Skip navigation


​A six week old Ernest Hemingway made his first trip to Michigan in September 1899. Pictures reveal an excited family determining just the right spot for the cottage with Ernest safe in his parents' arms. His parents had excitedly been making plans for their new cottage and wanted to return to the property to make final arrangements for its construction. It would cost $400.00 and be modest in size (20 X 40).

  Windemere Under Construction fall 1899   Windemere Shuttered for the winter before being painted, ca. 1899   Completed Windemere Cottage, 1900  
Windemere under construction fall 1899
Windemere shuttered for the winter​ before being painted, ca. 1899
Completed Windemere cottage, 1900

Inside the cottage, there would be a small kitchen, two bedrooms and extra deep window seats on either side of the fireplace that would double as beds for young Marcelline and Ernest. The furnishings would be simple and functional. They decided to name their home away from home "Windemere" and promptly had postcards and stationary made bearing that name.

  Interior View, Windemere Cottage   Interior View, Windemere Cottage  
Interior view, Windemere Cottage
Interior View, Windemere Cottage


Windemere was situated facing west in a grove of trees. Behind it, a fence separated the Hemingways' property from Henry Bacon's farm. To the north was Murphy's Point (which would become a favorite campsite for the children) and to the south Bacon's Landing.


The Bacons were good and valued neighbors. Their farm supplied the Hemingways with needed fresh food and the children spent hours there learning about farm life. When Henry Bacon decided to build a new barn in 1900, the Hemingways were invited to the barn raising where Clarence recorded the event with his camera and was even asked to drive in the final stake.

BarnOver the years, the small original structure of Windemere underwent changes and additions. Both a kitchen wing and a large screened eating porch were added over the years. As the family grew to include six children, a three bedroom sleeping annex was built behind the cottage. The boathouse safely stored the canoe and boats in the off season.



CMU is an AA/EO institution, providing equal opportunity to all persons, including minorities, females, veterans, and individuals with disabilities.
Copyright Central Michigan University, Mount Pleasant, Mich. 48859 | Phone 989-774-4000 | Privacy Policy | Website Feedback | Desktop View