In volume 2 we'll stroll down Whitehead Street and then check out some more of the tourist hot spots in the
west end of town. We'll take a tour of Hemingway House and also visit Fort Taylor.
Click here to view photos as a slideshow. May take a few seconds to run.
Key West is a funky town with its pastel colored, conch-style buildings and chickens running all around. Many of the rich and famous have lived in Key West, including Ernest Hemingway, President Harry Truman, James Audubon, and Jimmy Buffet. Estate houses and tropical gardens dot the city. The west end of the city is the touristy part of town, with its various museums, boutiques, seafood restaurants, and bars (think Margaritaville).
Everyone knows Ernest Hemingway as maybe the greatest American novelist (The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms). However not everyone may know that he led a remarkable life that made him a "bigger than life" legend. In addition being a superb author, he was also at various times a reporter, war correspondent, ambulance driver, big game hunter, avid fisherman, and a very heavy drinker. He had 4 wives (one at a time) and God knows how many cats. He maintained permanent residences in Key West and Havana and had a house in Idaho. The house in Key West was a gift from the uncle of his second wife, Pauline. I had to choose between touring the Audubon House or the Hemingway House on my 2019 trip to Key West. I chose Hemingway House (both charge entrance fees).
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park
Construction on Fort Taylor (named for President Zachary Taylor) began in 1845 and continued through the 1850s. It remained in Union hands during the Civil War and served as a base to interdict Confederate blockade runners. The fort also saw service during the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, and the cuban missle crisis. Fort Taylor was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1971 and designated a National Historic Landmark in 1973. Today the fort is known as the Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park, and contains the largest collection of civil war cannons in the nation.