Tucked into an unassuming little stone house on East Main Street, the Edgar Allan Poe Museum is a delightful little hidden gem in Richmond, Virginia. Opened in 1922, the museum has gathered art and artifacts from Poe’s life and presented them in the many rooms of this charming old home.
Though Poe did live in Richmond for a period of his life, he never actually lived in this particular house. Sadly, as the museum staff can tell you, all of the original buildings that Poe and his family resided in have since been torn down.
The collection ranges from Poe’s childhood bed and articles of his clothing to daguerreotypes of relatives and artistic renderings of the author. While the main house may look small from the outside, several buildings encircling a garden all hold bits of the collection. In one building, you’ll find artwork inspired by Poe’s works, both contemporary and historical. On view when I visited recently were a series of drawings by James Carling, all of which depicted representations of Poe’s signature stories.
The garden is one of the loveliest features, with a fountain and blooming flower beds. Towards the back, you’ll find a shrine featuring a bust Poe. The garden can also be rented for weddings! I can just imagine a beautiful gothic-inspired ceremony being held in the presence of Poe’s statue…
If you find yourself in the Richmond area, the museum is a must see for a bit of history and peek into the life of one of America’s most beloved gothic writers.
Tips For Visiting
- Be on the lookout for the museum’s resident black cats, Edgar and Pluto!
- The museum hosts a variety of fun events throughout the year (such as an “Unhappy Hour”), so be sure to check their calendar to see what will be happening during your visit.
- Bring a little spending money for the gift shop, which has some great items like original art, Poe-themed apparel, and of course, lots of books.