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A View of Hemingway’s Michigan

August 29, 2010

Ernest Hemingway fishing in Horton's Creek, near Walloon Lake, Michigan. Photograph in the Ernest Hemingway Photograph Collection, John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.“Hemingway led a glamorous life filled with travel, adventure and famous people, but he always reserved a special place in his memory for the simple summers he’d spent up north.”

Those are the words of writer John U. Bacon, who wrote a beautiful portrayal of Hemingway’s old stomping grounds on upper Michigan’s Walloon Lake in the Ann Arbor Chronicle.

Here’s a sampling. Read the full story here …

The Hemingways’ cozy cottage is now dwarfed by million-dollar homes, but Walloon Lake is just as cold, clear and captivating as it was one hundred years ago, with the cool morning mist burned off by the sun each afternoon, exactly as Hemingway described it in a high school poem.

A few months before his wedding to Hadley Richardson in 1922, he confessed his fear that married life would keep him from his boyhood paradise. “Guy… loves a girl and the goddam (sic) streams can dry up for all he cares,” he wrote a Michigan friend. “Only the hell of it is that all that country has as bad a hold on me as ever … and you know how it’s always been… At night it comes and ruins me – and I can’t go.”

His fears proved correct. After their honeymoon at the family cabin, Hemingway never returned to his favorite place.

He should have.