Hem­ing­way home added to reg­istry

The China Post - - ARTS -

An Idaho house where Ernest Hem­ing­way wrote his last works be­fore killing him­self in the main en­try­way in 1961 has been listed on the U.S. Na­tional Register of His­toric Places.

The Na­ture Con­ser­vancy owns the two-story, 2,500-square-foot house in the cen­tral Idaho re­sort town of Ketchum and an­nounced the list­ing Tues­day.

“We’re look­ing at ways to honor and also build on the literary legacy that Hem­ing­way brought,” said Lou Lunte, the group’s deputy state di­rec­tor.

Hem­ing­way ex­perts say the famed au­thor worked on “A Move­able Feast” and “The Dan­ger­ous Sum­mer” at the house he owned from April 1959 un­til his sui­cide in July 1961 at age 61 when, bi­og­ra­phers say, he feared he had lost the abil­ity to write to his stan­dards.

The Na­tional Park Ser­vice, which man­ages the Na­tional Register, said the Ernest and Mary Hem­ing­way House was listed be­cause of its abil­ity to pro­vide in­sights about Hem­ing­way. The No­bel Prize win­ner was drawn to the re­gion for its hunt­ing and fish­ing, said Paul Lusig­nan, a his­to­rian with the Na­tional Register.

The death of Hem­ing­way wasn’t a de­cid­ing fac­tor to in­clude the house, but Lusig­nan said it did play a role.

The house is “as­so­ci­ated with a part of his ca­reer in which he had lost the abil­ity to write as he pre­vi­ously had,” Lusig­nan said. “He lived a full life and he was go­ing out on his own terms. I think that re­flects the per­sona that he cre­ated for him­self.”

The 1950s house con­tains an as­ton­ish­ing ar­ray of the au­thor’s per­sonal pos­ses­sions rarely seen by the public. Be­cause of zon­ing re­stric­tions, The Na­ture Con­ser­vancy al­lows vis­its to the house by in­vi­ta­tion only.

Mary Hem­ing­way, who died in 1986, gave the house to The Na­ture Con­ser­vancy. The group used it as a field of­fice for a time be­fore out­grow­ing it and mov­ing to other of­fices. The house has an as­ton­ish­ing ar­ray of the au­thor’s per­sonal pos­ses­sions and mid-1950s decor.

“It’s sort of frozen in the mid­cen­tury time pe­riod,” said Tricia Cana­day of Idaho’s State His­toric Preser­va­tion Of­fice. “It’s got all his stuff in it, that’s what’s so amaz­ing. His boots are sit­ting by the fire­place and his travel trunk where he painted ‘Hem­ing­way’ on it.”

Lunte said The Na­ture Con­ser­vancy hopes to start a writer-in­res­i­dence pro­gram at the house and is also col­lab­o­rat­ing with The Com­mu­nity Li­brary to link Hem­ing­way to sites and sto­ries in the area where the literary gi­ant first ar­rived in the 1930s.

Lusig­nan said there are now five homes in the U.S. listed on the Na­tional Register due to Hem­ing­way hav­ing lived or spent sig­nif­i­cant time in them. One of the most vis­ited is Hem­ing­way’s for­mer home in Key West, Florida.

AP

This July 30, 2007 file photo shows an in­te­rior view of the house for­merly owned by Ernest Hem­ing­way out­side Ketchum, Idaho. The house where Hem­ing­way wrote his last works be­fore killing him­self in the main en­try­way in 1961 has been listed on the U.S. Na­tional Register of His­toric Places. The Na­ture Con­ser­vancy owns the two-story, 2,500-square-foot house in the cen­tral Idaho re­sort town and an­nounced the list­ing on Tues­day, Aug. 11.

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