The Many Homes of Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

When you think of Edgar Allan Poe visions of dark poetry and prose come to mind. You might even think about Baltimore as being his home, but in actuality the macabre literary genius called many a place on the East coast home. So with the new Edgar Allan Poe inspired movie, The Raven, hitting movie screens everywhere this weekend we thought we’d give you a look at some of the places Poe called home.


Edgar Allan Poe was actually born in Boston back in 1809, but didn’t stay very long in this colonial town. Poe was abandoned by his father in 1810 and then had his mother pass away a year later leaving him to become the foster son of John & Frances Allen of Richmond, VA.  The home of his birth is still standing in Boston today at 62 Carver Street.


The Allan home, where Poe lived as a boy, was on the west side of Fourteenth Street between Franklin and Main in Richmond, VA.  A block away is the Southern Literary Messenger building where Poe served as an editor and directly behind it the offices of Ellis and Allan where he worked occasionally as a clerk. Today, the Poe Museum resides in Richmond at The Old Stone House which is noted to be the oldest standing structure in all of Richmond.

The Poe House in Baltimore


Baltimore, MD is the most noted home of Edgar Allan Poe and even inspired the mascot of the local NFL team, the Ravens. After leaving West Point, Poe lived with wife, aunt and mother-in-law at 203 Amity Street in Baltimore. Doesn’t that sound like cozy living conditions? The Baltimore Poe House and Museum is located there today although it’s under threat of being closed due to lack of funding to keep it open. Poe only lived at this house for three years but the city of Baltimore is known to be the place where he often returned. In fact his last visit to Baltimore is known to be  in 1849, when he was found wandering the streets, incoherent and wearing another man’s clothes. He died soon after that and is buried in the Westminster Burying Ground.


The Poe House Philadelphia

The city of brotherly love was home to Poe and his wife, Virginia, for about 6 years and is the location of some of his most productive work. At 532 North Seventh Street you’ll find the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site which is also the only surviving place that Poe lived in Philadelphia. Having been there myself I can tell you this place is pretty creepy as it’s been left empty and untouched for decades. Famous works including “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and “The Tell Tale Heart” were all written while Poe lived in Philadelphia.


New York
Later in his life Poe managed to make a few homes in New York. In 1844 he moved to Greenwich Village at the corner of Greenwich St. and Cedar Street where today resides O’Hara’s Pub.  The pub pays homage to its roots as it displays a copy of Poe’s “The Balloon Hoax” which is a story written by Poe at that very location about the first ever balloon crossing of the Atlantic. Poe also lived at 85 Amity Street in Greenwich Village although today the facade of this home has been moved to 85 West 3rd Street. This location, not Baltimore, is where Poe wrote “The Raven.” Poe’s last home was in the Fordham section of the Bronx, NY. Known as the Poe Cottage, this home is preserved and is now located at Kingsbridge Road and the Grand Concourse. Some of Poe’s most noted poems were written here including “Annabel Lee” and “The Bells.”

Edgar Allan Poe has inspired many different homes throughout his life and the towns that he lived in. Authors tend to have that type of power. So if you’re in one of these cities be sure to make a stop at one of the many homes of Edgar Allan Poe to experience a piece of American literary history.


Picture courtesy of Flickr user RTLibrary