The Edgar Allan Poe Museum is a museum located in Richmond, Virginia, dedicated to American writer Edgar Allan Poe. Though Poe never lived in the building, it serves to commemorate his time living in Richmond. The museum holds one of the World's largest collections of original manuscripts, letters, first editions, memorabilia and personal belongings. The museum also provides an overview of early 19th century Richmond, where Poe lived and worked. The museum features the life and career of Edgar Allan Poe by documenting his accomplishments with pictures, relics, and verse, and focusing on his many years in Richmond.
Old Stone House
The Museum is housed in the "Old Stone House", built circa 1740 and cited as the oldest original building in Richmond. It was built by Jacob Ege, who immigrated from Germany to Philadelphia in 1738 and came to the James River Settlements and Col. Wm. Byrd's land grant (now known as Richmond) in the company of the family of his fiancée, Maria Dorothea Scheerer, whom he later married; the house was a "Home for the Bride." (One of Jacob's nephews, George Ege, was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Berks County, Pennsylvania.) Dendrochronology suggests that additional construction on the house occurred in 1754. Jacob Ege died in 1762. Samuel Ege, the son of Jacob and a Richmond flour inspector, owned the house in 1782 when it first appeared on a tax register.
Amidst Poe's centennial in 1909, a group of Richmond residents campaigned for the city to better recognize the writer. Citizens asked the city council to erect a statue of Poe on Monument Avenue but were turned down because he was deemed a disreputable character. The same group went on to begin the Poe Museum. In 1911, Preservation Virginia (formerly known as the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities) saved the house and opened it in 1922 as the Old Stone House.
The museum is only blocks away from the sites of Poe's Richmond homes and place of employment, the Southern Literary Messenger. It is also a few blocks from the grave of his mother Eliza Poe who was buried in Richmond's Church Hill, in the graveyard of St John's Church. Poe never lived in this home. Its completion, originally as the "Edgar Allan Poe Shrine", was announced on October 7, 1921:
The Poe Museum's four buildings contain exhibits focusing on different aspects of the author's life and legacy. The parlor of the Old Stone House is used for the display of furniture from the homes in which Edgar Poe and his sister Rosalie Mackenzie Poe lived. Of special interest in this room is a piano that once belonged to Poe's sister.