The current home known as Audubon House was built by Captain John Huling Geiger in the 1840s for his family. The family lived in the house for almost 100 years.
For six weeks in 1832, John James Audubon stayed at a home that was located on the property before Captain Geiger built the present house. It was during these six weeks that John James Audubon painted 22 of his 435 Havell plates that represent birds.
In 1958, when the current house was in dilapidated condition it was rescued and became the Audubon House. It was then that it was converted to a museum and tropical gardens. It was during this restoration that it was decided that since John James Audubon had stayed at the property that the museum would depict what it was like to live on Key West island during this period.
The tropical gardens on the property are well-known for their large collection of orchids.
At 907 Whitehead Street in Key West is Ernest Hemingway’s home. Which today is a museum as well as a U.S. National Historic Landmark.
It was a place dear to Ernest’s heart that he spent over 10 years living and writing there. He even built an in-ground pool a true luxury for a home in the 1930s. The pool was dug by hand in solid coral rock. Since there was no fresh water at the time the pool was filled with salt water. The process of filling the pool took three days. After the pool was filled, the salt water in the pool was good for three or four days at which time it was drained and cleaned which took two to three days. Then the process would start all over again.
The Hemingway House is also known for their cats. Ernest loved cats and received a six-toed cat from a sea-captain as a gift. Almost all of the cats on the property (40 to 50) are direct descendents of that first cat. He loved his cats so much that there is actually a cat graveyard on the property.
Here are some views from around the property. If you look carefully at the last picture you may notice that the fountain flows into a urinal that Hemingway took from Sloppy Joe’s Bar when it was relocating. He used it as a water trough for his cats.
On the northwestern far edge of Key West is the famous Mallory Square. Within Mallory Square is the best location in the world to enjoy the sunset. That location is Sunset Pier.
Now remember, one of the highly attended events at Key West everyday is watching the Sun slowly sink to the horizon. This is a Key West style to have dinner. Watch the ships and boats sail on by and listen to some live music.
Enjoy a few drinks, eat some Conch fritters, and then dig in to a great fish entree.
“I drink to make other people more interesting.” – Ernest Hemingway
Most peoples’ vision of Key West is Sloppy Joe’s Bar and a ton of other bars along Duval Street. However, at the southern end of Duval Street is a wonderful place known as the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory.
It is a great place to slow down and enjoy some time with peace, beauty, and magic.
You will be transported to a place where butterflies are friendly and will spend time on your shoulder.
The conservatory protects the butterflies and birds within from the dangers of the outside world so that we can enjoy their beauty up close and personal.
So next time you head to Key West make a date with nature, you will be well rewarded during this adventure. Enjoy the show.