When Ernest Hemingway left Paris with his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, they eventually went to the home of her parents, Paul and Mary Pfeiffer in Piggott, Arkansas. Hemingway was gaining fame as a writer during this time. A large portion of “A Farewell to Arms” was written at the house and the premiere of the movie version was held in Piggott in 1932.
The Pfeiffers had a writing studio designed for Hemingway in their carriage house. The couple spent a good bit of time in Piggott over the course of their marriage. Paul Pfeiffer’s brother, Gus, became a great benefactor of theirs, purchasing a home in Key West for them as well as an automobile. He even financed an extended tour of Africa, which inspired a good bit of Hemingway’s writing.
The Pfeiffers, a wealthy couple from St. Louis, Missouri, moved to Piggott in 1913. Paul purchased the home from the builder and made extensive modifications to satisfy his wife, who was hesitant about the move. They eventually became prominent members of the community. The home remained in the family until the death of Mary. It was then sold to the Tom Janes family.
The house was eventually acquired by Arkansas State University in 1997, which transformed it into a museum. Today, the Hemingway-Pfeiffer Museum is open for tours of the home and the carriage house studio.
Know Before You Go
Next to the museum is the Matilda and Karl Pfeiffer home. Karl was the son of Paul and Mary, and the brother of Pauline. There are tours of the home, which include a botanical garden and a mineral collection. Some scenes from the movie "A Face in the Crowd," starring Andy Griffith (1956) were filmed here.