February 16, 2005

Millionaire neighbors say Hemingway suicide spot is cramping their style . . .


Homeowners in a wealthy neighborhood who are upset by the threat of tourist traffic to the house where Ernest Hemingway killed himself have threatened to sue if the owner of the property—The Nature Conservance—doesn’t accept an offer to buy the house and move it to another location. According to an Associated Press wire story by John Miller, however, “some members of the Idaho Hemingway House Foundation — slated to receive ownership of the house from The Nature Conservancy — are cool to the idea. The members, who include the Nobel Prize winner’s granddaughter, Mariel Hemingway, and actor Tom Hanks, view the home above the Big Wood River and its literary legacy as inextricably linked to the property.” However, the author’s son, Patrick Hemingway, says the house was a late acquisition and that his father spent happier times in the nearby Sun Valley Lodge. “That house does not represent his life and the vacation times that he spent in the Sun Valley area so happily,” Patrick Hemingway says. “The room in the Sun Valley Lodge is much more representative of the good times he had there.”

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House.