Hemingway's birthplace is a good place to begin to explore the roots of the author's life and work. Here Ernest was born in a second floor bedroom on July 21, 1899. This Queen Anne house, built by his maternal grandparents in 1890 and restored in the 1990s, looks as it did when Ernest and his family lived there. Young Ernest spent his first six years in these grand rooms rich with Victorian decor.|
On the first floor, Hemingway joined his family in Grandfather Abba's Bible readings and prayers. His mother, Grace Hall Hemingway, gave music lessons in the parlor. The top floor of the home was virtually a mini-museum of the outdoors, where Ernest's father, Dr. Clarence Hemingway, kept his wildlife specimens. Grace's uncle, Tyley Hancock, roomed on the second floor in between business trips. Ernest listened avidly to his colorful tales about the cities he visited. He also enjoyed visiting the family’s library and acting out poems and stories from the books he read.
In 1905, when Ernest was five, Abba died, and with him a strong link to the Victorian Age. The family then left their first home and moved into a Prairie-style house, which Ernest’s mother designed in tandem with the architect. This is his boyhood home and it also still stands today.