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Nevermore: a visit to the POE Museum in Richmond, VA

USA | Sunday, 27 February 2011 | Views [1033]

Richmond, VA is not particularly close to Washington D.C. It was a bit of a drive to get there (2 hours!) and our first endeavor ended up poorly – we were left outside in the biting cold due to an unexpected closure from an electrical outage. Alas, no Poe Museum that day.

 

The second attempt to see this museum was far more propitious and we managed to meander around the curious – and curiously small – buildings surrounding a little courtyard with the bust of Poe himself hidden in the back.

 

As we entered the small front entrance we found ourselves in a mini gift shop full of plush raven puppets, books galore, shot glasses and candles and various other sundries of a dark and gothic nature. Welcomed by the friendly staff we were handed a laminated pamphlet to assist our tour through the various small nooks and buildings that made up this museum.

 

Inside the various buildings we found ourselves face to face with bits of Mr. Poe’s past – and past relics – from his childhood on up. There were pictures and photos of various family members, clothes, books with notes written in the margin, a desk from a former work, paintings from Ulalume, and even poetry written in his hand. There were maybe three or four buildings to enter and all with various themes from his life.

 

I suppose if one wanted to they could probably spend hours here but for the tourist – and I admit I am very much one of those – it seemed to be a small, if nicely preserved museum but I don’t believe my friend and I spent more than 30 or 40 minutes looking at exhibits before we exhausted our interest of minuscule details and tiny photos of a justly famous writer’s life. And so after a brief tour around we left.

 

My thoughts are that while I am indeed a fan of Poe and I was quite curious about his life it felt like such a small glimpse that faded away quickly as we left. Not to say that it is not a worthwhile endeavor if you have the chance to visit – please do – but don’t expect anything magical. You will not summon the ghost of Poe and there were no ravens that were not already stuffed hanging around to croak nevermore. It was a quaint and curious experience that I was happy to partake of but I do believe one visit was enough to satiate this goth’s appetite.

 

The Poe Museum is (sadly) not metro accessible so make sure you have a car before trying to visit. It's $6 for adults and $5 for students. They're open from Tues-Sat 10-5 and Sunday from 11-5pm.

 

Happy museum-hunting! Say hi to the ravens for me (but run away if they start speaking in tongues).

Tags: edgar allan poe, gothic, poe museum, richmond, va, washington d.c.

 

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