Ever since I found out that the National Park Service preserved (one of) Edgar Allan Poe’s Philadelphia homes, I’ve been wanting to adventure there. Due to the pressing need to do some Philadelphia research (more on this later), we finally went and explored it on Saturday.
Fun Facts about Poe and Philadelphia:
- Poe lived in Philadelphia for six years and they were his most productive, successful, and happiest years.
- While in the city, he published The Tell-Tale Heart and The Black Cat.
- It was while living in Philadelphia, it’s believed, that he wrote The Raven.
- He lived in five different homes in his six years there.
- A lot of the murders highlighted in Philadelphia newspapers at the time (has Philly ever been safe?) served as inspiration
Due to “the lack of primary evidence describing [the interior design] during Poe’s occupancy,” all the rooms are empty and the walls bare, which gave it a pretty creepy feeling, especially in the basement. The only objects in the rooms were photocopies of some of his poems and stories, loose-leaf and scattered on the shelves and in the closets, some strangely out-of-place photocopies of airplane drawings, and, even more out-of-place, this stuffed monkey.
It’s a small house, so it only took about an hour to properly explore and read all the museum materials. I’d definitely recommend stopping in if you’re in the Philadelphia area.
On a side note: after seeing The Raven in theaters a few weeks ago, I couldn’t help but imagine John Cusack wandering moodily around the house.