Judging by the number of literary landmarks dedicated to Edgar Allan Poe, including three former residences and the Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia, he’s one of the most-commemorated classic scribes. Even his dorm room (above) at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville is now a shrine to the infamous student, who was forced to drop out after his stepfather discovered he was gambling to pay tuition.
The Richmond museum has one of the largest collections of Poe memorabilia, with exhibits housed in four historic buildings surrounding an enclosed garden courtyard. Although he spent much of his life roaming the Eastern seaboard, living in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, Poe thought of himself as a Virginian. He grew up in Richmond with an adoptive family, and the museum explores his connection to the southern city.
On the day I visited the Poe Museum there were white chairs set up for a wedding taking place that evening in the “Enchanted Garden.” I’m not sure if it was the picturesque setting or the literary connection that was a draw for the bride and groom. Do they actually care that there was a bust of Edgar Allan Poe looking on as they said I do?
Toast the writer and have an early Halloween celebration this Thursday, October 28th, when the museum hosts its monthly Unhappy Hour. The theme is “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and there will be live music, a cash bar, and free admission. Costumes are encouraged.
Can’t make it to the soirée? Stop by the gift shop for a Poe-themed beer mug or shot glass and have your own unhappy hour. –Shannon McKenna Schmidt