Celebrating 210 Years of Poe

The Poe Museum celebrated Edgar Allan Poe’s 210th birthday on Saturday, January 19, with the “world’s largest” Poe birthday party. We made our way with many other Poe pilgrims to 1914–16 E. Main Street in Richmond, Virginia, to pay homage to the Raven Poet. Here follows some of my visual memories of the day.

(Part two of this story, which includes a “virtual” trolley tour of Poe’s Richmond, was published separately. Here’s the link: “A Virtual Tour of Poe’s Richmond”)

The colonial-era Old Stone House, said to be the oldest house in Richmond, provides the facade of the Poe Museum. The party, however, was out back in the Enchanted Garden.
My distant cousin and birthday boy Edgar arrived at the party. He was politely indifferent and seemed sober. He indulged his guests with a somber reading of “The Masque of the Red Death.”




But, in spite of these things, it was a gay and magnificent revel.

The birthday cakes featured the two cats who live at the museum, Edgar and Pluto, one of whom was avidly soliciting partygoers for handouts.
The garden walls are topped with broken glass to prevent escape from the birthday bash. Actually, this is a reference to the school/prison in Poe’s short story “William Wilson.”

The grounds were extensive, and a high and solid brick wall, topped with a bed of mortar and broken glass, encompassed the whole. This prison-like rampart formed the limit of our domain….

The Poe Shrine was constructed with bricks from Richmond’s Southern Literary Messenger building, where Poe worked as editor.






Poe Museum - Richmond, VA - Old Stone House
See Edgar peeking out the gable window of the Old Stone House? He’s looking for you to visit the museum!

My first blog post was last year on Poe’s birthday (“You Don’t Know Poe”). Happy birthday, Edgar, and happy first birthday to the Tea & Scandal blog!

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