While local literary buffs in Detroit might extol the virtues of Philip Levine, former U.S. Poet Laureate, or devour the crime thrillers of Elmore Leonard, a group of historians are making sure Michigan gets a claim to one of the most revered American writers, Ernest Hemingway.
Born near Chicago in 1899, Hemingway spent much of his life as an expat. When he wasn't writing, he was more known for going on safari, hanging in Cuba, drinking in countless Parisian cafes and having spats with friend and fellow writer, "Great Gatsby" author F. Scott Fitzgerald. But before he became a literary legend, Hemingway was known to summer in northern Michigan.
After spending time in and around Petoskey in his earlier years, Hemingway never returned, but many of his writings took place in similar locales, including his first novel "The Torrents of Spring," and other tales featuring his semi-autobiographical character, Nick Adams.
"People have been coming for decades, really, to seek out the places in Michigan affiliated with Hemingway, and they just sort of stumble and bumble," said Michael Federspiel, president of the Michigan Hemingway Society. Interest from international visitors prompted the group, along with several others, to create a self-guided tour to influential Hemingway spots. The sites were chosen based on the research of Ken Marek, one of the founders of MHS.
Now, instead of hunting out Hemingway spots using references from the writer's prose, tourists can use the website to seek out 11 bronze markers dedicated to the author across northern Michigan. The tour debuted last month, as the International Hemingway Society gathered in Petoskey to discuss the author.
The Awesome Mitten adds that Hemingway is rumored to have worked in Paris with a map of northern Michigan on his wall.
He even got married there in the summer of 1921. According to The New York Times, Hemingway raved about the state's beauty to his new wife, Hadley Richardson (the first of four):
A neighbor was driving the newlyweds through northern Michigan to the train station. The car crested a hill, and suddenly Little Traverse Bay spread out below them, wide and blue and shining. ''See all that,'' Ernest Hemingway told his bride. ''Talk about the beauty of the Bay of Naples! I've seen them both, and no place is more beautiful than Little Traverse in its autumn colors.''
Below, check out some of the spots in northern Michigan on the Michigan Hemingway Tour, and visit the website for the rest.
Hat tip: The Awesome Mitten.
Young Hemingway Writing
Ernest Hemingway writing while on a Michigan fishing trip in 1916. Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
Hemingway <a href="http://mihemingwaytour.org/index.php/sites/pere-marquette-railroad-station/" target="_hplink">likely traveled to Charlevoix through the Pere Marquette railroad station in Petoskey</a>. In the 1960s, the station became the Little Traverse History Museum, which hosts a permanent exhibit dedicated to the author, updated for the summer in 2012. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Photochrom Collection, [LC-DIG-ppmsca-18181]
A young Ernest Hemingway fishing in Horton's Creek, near Walloon Lake, Michigan. Horton Creek, <a href="http://mihemingwaytour.org/index.php/sites/horton-creek/" target="_hplink">one of the stops on the tour</a>, appears in "The End of Something, "The Indians Moved Away" and "On Writing." Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
In 1916 Ernest Hemingway <a href="http://mihemingwaytour.org/index.php/sites/the-perry-hotel/#" target="_hplink">hiked from Oak Park, Illinois to Petoskey</a>, where he stayed at the Perry Hotel for 75 cents. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Detroit Publishing Company Collection, LC-D4-12339]
Ernest Hemingway holds a gun while standing on a boat, near Windemere Cottage at Walloon Lake, Michigan. His parents bought property on the lake in 1898. There is a <a href="http://mihemingwaytour.org/index.php/sites/hemingway-historical-marker/" target="_hplink">State of MIchigan historical site marker</a> in Walloon Village, and on the tour they offer <a href="http://mihemingwaytour.org/index.php/sites/public-access-and-boat-launch/" target="_hplink">directions to get a panoramic view of the lake</a>, which makes an appearance in Hemingway's story "Wedding Day." Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
Hemingway After World War I
Hemingway volunteered for the American Red Cross during World War I. In the photo, he is recuperating from wounds at the ARC Hospital, Milan, Italy. When he later lived in Petoskey, he <a href=" http://mihemingwaytour.org/index.php/sites/carnegie-library-building/" target="_hplink">spoke to the Ladies Aid Society about the war at the Carnegie Library</a>, another stop on the tour. Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
When Hemingway stayed in Petoskey in 1919, he spent some time at the Cushman House, the hotel on the right, before becoming a woman's border. The left building in the photo is one of the stops on the Michigan Hemingway Tour. The writer <a href="http://mihemingwaytour.org/index.php/sites/the-annex" target="_hplink">spent time at the Annex playing pool</a>, and the saloon may have been the inspiration for the bar in the story "A Man of the World," according to the tour. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Photochrom Collection, [LC-D4-12337]
Hemingway married Elizabeth Hadley Richardson in 1921. The wedding reception took place at <a href="http://mihemingwaytour.org/index.php/sites/pinehurst-and-shangri-la/" target="_hplink">Pinehurst</a>, a country inn, and at next door rooming house Shangri-la. L-R: Carol Hemingway, Ursula Hemingway, Elizabeth Hadley Richardson, Ernest Hemingway, Grace Hall Hemingway, Leicester Hemingway, Clarence Edwards Hemingway. Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.
Be A Hemingway Buff
If you're new to reading Hemingway, his short stories are a great place to start. Michael Federspiel, president of the Michigan Hemingway Society, recommends "The Big Two-Hearted River," a story featuring semi-autobiographical protagonist Nick Adams that takes place in the Upper Peninsula. "I think is simply one of the finest short stories ever written," Federspiel said. "It captures Hemingway's personal experience in Michigan, as well as that new writing style he pioneered in the 1920s."
Hemingway In Cuba
This black and white photo from the mid-1900's, released by the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston on Wednesday, March 28, 2012, shows Ernest Hemingway, second from right, and Gianfranco Ivancich, right, dining with an unidentified woman, left, wife Mary Hemingway, second from left, and Juan "Sinsky" Dunabeitia, center at Hemingway's villa Finca Vigia in San Francisco de Paula, Cuba. The museum made public on Wednesday a dozen previously unpublished letters Hemingway wrote to Ivancich. Experts say the letters demonstrate tenderness in Hemingway'
Lake Street in Petoskey in 1908, several years before Hemingway lived in the city. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, Photochrom Collection, [LC-D4-70728]
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