Located in what is now called the Truman Annex in Old Town Key West, the Harry Truman Little White House was the winter White House for President Truman for a total of 175 days over the course of 11 visits.
The former president was not the only U.S. leader to enjoy some respite in Key West. The house originally served as the base commandant’s house for the naval submarine station at Key West. President Taft was the first to visit in 1912, and Thomas Edison resided in the house during World War I. Over the years, six American presidents have used the residence, but the most important usage was by Truman from 1946 to 1952. Due to advances in technology, he realized that he could continue to act on matters of importance outside of Washington, D.C. and thus, the Little White House became his home from November to December and February to March, allowing the president a time of rest and recuperation.
Other notable figures such as presidents Kennedy, Carter and Clinton have visited and worked in the Little White House; many continue to do so. Because of this, the property will occasionally be closed for government functions with very little advance notification.
The Harry Truman Little White House is open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily; tours are offered every 15 to 20 minutes. The botanical gardens surrounding the house are open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and are free to tour.