might even have names for some of the cats, depending on who gives your tour.