Home in Oak Park, Chicago

ERNEST HEMINGWAY BIRTHPLACE is now a museum. When Ernest Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899, the Queen Anne style home was lit only by gas lamps. No radio. No television. No social media. Now, you may think that’s a boring way for a kid to grow up. But when you walk into Hemingway’s Oak Park home, feel the atmosphere of the place, close your eyes and imagine what it was like back then, when Ernest was born, when he grew up in this house for the first six years of his life, you’d quickly realize that this was not a boring but a perfect place—without any distractions of our modern information overload—for the making of Ernest Hemingway as a great American writer.


Ernest Hemingway grew up surrounded by books, arts, and music. His grandfather, Ernest Hall, was a great storyteller. Can you imagine the boy Hemingway listening with awe-filled eyes to the tales told by his old man. Shadows from the lamps dancing on the walls. The power of words. The power of minds. The power of imaginations.

Ernest Hemingway Birthplace, for me, is a place of inspiration.

Ernest Hemingway
A Post Card Purchased At Hemingway Museum

What Am I Doing Here?


Ernest Hemingway is one of my favorite American writers. When I travel, I make a point of visiting the places and landmarks associated with writers. So, years ago when I visited Chicago, I made my pilgrimage to his Oak Park home. I have also made my pilgrimage to his home in Key West, and to his Bassano del Grappa, Italy, Museum, and to the village of Fossalta di Piave, Italy, where the young man Ernest Hemingway was injured during the battle

I have not yet been to his last home in Ketchum, Idaho. Not to say I haven’t had a chance to go there, but I say I haven’t been there because I’m not sure if I want to be there. To stand in a place so full of sadness. A great American writer lost, no longer able to compose his powerful prose, struggling trying to write, fighting his demons, and in his decline, at the end of the road of his life, that place that had led him to hold his hunting rifle, bite its barrel, and pull its trigger.

Ernest Hemingway Birthplace
Ernest Hemingway's Queen Anne Style Home

Ernest Hemingway Birthplace
His Museum?


There was a Hemingway Museum near Ernest Hemingway Birthplace. It was a great place where I saw the artifacts associated with the great American writer. Sadly, the museum had closed its door. The last I researched for what had happened to all the artifacts and photographs and memorabilia associate with Hemingway, I learned that there was a plan to rebuild the museum in the vicinity of his birthplace home. Now, when this happens, it will give me a good reason to revisit the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace.

Do you have a favorite writer or writers to whose roots you’ve made or are wanting to make a pilgrimage?

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Categories: Chicago


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