“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, …”
Called “America’s Shakespeare,” Edgar Allan Poe created or mastered the short story, detective fiction, science fiction, lyric poetry and the horror story. His dark genius has invited children and adults to read and love literature for over 150 years.
Richmond’s Poe Museum boasts the world’s finest collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s manuscripts, letters, first editions, memorabilia and personal belongings. Opened in 1922, in The Old Stone House, the museum is only blocks
away from Poe’s first Richmond home and his first place of employment,
the Southern Literary Messenger.
|(photo: Poe Museum)|
The Poe Museum provides a retreat into early nineteenth century Richmond. The museum features the life and career of Edgar Allan Poe by documenting his accomplishments with pictures, relics and verse, and focusing on his many years in Richmond. Fans of Poe will enjoy seeing the walking stick he accidentally left in Richmond fewer than two weeks before his mysterious death, the key found in his pocket during his final delirious days that opened the trunk in which he packed his few possessions, and the lock of hair a friend clipped from the poet’s famously lofty brow after he died.
Poe and his works have been a fixture in popular culture ever since “The Raven” caused an international sensation in 1845. The Poe Museum avidly collects items like movie posters, comic books, advertisements, records, videos, commemorative stamps and toys that feature Poe and his works. One of the largest pieces on display to the Poe Museum is an 1885 marble and bronze memorial to the author. One of the smallest is a bronze bell with a handle in the shape of Poe.
|(photo: Enchanted Garden, 1927, Poe Museum)|
The Poe Museum began in 1921 as the Poe Shrine, the highlight of which was the Enchanted Garden inspired by the gardens described in Poe’s poetry. The landscaped garden contains a Poe Shrine constructed from the bricks and granite salvaged from the building in which Poe edited the Southern Literary Messenger. After extensive restoration by Hampton Hotels’ Save a Landmark Program in 2008, the Poe Museum’s garden now appears much as it did during the 1920s, when it was already a destination for visiting writers from around the globe. Today the garden is the site of monthly Unhappy Hours and weddings.
You might be surprised to learn Poe loved nature and wrote a number of pieces about nature and landscape gardens. Plan a trip to visit the Poe Museum during April, National Poetry Month, when the Enchanted Garden is in full bloom. Take a virtual tour here.
The Edgar Allan Poe Museum is located at 1914-16 East Main Street, Richmond, Va.
“… Quoth the Raven, ‘Nevermore.'”