The Southernmost House is a historic mansion in the city of Key West, Florida.
It is famous for being, yes, the southernmost house in the Continental United States.
Located on the tippy tip of the tip of southern Key West, the house has been converted to a luxury bed & breakfast.
Notably, five US presidents have stayed here!
The Southernmost House was built in 1897 for Judge Jeptha Vining Harris for the sum of $250,000. The Judge’s wife was the youngest daughter of William Curry, one of Florida’s first millionaires.
The house is a Queen Anne Victorian style, and was designed as a one-bedroom mansion. Yeah, you read that right, this palatial Victorian originally had only ONE bedroom.
Also noteworthy is the fact that The Southernmost House was the first home in Key West with electricity. The original owners hired none other than Thomas Edison to oversee the electrical design and installation for the house. In the 1930s, air conditioning was added.
During the Prohibition period (1919-1933) the mansion served as a speakeasy. The first floor was a restaurant; the second floor was used for casino gambling and the third floor for socializing. Not surprisingly, celebrities and notorious gangsters often frequented the mansion.
In the 1940s the mansion was operated as a nightclub called “Cafe Cayo Hueso,” hosting cultural luminaries such as Ernest Hemingway, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, Louis Armstrong, and Charles Lindbergh.
In 1949 the mansion was completely renovated for use as a private residence by Spanish immigrant Hilario Ramos who married into a wealthy family. Since then, many dignitaries and heads of state have stayed at the mansion including King Juan Carlos of Spain and the five American Presidents: Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon, and Jimmy Carter.
In 2016, the mansion was inducted into the Historic Hotels of America program. The Southernmost House is now operating as a 9-room bed and breakfast with four nearby cabanas that are also for rent.
Have a look inside this historic jewel…
Although the Southernmost House has had many renovations over the years, it still retains most of its original character including fireplaces, moldings, stained and leaded glass windows, and delicate fretwork.
In addition to the Victorian grandeur, the Southernmost House also doubles as a museum of sorts. The house has a collection of eight original letters signed by Ernest Hemingway.
In addition to the “Hemingway room”, in the lobby of the Southernmost House hangs an oath of office that Lyndon B. Johnson signed aboard Air Force One when he become president following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. There were three such oaths signed that day. One of them somehow made its way to the Southernmost House.
The Southernmost House also displays a working phonograph built by Thomas Edison.
Come for the sun and palm trees; stay for the stunning history of the place!
Below is the quaint breakfast room:
Now let’s have a look upstairs at some of the guest rooms.
Many of the upper floor rooms feature panoramic ocean views.
Lucky guests may get a room with a balcony overlooking the pool and ocean beyond.
You can see how this place was a favorite for celebrities and presidents.
Today, the Southernmost House is popular for destination weddings and events.
The guest rooms have a distinct historic Key West vibe that Hemingway would appreciate.
It is so attractive how all of the beds are fitted with crisp white bedding.
The third-floor rooms are the largest:
It is hard to believe this house originally had only one bedroom.
There’s so much beauty here, it needs to be shared with as many people as possible!
What a fabulous place of beauty, leisure, and history.
Here you can dine and rest and relax in the warm tropical breezes.
If you’ve ever wondered where the southernmost point of the United States is, this place does not disappoint the imagination.
A true historic paradise!