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The Little White House in Key West, Florida

Harry S. Truman Made This House Famous


The Little White House - Key West, Flori
The Little White House was built in 1890 as a first officer’s quarters on a naval station in Key West. Thomas Edison would reside there during World War I while donating his services to the Navy. However, it was Harry S. Truman that would spend so much of his presidency there – 175 days – to earn the house the nickname “The Little White House” because while there bills were enacted, budgets prepared, policies discussed and State of the Union addresses polished.

Truman was not the only resident president to take advantage of Key West's gentle breezes and tropical climate. In 1948 and 1949, General Eisenhower held a series of meetings that resulted in the creation of the Department of Defense. In 1956 he returned as President to recuperate from a heart attack.

John Kennedy and Britain’s Prime Minister Harold Macmillan held a one-day summit in 1961 and President Kennedy made a second visit in 1962 immediately following the Cuban Missile Crisis.

After that, the house served as the Naval Station commandant’s house until 1974.

In 1991, it opened to the public as a state historic site and museum, but that did not stop its official use.

In 1996 former President Jimmy Carter and family had a reunion there and in April of 2001 Secretary of State Colin Powell led a week of peace talks between the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan.

Today you can get a personal glimpse into the man who made this house famous – Harry S. Truman. The original furniture and décor is just as Harry, Bess and Margaret left it. Rare photographs are on display as well as the famous Truman poker table.

Information & Directions

Tours of the house turned museum are conducted daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children, but purchased your tickets in advance online will save you 50 cents on each adult ticket and 25 cents on children’s tickets.

It is located at 111 Front Street, Key West – just two blocks from the Hilton Hotel. Parking is available at the Hilton Hotel’s parking garage just one block away.

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