Ernest Hemingway Tour – Key West – January 2020

We took the tour of the Hemingway home that was built in 1851. Hemingway purchased the home in the early 1930’s. I learned that Hemingway had many wives. When Pauline, his second wife, learned of his affair while away in Spain, she had what is referred to as the revenge swimming pool built. It was Key West’s first inground swimming pool, and cost Hemingway a mere $20,000.00. Back in the day that was a lot of money. She built it on his boxing ring. He was a fan of boxing and would spar with local amateur boxers in his back yard. He was so mad about the amount of money she spent on the pool that he tossed a penny from his pocket, and said, “Here, take the last penny I’ve got!”. Pauline had the penny embedded in the flagstone, and it is still there today. Pauline and Ernest divorced in 1940. She kept the house, and Hemingway took up residence in Cuba with his third wife, Martha Gelhorn. It was an interesting tour. The six-toed cats were adorable as well. But the urinal that he purchased from Sloppy Joe’s was hilarious. The owner of the bar and restaurant was moving to a new location, so he purchased the urinal from him and placed it in a central spot of the courtyard. You might say it was his revenge because his wife spent $20,000.00 on a pool. Although he did say that he wanted it as a reminder of how much money he had p – away. So the story goes, Pauline did not get too excited over it. She just decorated it with Spanish tiles.

Model of Hemingway’s boat “Pilar”
The Urinal
One of the many 6 toed felines

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