Once upon a midnight dreary… well, not more like mid-day dreary, but dreary none the less, I made a long cold rainy horrible walk to the number one attraction I had to see while in Richmond, The Poe Museum!
Edgar Allan Poe has long been one of my favorite writers, not far behind my beloved Oscar Wilde, but a visit to the Poe Museum cemented his spot… Primarily due to stories like this,
I love a scathing review. We would definitely have been friends (as long as he never read my poetry!)
The museum has been operating since 1922 in The Old Stone House, the oldest house still standing in Richmond.
The Old Stone House is located just a few blocks from Poe’s long destroyed Richmond home. So while Poe may not have actually lived here, he likely insulted someone in front of it.
Inside the house there are several artifacts from Poe’s life and childhood in Richmond, VA.
Poe’s early life was somewhat tragic (go figure), losing both of his parents early on, but he was very well off as a child and had pretty nice things. That probably added to his pomp, but that’s just a guess.
After viewing learning about Poe’s childhood, we move on to a room full of artifacts and antidotes from his life in Richmond. This is where that gem about him telling a poet to shoot himself came from (see above). This is also where we learn a little bit more about Poe’s career and personal life. I love this story about Poe’s first fiancee, or as I like to call it, “Edgar can’t catch a break.”
For those who don’t want to read all that, here’s the short version. He was secretly engaged to a girl who’s father didn’t approve. He went to school for a semester and sent her some letters. Her dad stole those letters (rookie move on Poe’s part). The girl assumes Poe’s off banging college chicks and gets engaged to someone else. Then the best part, when Poe is 40 they meet up again and her husband is dead so they get re-engaged and Poe dies 10 days before the wedding. How’s that for poetic?
Of course, this story doesn’t include the middle bit where Poe is married to his 13 year old cousin and then she tragically dies of tuberculosis.
No wonder he was so dark.
Of course it was great seeing all of the artifacts, original copies of famous book and manuscripts in Edgar Allan Poe’s own handwriting, but I think the best part of The Poe Museum was outside.
In the back yard of The Old Stone House, you’ll find the Enchanted Garden. An area that’s pleasant and eerie and a touch macabre. I’m sure Poe himself would have loved hanging out here. Especially since it features this classy shrine to him. Stop by and drop some coins on the bust for good luck! Though I would think Poe is the last guy you want to talk to about good luck.
The Enchanted Garden features a beautiful green lawn. It probably looks a little more impressive in less dreary weather, but this was pretty fitting.
You’ll also notice plenty of whimsical nod to the works of Edgar Allan Poe, like the occasional Raven, or the clever and painful broken glass security devise inspired by Poe’s tale “William Wilson.”
But of course I saved the best for last, this guy!
Meet Edgar, the museum cat. He’s adorable and followed me around the whole museum. He even posed for a few selfies with me.
I know it looks like he may not totally love me, but he totally loved me. He just didn’t love the camera.
Obviously, if you’re in Richmond this is a must see! And say hi to Edgar for me. I miss that guy!
Oh, and before I go can we talk about why Bill Murray has never done an Edgar Allan Poe biopic? They’re pretty much the same guy.
43 thoughts on “The Poe Museum Upon A Midday Dreary”
I enjoyed reading this review, humorous and interesting. You really did choose the perfect weather to visot Poe’s Museum!
Ana O recently posted…Kolaches, Czech pastries with a Texan twist
Thanks so much! Normally a rainy day when I’m traveling kinda bums me out, but this time it was pretty appropriate.
I had no frekkin’ idea this was in Richmond. Just 90 minutes from me. I gotta go. Thank you!
Charles McCool recently posted…Earn More Points for Buying Mother’s Day Flowers
It’s a small quirky museum, but it’s really great! If you like Poe as much as I do, it’s a must see!
Interesting post–thanks for sharing your visit!
Tami recently posted…10+ DIY Mother’s Day Gifts for the Travel Enthusiast!
Thanks so much for reading!
So cool! Poe is the man, but I’d never heard about the Elmira story before; poor dude! Also, that cat is awesome!
I’ve always loved Poe, and I had never heard that story before either! Seems like that’s something people would talk about doesn’t it?
I had no idea Poe had his own museum. I’d love to visit it, it looks so cool. Poe has always fascinated me.
I’ve always loved Poe’s work, but I had no idea his personal life was so interesting! His museum is definitely worth a visit.
I love Poe! I had no idea this was in Richmond. Road trip this summer! Thanks so much for writing about this. I would have never known.
Thank you for reading! I had no idea before I went there either. They really need to advertise more!
Sad Story about Poe’s love life. Reminds me of Romeo and Juliet. Would the whole experience have been depressing if it were not for that charming little kitty cat?
April recently posted…Fishing With Popcorn, Virginia, USA
Yes, the kitty provided some much needed comic relief!
I LOVE POE’S WORKS!! In grad school, I wrote my thesis on Gothic literature, so I to nerd waaaaaaay out on stuff like this. I’m adding this place to my list of museums I have to visit! 😀
Natalie recently posted…Beowulf, Books, and Ghosts: Haslam’s Bookstore, St. Petersburg, Florida
I’ve loved Poe since I was a kid, so I knew I had to go! I nerd out with that stuff too, so you’re in good company. The museum is small but totally worth the trip.
Love it! The black cat is a particularly nice touch to the museum…
Isn’t he though? I always love a cat that will actually cuddle with me.
How interesting! I had no idea there was a Poe Museum in Richmond. Quite a lot of history thanks for sharing it.
Sue Reddel recently posted…Happy Anniversary FoodTravelChat
Thanks for reading! I discovered all sorts of things in Richmond that surprised me, but this was my favorite.
I’ve always loved Poe’s work too. It would be fun to visit the museum. The kitty looks right at home there.
Laura Lynch recently posted…21 Dishes Worth Traveling the World For
He definitely knows he’s the center of attention. He was such a ham!
Oh wow, that is amazing! I didn’t know there was a Edgar Allen Poe Museum! I will check this out if I am ever in the area. I love his poem: The Tell-Tale Heart. By the way, the cat is cute! 🙂
This was my favorite thing in I did in Richmond, but there was a lot there to see. I certainly recommend a trip if you’ve never been.
Great review! It made me laugh!!
Sophie recently posted…How to travel by train in China
Yay! Thanks good to hear! Thanks so much for reading!
It does look dreary doesn´t it? How appropriate.
It would just feel wrong to visit a Poe museum on a cheerful sunny day wouldn’t it?
Is it bad that I want to go to this museum just to meet Edgar? He’s adorable!
Brianna recently posted…A Birthday Trip for Me and a Giveaway for You!
It’s not bad at all! Cuddling with Edgar was definitely worth the $6 admission cost.
Wow, Poe liked to live on the edge! Haha! I can’t believe he died before the wedding though 0_0
Francesca @onegrloneworld recently posted…5 Alternative Stops on the California Highway 1
This looks like such a fun place to visit. I love your photos!
Michelle recently posted…Happy Mother’s Day to ALL Mother’s Around the World!
Thanks so much! 🙂
Wow. I had no idea there was a Poe museum out there (but I shouldve known) What a great visit and how I wish I get to see it in person some day!
Revati recently posted…Comment on Residenza Johanna I, Florence – Old suite charm! by All Day Internet: Wifi For Travellers
It’s certainly worth a visit! There’s plenty of other great stuff to see in Richmond too!
I enjoyed reading your post and I learned a lot about the famous poet. I’d like to visit the Poe Museum some day.
Thank you so much. I definitely recommend it!
well that’s terrible that he died before they could marry. Still and the same I’m sure that was a happy time in his life. 🙂
That’s a good way to look at it. At least they were reunited!
Haha, Bill Murray is definitely the same guy as Poe! Hilarious! I must admit, I didn’t know much about Poe other than some of his poems that I read for school. I had no clue that he married his 13 year old cousin. Scandalous! 😉
Valerie recently posted…10 Uncommon Travel Quotes to Inspire Wanderlust
I didn’t know a lot about his personal life before I visited either. He’s a really interesting guy!
Wow absolutely beautiful and so stunning! I loved all your photos.
Thanks so much 🙂