PART THREE (2): CHAPTERS 16-26

MARINE HARDWARE / SINCLAIR

Page 144

Charles Thompson's Hardware Store (Renam
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Harry tells Albert to go to Marine Hardware to get him some supplies (Hemingway 144). The store that was mentioned is most likely The Key West Marine Hardware Inc. that is located at 818 Caroline Street (Curnutt 134). It was previously owned by fisherman, entrepreneur, and one of Hemingway’s closest friends, Charles Thompson (McIver 8). In addition to alluding to Thompson’s store, Charles’ brother, Karl, was the sheriff of Key West in the 1930s and is the inspiration behind the character Sheriff Roger Johnson (Curnutt 135). After getting supplies from the hardware store, Albert is told to go to “the Sinclair” to fill up on gas (Hemingway 144). While our place-based research led to no results, Hemingway is referencing the Sinclair Oil Company. The gas station was, at the time, the 7th largest in the U.S. (Sinclair Oil Corporation).

Charles Thompson’s Hardware store sits on Caroline Street.

A Sinclair gas station in New Jersey ("Sinclair's Dino Finds New Stomping Ground")

Page 146

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The Cubans plan to rob a The First State Trust and Savings Bank (Hemingway 146). The name of the bank in Key West that corresponds with the bank in the book is called the First National Bank. Legend has it that Hemingway was unable to cash a check from the First National Bank, and thus, went to the original Sloppy Joe’s to cash his check (Curnutt 135).

The First National Bank in 1926 (First National Bank - Key West, Florida).

Page 154

CRAWFISH KEY SANDBAR

Harry suggests that he could escape via Crawfish bar, but the Cubans that are chasing him would catch him (Hemingway 154). The Crawfish bar is in reference to the sandbar located near Crawfish Key. The sandbar is 5 miles west of Key West and is also known as Kingfish Shoals (Curnutt 144).

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Google Maps image of the approximate location of the Crawfish Key Sandbar

MATECUMBE / CAMP FIVE

Pages 154, 199, 202

​Matecumbe is a neighborhood on Matecumbe Key located 80 miles north (by road) from Key West. Harry mentions that Matecumbe is a location that transports the mail by boat before it gets to Key West (Hemingway 154). However, Harry’s mention of this mode of mail transportation illustrates that Hemingway does not care about following a strict chronological timeline. Since To Have and Have Not takes

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place before the Labor Day hurricane of 1935, the mail would have been transported by the Florida East Coast Railway instead of by boat (Curnutt 144). Next, the sheriff says that Harry’s boat was found by a tanker near Matecumbe (Hemingway 199). In addition, a Vet wants to meet Richard Gordon at “Camp Five” (202). The upper end of Lower Matecumbe Key was also home to the fifth camp that housed neglected veterans (Wilkinson “History of the Upper Keys”). Hemingway most likely mentions this camp because he, Bra Sanders, and J.B. “Sully” Sullivan were involved in a rescue effort after the hurricane at Camp Five. They observed the many dead veterans that had been previously working on the overseas highway (Curnutt 169).

WW I veterans building the overseas highway circa 1935 on Lower Matecumbe Key (Wilkinson “History of the Lower Matecumbe Key).

THE KEY WEST LIGHTHOUSE

Page 155

In chapter 18, Harry lists the most iconic buildings on Key West and mentions a lighthouse “that showed above the houses” (Hemingway 155). The Key West Lighthouse is the only lighthouse on Key West and is located at 938 Whitehead St. across from Hemingway’s house. In 1822, Commander Matthew Perry originally planned for the structure to be built at Sambo Key, but it was later determined that Whitehead Street was a better location. The lighthouse was built in 1825. However in 1846, a strong hurricane demolished the lighthouse and killed the 14 people that sought refuge there during the storm (“The Hurricane of 1846”). A second lighthouse was subsequently rebuilt in 1848. During the Civil War, longtime lighthouse keeper and pro-confederate Barbara Mabrity was fired to ensure that Union ships wouldn’t wreck. Although she always completed her duties, the 82 year old was removed by Key West residents because it was a Union city. The Key West Lighthouse remained the only lighthouse that didn’t fall to the Confederacy (“Civil War & New Keepers”). 

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View of The Key West Lighthouse from the second floor of the Hemingway House.

THE STATE ROAD DEPARTMENT

Page 155

Research in Curnutt’s Reading Hemingway’s To Have and Have Not Glossary and Commentary and place-based research in Key West rendered no results for the the State Road Department. However, the department was probably in connection with the construction of the overseas highway.

CASA MARINA

Page 155

on New Years’ Eve 1920 (“The Casa Marina Hotel”). However, the hotel soon shut down due to the Depression (Curnutt 145). In 1942, the U.S. Navy bought the hotel and used it as housing for WWII officers. The hotel reopened to the public in the 1950s. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, the hotel was designated as the U.S. Army’s Sixth Mission Battalion. Again, the hotel fell into hard times and tried to recoup by renovations in 1978 and 1984. The most recent renovation in 2008 has restored the Casa Marina Hotel to its original glory (“The Casa Marina Hotel”).

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In chapter 18, Harry lists the most iconic buildings on Key West and mentions “the big winter hotel” (Hemingway 155). The hotel that is referred to is the Casa Marina Hotel located at 1500 Reynolds Street (Curnutt 145). It was built by railroad mogul Henry Flagler and opened 

The front sign of the Casa Marina Hotel with the resort in the background.

CIGAR FACTORY

Page 166

In chapter 18, Harry mentions to a young Cuban revolutionary that he had been “out on strike plenty of times in the old days when we had the cigar factories in Key West (Hemingway 166). The E. H. Gato Cigar Factory at 1100 Simonton Street was one of the many cigar factories that were around during the time referenced. In the mid-19th century, the cigar industry was booming in Key West. However after a few decades, many of the factories decided to relocate to Tampa’s Ybor district after the Great Fire of 1886 in search of a lower cost of business (Browne and Long). Since strikes were frequent in the 1890s, Harry’s claim to be apart of the strikes is odd. Harry is presumably 40 years old in the late 1930s, the time To Have and Have Not is set, which makes him a young boy when the strikes were happening. Hemingway is either illustrating that there are layers to this interaction, or even more probable, he is writing sloppily (Curnutt 149). 

For Hemingway, cigars act as some sort of relief. Throughout his life in Key West and Cuba, he mentioned cigar factories in his novels and the role it played for him. Cigar Factories were similar to alcohol for Hemingway, a form of bonding and relaxation time for him and his friends to enjoy Key West.

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View of The Key West Lighthouse from the second floor of the Hemingway House.

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The sign reads: "The Gato Cigar Factory was constructed by Eduardo H. Gato in 1916. This Neo-Classical Revival, poured-concrete structure with a large central courtyard was constructed after an earlier wood frame factory on this site had burned. Numerous large windows provided much needed light for workers. It was also one of the earliest American integrated workplaces where Cubans, African and Bahamian-Americans, and whites worked side by side while their children attended the same school. Small cottages were built near the factory to house workers, and became an area known as Gatoville. The factory was a political center as workers raised funds to support efforts to free Cuba from Spain. The cigar industry was critical to Key West's economy just before the 20th century, but declined in the early 1900s as cigar manufacturers moved to Tampa. In 1942, the Gato factory was sold to the Department of the Navy for use as a military barracks and cafeteria, and later served as the Navy commissary until 1989. In 1998, Monroe County obtained the property, and in 2001 completed a rehabilitation to make the building home to Monroe County Offices, a cigar museum, and the Florida State Health Department."

DOS PASSOS RESIDENCE

Page 193

In chapter 22, Richard Gordon takes a night-walk and the first stop he mentions is “the frame houses with their narrow yards, light coming from the shuttered windows; the unpaved alleys, with their double rows of house” (Hemingway 193). Kirk Curnutt, Hemingway scholar at Troy University,  proposes that John and Katy Dos Passos rented house at 1401 Pine Street is the probable place hinted at (Curnutt 163). 

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View of The Key West Lighthouse from the second floor of the Hemingway House.

THE RED HOUSE / CHICA’S

Page 193

the second floor, and a night club on the third floor. Hemingway frequented the mansion that is located at 1400 Duval Street, making it a possible location for the place mentioned in the text. However, if Gordon’s trek starts at the Dos Passos residence like Curnutt suggests, the sudden jump in location from Pine Street (located on northeastern part of the island) to 1400 Duval Street (located on the south part of the island) suggests that Hemingway didn’t attend to his map close enough. The mansion was renovated and transformed into a private residence / hotel in 1949 (“The Southernmost House”).​

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Curnutt identifies the next stop on Gordon’s walk (Hemingway 193), The Red House and Chica’s, as two gambling dens (Curnutt 163). The Southernmost House, formerly known as Café Cayo Hueso during the prohibition era, was a speakeasy one the first floor, a gambling den on 

The Southernmost House is a possible reference for The Red House (“Southernmost House Hotel”).

Page 193

THE PRESSED STONE CHURCH

Gordon passes by “the pressed stone church; its steeples sharp, ugly triangles against the moonlight” (Hemingway 193). The church referred is presumably The Basilica of Saint Mary’s Star of the Sea located at 1010 Windsor Lane (Curnutt 163). When Hemingway married Pauline, he converted to Catholicism. The two attended St. Mary’s regularly and donated an alter (McIver 111). The congregation started with a small community led by one Stephen Mallory in 1820. However, the building known as St. Mary’s was established in 1852 by Father John Kirby. The building was later set on fire by an arsonist in 1901, leading to the current building that was erected in 1904 (“History of Our Parish”).

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St. Mary’s Star of the Sea stands tall for over 115 years of service.

DUVAL STREET

Page 193

Richard Gordon walks “past the brightly lit main street with the three drug stores, the music store, the five Jew stores, three poolrooms, two barbershops, five beer joints, three ice cream parlors, the five poor and one good restaurant, two magazine and paper places …” (Hemingway 193). He is most certainly referencing a walk on Duval Street. The 1.25-mile street is famous for the bars and shops that occupy it. The reference to the “one good restaurant” is most likely Delmonico’s, one of Hemingway’s favorite restaurants (Curnutt 163).

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A picture of Duval Street highlighted in red on Google Maps.

Page 194

THE LILAC TIME

Richard Gordon goes into The Lilac Time gambling room and bar (Hemingway 194). The description of the place suggests that it is based off Pena’s Garden of Roses that was located at 508 Thomas Street (Curnutt 164).

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A photo of a business card from Pena’s Night Club with the address at 522, slightly different from Curnutt’s source (“Key West Fl Garden of Roses Night Club Pena's Bar Business Card 1940s”).

Page 220

ROCKY ROAD

Professor MacWalsey tells the taxi driver to drive down Rocky Road (Hemingway 220). Rocky Road was the name for contemporary Truman Avenue before the late 1940s (Curnutt 181). 

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A Google maps image of Rocky Road, now known as Truman Ave. highlighted in red.

SOMBRERO KEY LIGHTHOUSE

Page 226

In chapter 23, Harry watches the Sombrero Key Lighthouse (Hemingway 226). The lighthouse was built by General Meade and went into operation in 1858 (“The 6 Lighthouses”). The 142-foot tall structure is located 8 miles southwest of Marathon (Curnutt 185).

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Photo of the Sombrero Key Lighthouse (Martin).

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