Edgar Allan Poe (1809 – 1849) was one of the most important and influential American writers of the 19th century. Though he's no longer accepting visitors, you can do the next best thing by dropping by the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, VA!
Edgar Allan Poe was the first author to try to make a professional living as a writer. Known as the architect of the modern short story, Poe's “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” also kick-started modern detective fiction. His poem, “The Raven,” is one the most famous in national literature.
The Edgar Allan Poe Museum celebrates the legendary author's life with the most comprehensive collection of related artifacts in the world. The museum's collection contains Poe's letters, manuscripts, and all manner of artifacts, including a pair of socks and locks of the author's hair!
Poe In Richmond, VA
Poe lived in Richmond off and on throughout his life. Though he has immeasurable literary stature today, his reputation at the time of his death was not so glowing. In fact, Richmond was initially eager to distance themselves from the notorious drinker and gambler. They even declined an early proposal to erect a public statue of the writer.
Consequently, many of the buildings actually associated with Poe's time in Richmond have not been saved. Instead, the Edgar Allan Poe museum found its home in Richmond's oldest building, the Old Stone House.
As mentioned above, the Poe Museum contains the most comprehensive collection of Poe related artifacts in the world. It's also home to The Enchanted Garden, inspired by Poe’s “To One in Paradise” poem. The Enchanted Garden contains the Poe Shrine, numerous items from Poe's life, and is bordered by ivy taken from Eliza Poe’s grave.
The Enchanted Garden is also home to two black cats who were discovered here as kittens. The museum staff decided, appropriately enough, to adopt the cats, Edgar and Pluto! be sure to say "Hi," when you stop by!
The Edgar Allan Poe Museum
The Poe Museum isn't the only place in Virginia dedicated to the famous author. If you're ever near the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, you'll probably want to stop by The Raven Room.
The Raven Room
13 West Range, Charlottesville, VA, 22903
The Raven Room is a shrine created out of Edgar Allan Poe's old University of Virginia dorm room.
Poe only attended classes at UVA for one year - 1826 - but it was enough. The dorm, number 13 (of course), has been preserved by students, The Raven Society, since 1904.
Visitors can view the room through a glass door while listening to information about the author. Furnishings include a settee from one of Poe’s actual homes, a writing desk, bust of Pallas, and yes, a stuffed raven.
The Raven Society was started in 1904 to honor scholarly pursuits and exceptional students and faculty. The group still uses the dorm to initiate new members.
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