Nov 30

Once upon Thanksgiving woe,
We wanted to go to the house of Poe.
Tho it was in a bit of a ghetto,
Luckily, we were in um.. well… Baltimo’
For more info, just click “read more”.

We had some time to kill while in Baltimore for Thanksgiving this year, and one of our daytrips was to the (Edgar Allan) Poe House and Museum. Conveniently, his grave was mere blocks away, so we took a look at that too.

A ‘Poe’-trait

Poe, as you know, was an author and poet in the 1800’s. While his works are now appreciated, he led a life of poverty. Being broke (Poe was po’), he moved around a lot and one of these moves was to the small row house of his aunt in Baltimore.

Rapping on the door

The house is now owned by the City of Baltimore, and operates as a museum with very limited hours. It doesn’t actually take that long to get through, since the house is really, really small. In fact, it may have actually taken us more time to find it, since it’s a very nondescript house in the middle of the ghetto. Due to the neigborhood, the museum is locked, and you have to knock for entrance. Weird.

While interesting, the museum is a bit of an oddity. In many cases the exhibits raised more questions than they resolved. On a positive note, this is probably the first time I’ve ever left a museum thinking, “boy, I would really like to learn more about this.” It is also odd, since this seemed to be a minor residence for Poe. He may have lived in the house for a few years, and an exhaustive search was made of city registers, deeds and maps to actually prove that he did in fact live there. None of the original items from the house exist.

Poe’s laptop. Ink different.

As you should expect, the museum contains some unusual and macabre artifacts from Poe’s life. Unfortunately for us, the pieces of his coffin and his hair were not on display, since they were being retrofitted into a new display case during our visit. But there were some other interesting items, such as the death portrait of his wife (and cousin) Virginia. Yep…, it was painted after she was dead. of consumption. If you look at the picture for more than oh, a second, you can tell that the subject was quite deceased. I wonder if Sears Portrait Studio will do death portraits?

He’s done kissin’ this cousin.

Poe lived for about two more years, then died while passing through Baltimore. He’s buried about 8 blocks away, in a small graveyard in the middle of the busy downtown area. The graveyard is separated from the traffic with a wrought iron and brick wall. It’s hard to describe, but when you are in there, you almost forget that you are in the middle of a bustling city.

Last stop

3 Responses to “Quoth the raven, "Baltimore"”

  1. aubyn Says:

    well i think it is really neat that you guys went in search of this place-i always like to visit places like this and it almost seems fitting that you would have to knock to get in-he was so weird and all

  2. Miriam Says:

    Soooo jealous! I want to see poe’s house and his grave! C and I are desperately in love with Poe’s work.

  3. Pamelalala Says:

    Wow, very intersting. Thanks for sharing that with us!

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