President Truman spent many winter vacations at this house in Key West during his tenure as President. Because he spent much time here, moved many staff and Cabinet members here to continue conducting the Nation's business, it became an auxiliary Presidential home and office, gaining the nickname: The Little White House. It is a quite modest home, appropriate for the nature of President Truman. The house has been used by Presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy. The Secret Service does not allow indoor photography since the house may possibly be used by current and future Presidents and other high ranking Government Officials.
The Little White House was once officers' quarters at the Key West Navy Submarine Base. First militarized by the Army in 1845 as Fort Zackary Taylor, the facility served a number of purposes before the harbor was used as a submarine base. Since the harbor was too small for nuclear submarines, it was decommissioned in 1974 and later sold to a developer for $17 million. For utility easement rights, the State of Florida negotiated from the developer the renovation of the house and its donation to the State. Thus, a small portion of what has become an exclusive, high-class residential development is still open to the public as a museum.
|Docked at Key West, 1951 Presidential Visit|
Key West was, at times during the Truman Administration, functioning as the Nation's Capital.