We were given a tour of the grounds of Hemingway’s Cuban home by Deputy Director, Isbel Ferreiro. Hemingways love for Cuba started long before he purchased the house and there are hundreds of books out there for one to read, but this will cover what we learned on our visit.
The house was originally built in the 1800s by a Spanish architect, it was owned by a Frenchman when Hemingway and Martha first saw it in 1928.
In 1939 Hemingway was living in the Sevilla Hotel while writing “For Whom the Bell Tolls”, he did not want to rent the house because it was too far out of town, so one day while he was out fishing his wife Martha rented the house and had their belongings moved before he got home.
In 1940 the home was purchased for $18,500. This was the only one of all his homes that was in Ernest’s name solely.
The Hemmingway’s designed the home and had all the furniture made by locals.
Hemmingway married his fourth wife Mary in 1946 and they lived here with their 60 cats, 9000 books and paintings by Picasso, Miro and other great artists until just before his death in 1961.
Hemmingway died in Ketchum, Idaho and upon his death Mary returned with the intention of turning the home into a study center and dispursing a few items to the help. However, the revolution occurred and it was not practical. On July 21, 1962 the home was opened as a museum and has remained so ever since.
Isbel mentioned that everyone must read all Hemingway’s books as part of the requirement for working there.
Alas, due to the tourist situation in Cuba, this also was a spot filled with buses.
Hemmingway’s cocktail was a Daquiri, he did not create it, he simply modified it – no sugar – double the rum