Ernest Hemingway spent the summers of his youth in Charlevoix County. Walloon Lake, Horton Bay, Boyne City and other communities ended up in his “Nick Adams” stories.

On Monday, April 27th, Hemingway’s nephew, Ernest Hemingway Mainland, will be our evening speaker. Ernie lives in the National Historic Landmark cottage Windemere.

Ernie will share with us personal glimpses into his uncle and the family members that helped mould the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author. A short visual presentation will show interior pictures of Windemere that are generally not available to the public.

Our April 27th meeting is one you will not want to miss. Guests and prospective members are certainly welcome.

This program will be held at the Melrose Township Hall at 7:00 pm
Following the meeting, we will have a brief meeting of the membershp to approve required bylaws changes.

For our members who were unable to attend this presentation, and for anyone interested, here is our:

Program Summary

Our April program, “Personal Glimpses of Ernest Hemingway & Family,” was held at the Melrose Township Hall in Walloon Lake, MI.   More than 25 people attended to hear Ernest Hemingway Mainland, nephew of Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winning author Ernest Hemingway, share family memories and give us a visual tour through Windemere.  Ernie inherited  the summer home of the Hemingway family from his mother Madelaine, known as Sunny, who had kept a letter that proved that her mother, Gracie Hemingway, the original owner, wanted her to have the cottage.   In 1968, Windemere was placed on the National Historic Landmark Registry.  Ernie related that he met his Uncle Ernest only once, in Havana when he was nine years old, so most of what he remembers about the author is the stories his mother told. 

 Ernie’s grandfather, Dr. Hemingway, chose the cottage site on the sandy shores of Walloon Lake outside of Petoskey, because the water was shallow there.  Warren Sumner of Horton Bay built the cottage from plans brought from Texas by Dr. Hemingway, finishing on November 13, 1899.  The white birch tree seen in all the family photos taken in front of the cottage lived well into its 80s.  In 1904, a dispute with the township went to tribunal because of the family’s failure to obtain a building permit.  Over the years, the cottage grew with the family to accommodate six children.  The Hemingways added a kitchen wing, large screened eating porch, and a three-bedroom sleeping annex.  A boathouse was home to the Windemere boats, described by Ernie as “like most on the beaches”.   The renovations continues today.  The Mainlands have meticulously maintained the cottage.  They added  a new deck and stairs to the front of the cottage, which faces the shore.  In 1995 they raised the brick fireplace, placed new footings, and built a new firebox.

 Family memorabilia such a Gracie’s paintings and sketches and an original kerosene lamp holder, complete with striking marks on the wall, and pencil marks on door trim noting the names and ages of the Hemingway children, can be seen in the cottage.   Over the fireplace is a deer mount, the taxidermy for which was  “done by grandpa, per grandma”.  Next to it is a small framed map of Italy with a medal that has a “ding” in it.  Ernie said his uncle had the medal in his uniform pocket the night he was seriously wounded in Milan.  

 Those who missed this program have an opportunity to see some of what we saw; the cottage will be featured in the July 2009 issue of HOMElife magazine. 

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