My friend and I traveled to the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum to see a replica of the author’s body lying in state. For twelve hours on a cool Wednesday in October, ‘Poe’ was available for viewing as part of a week long celebration marking the 200th anniversary of his birth, the ceremonies culminating in a Sunday service at Westminster Burying Ground presided over by actor John Astin.
As we biked our way to the West Baltimore neighborhood the number of vacant rowhouses gradually increased as we neared the historic site. We asked a few strategically placed police officers where the house was and they responded that it was right in front of us. They even told us they’d watch our bikes while we were inside. Five dollars later we were touring the house Poe lived in during his lean years in Charm City.
The place was fairly packed and we promptly made our way to the body. Once inside the tiny room we encountered some giggling girls, took a quick look and moved on the rest of the house. It’s quite strange taking a pilgrimage to see a mannequin. The rest of the minuscule abode contains rare memorabilia and merchandise. The museum’s greatest attribute is its severity of size, providing a glimpse into Poe’s life and American culture of the 1830s.