What to know
A barn in Piggott, Arkansas, seems an unlikely place for Ernest Hemingway to write portions of his acclaimed war novel, A Farewell to Arms. But that’s exactly what he did, along with writing several short stories in the barn that his in-laws, Paul and Mary Pfeiffer, converted into a studio to give him privacy. You can tour the barn, as well as the Pfeiffer family home and exhibits related to Hemingway’s time in Piggott while married to Pauline Pfeiffer, from 1927 to 1940.
The house and barn studio were listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. Arkansas State University restored and opened this heritage site in 1999 in conjunction with Ernest Hemingway’s 100th birthday. The properties have been returned to the same 1930s ambiance that greeted the Hemingways on their visits, including the majority of the original furnishings. A Museum Store in the lower level of the barn carries a number of Hemingway books, along with other books and related gift items.
The museum is the designated North Visitor Center for the Arkansas segment of the Crowley’s Ridge Parkway National Scenic Byway, which extends from Phillips County to Clay County.
Thanks in part to a connection between Hemingway’s right-hand man (Toby Bruce of Piggott) and filmmakers for A Face in the Crowd, portions were filmed in Piggott. Screenwriter Budd Schulberg and director Elia Kazan used the Hemingway Barn Studio each evening as a makeshift editing studio for viewing the day’s rushes.