Edgar Allan Poe Museum – Richmond, Virginia - Atlas Obscura

Edgar Allan Poe Museum

This museum devoted to the gothic author holds such interesting ephemera as his socks and walking stick. 


Richmond, Virginia’s Edgar Allan Poe Museum celebrates the grim author’s life and work with one of the largest collections of letters, manuscripts, and artifacts related to the writer. The collection even includes his childhood bed! Poe lived in Richmond, Virginia, at various times of his life ranging from his youth up through adulthood. Given how much of his life he spent in and around Richmond, it is a bit surprising that none of his actual homes have been preserved. Thanks to his notorious drinking and gambling habits, the city of Richmond was not immediately keen on establishing monuments to the author, and even shot down a proposal for a public statue from the eventual founders of the Poe Museum. Nonetheless, the Poe Museum was established in 1922 in the oldest building in Richmond. The founders collected anything they could that related to the author’s life, including furniture, correspondence, manuscripts, trinkets, and clothing, just to name some of the type of exhibits. The ranging collection even includes such oddities as a lock of Poe’s hair collected after his death and some socks that were found in a trunk that belonged to the author. There is even a scale model of the city of Richmond as Poe would have experienced it.  The museum currently claims the largest collection of Poe-related items in the world, whether the city of Richmond likes it or not.      

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The Museum's two black cats, Edgar and Pluto, are often found lounging in the Enchanted Garden.

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