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Visiting the Ernest Hemingway-Pauline Pfeiffer Museum and Educational Center in Piggott, Arkansas

Updated on May 9, 2019
BrandyMcNelson profile image

Brandy has traveled to all 50 states and loves to recommend fun places to visit!

Ernest Hemingway barn-studio, Piggott, Arkansas
Ernest Hemingway barn-studio, Piggott, Arkansas | Source
Inside Ernest Hemingway's barn-studio
Inside Ernest Hemingway's barn-studio | Source
The lawn where Ernest Hemingway would sometimes write
The lawn where Ernest Hemingway would sometimes write | Source

Ernest Hemingway Pauline Pfeiffer Museum

Fans of Ernest Hemingway looking to connect with the great writer need look no further than Piggott, Arkansas. Piggott is a small town in the flatlands of Northeastern Arkansas two hours north of Memphis, Tennessee. Hemingway’s presence in Piggott started when he arrived there via his second wife Pauline Pfeiffer. The Pfeiffer family owned 63,000 acres of land in and around Piggott. They were a wealthy pharmaceutical family who relocated from St. Louis, Missouri to Piggott, Arkansas in 1913.The grounds contains three buildings that can be toured. The main white house where the Pfeiffers lived, the barn-studio that was converted for Ernest Hemingway's private use and the Matilda and Karl Pfeiffer House. In 1982 the home and barn-studio were added to the National Historic Register by the United States Department of Interior. The Museum is run by Arkansas State University in nearby Jonesboro, Arkansas.

The Pfeiffer-Hemingway Connection and the Famous Barn-Studio

Ernest Hemingway was married to Pauline Pfeiffer for 13 years. He wrote parts of his classic novel A Farewell to Arms in the barn-studio in Piggott, Arkansas that was renovated by the Pfeiffer family for him to use as a private writing studio. Today guests can climb up the short wooden stairway and take a look at the place the great ‘Papa’ Hemingway worked. The barn-studio, along with the house has been renovated to look as it did when Hemingway lived and work there in the 1930s. In the barn-studio visitors will find a time line of the Hemingway-Pfeiffer relationship, the bathtub used by Hemingway and a replica Hemingway era typewriter.

Replica of Ernest Hemingway and Pauline Pfieiffer's wedding clothing found in the Hemingway-Pfieffer Museum.
Replica of Ernest Hemingway and Pauline Pfieiffer's wedding clothing found in the Hemingway-Pfieffer Museum. | Source

The Hemingway-Pfeiffer House

The Hemingway-Pfieffer house was built in 1910 by William D. Templeton. In 1913, the Pfieffer parents moved into the house, Pauline stayed behind in Columbia, Missouri, where she attended MU's Missouri School of Journalism. Today in the Pfeiffer-Hemingway house visitors can find the bedroom where Pauline and Hemingway slept, a replica of their wedding attire and the window Pauline's younger sister climbed out of to sneak a smoke.

Though the museum is set up to honor Ernest Hemingway, the Pfeiffer family also has a reason to be celebrated. They lived in Piggott, Arkansas during The Great Depression and when people who had fallen on hard times knocked on their door asking for work in return for money, they never turned anyone down. Often those seeking a job would be asked to paint the outside of the house. It was discovered during a remodeling that the house was painted over fifty times.

Matilda and Karl Pfieffer museum in autumn
Matilda and Karl Pfieffer museum in autumn | Source

Matilda and Karl Pfeiffer Museum

When you visit the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum, make time to go next door to the Matilda and Karl Pfeiffer Museum. Part of A Face in the Crowd starring Andy Griffith was filmed here. An amazing mineral collection is housed and displayed inside.

Hours and Directions

Directions and updated hours can be found on the official website for the museum:

Books to read to prepare for your trip to Piggott

A Farewell to Arms – Part of this novel was written in Piggott in the barn-studio.

A Movable Feast- Hemingway’s time in Paris and touches briefly on his relationship with Pauline Pfieffer.

Fathers and Sons, A Clean Well-Lighted Place and Wine of Wyoming- Short stories that were partially written in Piggott, Arkansas.

Question of the Hub

What is your favorite Ernest Hemingway novel?

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    • BrandyMcNelson profile imageAUTHOR

      Brandy McGhee Nelson 

      10 months ago from Arkansas

      Thank you! The museum and house are both definitely worth a visit.

    • MizBejabbers profile image

      Doris James MizBejabbers 

      10 months ago from Beautiful South

      Brandy, I was looking through your articles and came upon this one. You've done an excellent job, and I'm especially impressed with the photos. I'm ashamed to say that I grew up in Arkansas less than 2 hours away from Piggott, and I have never visited there either.

    • BrandyMcNelson profile imageAUTHOR

      Brandy McGhee Nelson 

      7 years ago from Arkansas

      You are welcome! I grew up on the Missouri/Arkansas border and only found out about it 2 years ago on a fluke. It is a really neat place!

    • Ronna Pennington profile image


      7 years ago from Arkansas

      I live in Arkansas and have never been. Shame on me! Thanks for the info.


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