Hemingway and Chicago

Last June, I spent a week in Chicago with my family, and I was surprised to learn that this was where Ernest Hemingway was born and where he spent his early childhood. I mean, I had just been to Cuba where I visited the Ambos Mundos Hotel in La Habana where Hemingway lived for 7 years. It seemed like I was unwittingly following him.

Ernest Hemingway Museum

Ernest Hemingway Museum

Hemingway's House

Hemingway’s House

So I decided to go check out the Ernest Hemingway Museum as well as his birthplace home. The museum was really interesting, with displays illustrating the author’s life from his birth in 1899 in Chicago to his death in 1961 in Idaho. It included photographs, sample writings, letters and memorabilia from the Hemingway family. Among other things, I learnt that he loved arts. In fact, he thought that painters were similar to writers as they tried to create landscapes, and authors attempted to describe them.

The Dining Room

The Dining Room

His Mother's Bedroom

His Mother’s Bedroom Where He Was Born

His childhood house, a Queen Anne Style home, was built in 1890 by Ernest’s maternal grandparents. Hemingway was born there, and lived in it the first 6 years of his life. His parents were upper-middle class: his father was a physician, and his mother was a music teacher. Ernest and his sister Marcelline shared the nursery, next to their mother’s room, and his grandfather, Ernest Hall, was also living with them.

The Nursery

The Nursery

The Kitchen

The Kitchen

The house has been restored from 1993 to 2001 to look as close as possible to the way it was when Ernest Hemingway lived there. Richly furnished with period pieces, it is a beautiful home, and definitely worth seeing it. I could just picture young Ernest playing on the porch, or listening to his mother play the piano.