Had it not been for a tardy delivery of a car, Ernest Hemingway's 10-year love affair with Key West might never have happened.
Key West was to have been just a stopping-off point for Hemingway when he arrived on the ferry from Havana in 1928. But the Ford automobile that should have been waiting at the docks was delayed, so the embarrassed car merchant offered the author accommodations at the Trevor and Morris Apartments located above the dealership. During his stay there, Hemingway worked on "A Farewell to Arms" and became captivated by the island's easygoing ambiance.
What he discovered fed his exuberance for living, heralded the beginning of the most prolific period of his career and inspired him to use Depression-era Key West as the locale for "To Have and Have Not" - his only novel set in the United States.
In a short time, Hemingway moved into a Spanish colonial villa at 907 Whitehead St., which was his home through December 1939. Now a registered National Historic Landmark, the home is open to the public as a museum honoring the island's most famous literary resident.