An historic house and nature reference library for research and writing
Ernest Hemingway’s final home, and Mary Hemingway’s home until 1986, is now managed by The Community Library Association as a private residence for visiting writers, and the site of ongoing preservation efforts.
The Community Library became the custodian of the Hemingway House and Preserve in May of 2017, following the 30-year ownership of the House by The Nature Conservancy. The change marked a new approach to the preservation and promotion of the iconic writer’s legacy in the American West, and by a library whose own history is intertwined with Hemingway’s.
The Community Library honors the House as a contemplative, non-commercial space, and we are prioritizing ongoing preservation efforts and a writer-in-residence program there. We ask the public to respect the privacy of the place. You can take a virtual tour of the House and learn more about Hemingway’s time in Idaho through the Library’s digital Hemingway library.
The Ketchum, Idaho, house, and its associated 13.9 acres of land alongside the Big Wood River, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its association with the great writer and because it is an exquisite example of mid-century architecture.
The house is incorporated into a larger historical and literary program that explores Hemingway’s abiding connections to the remote and rugged region, a place he visited for two decades, and the place where he turned to make his final home after his departure from Cuba.
Artifacts from the Ernest and Mary Hemingway House and Preserve are being preserved by the Jeanne Rodger Lane Center for Regional History and will be made accessible to the public through periodic displays at the Library and the Regional History Museum, as well as through research requests.
Stewardship of the Hemingway House
Since taking over the management of the house and legacy, the Library undertook a needed series of restoration measures on the exterior and interior in order to protect the 1953 house and its contents. Notable in the infrastructure work done to date are the re-shingling of the roof — from shake back to shingle (with a Class A assembly); the painting of the house exterior trim; partially regrading the original gravel drive; installing a new boiler, and removing several dying trees.
Importantly, the preservation measure of replacing eleven picture windows in the living room, bedrooms, and kitchen with UV-protected double-paned glass will ensure the artifacts within the house against UV light damage. This project was made possible by a grant award from the the Idaho Heritage Trust. We are pleased and thankful to be able to protect the house collections from the beautiful but harmful rays of sunlight that come through the windows.
The Hemingway Writer-in-Residence Program
The Hemingway Writer-in-Residence is a residency program based in Ketchum, Idaho, and managed by The Community Library, custodian of the historic and privately-operated Ernest and Mary Hemingway House and Preserve. The house is private. The residency program is by invitation only, as we are focused at this time on aligning the residency with the Library’s programs, major initiatives, and community partnerships. Letters of inquiry may be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org, and submissions may include a CV and/or writing sample. The Library fields a large number of inquiries. We thank you for understanding that we are not able to respond to all inquiries and that responses may be delayed. We typically are not able to respond to time-sensitive inquiries. The residency program was started in early 2019.
Explore A Writer in New Country: Hemingway in 1939 at the Wood River Museum
This exhibit examines who Hemingway was when he arrived in 1939: a writer at his peak, a globetrotter drawn to remote places, a rugged outdoor enthusiast, and a man with complicated personal relationships. Visitors can type their own “One True Sentence” on a vintage typewriter just like Ernest Hemingway used!