The Fascinating Homes of Edgar Allan Poe

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A portrait of Edgar Allen Poe
Portrait of Edgar Allen Poe

Edgar Allan Poe wrote his great works while living in several homes across several cities, scattered along America’s East Coast. While Baltimore’s claim is the most famous — it was there that Poe died in 1849 — he also spent important periods in Virginia and New York.

Here are some rare images of Poe’s former homes — at least one of which is rumored to be haunted, though not by the author himself.

Growing up in Richmond

A black and white photo of the house in Richmond where Edgar Allen Poe used to live.
The Ellis home at the corner of Second and Franklin Street, 1877. Image sourced from Edgar Allen Poe in Richmond.

As a child, Poe and his foster family lived in the Ellis home in Richmond, at the corner of Second and Franklin Streets. It was one of several homes he grew up in. This photograph was taken in 1877, and the building was demolished six years later.

A black and white street view of Poe's apartment on Fourteenth Street and Tobacco Alley
Poe’s building on Fourteenth Street and Tobacco Alley. Image sourced from Edgar Allen Poe in Richmond.

In 1822, at the age of 13, Poe and his family moved from the Ellis house into this home at Fourteenth Street and Tobacco Alley. It was at this time that the young Poe collected his poetry into a book he asked Allan to have printed for him. Poe’s headmaster advised Allan against publishing the volume because he thought Poe already had too much pride.

Beginning in Baltimore

A black and white photo of the corner house where Poe lived in Baltimore.
Poe’s house in Baltimore, MD on 203 North Amity Street. Image sourced from Edgar Allen Poe’s Baltimore.

The Baltimore house in which Edgar Allan Poe was living when he began his literary career in 1833 has survived. Located at 203 North Amity Street, it is overseen by Poe Baltimore, a nonprofit organization created for the purpose. The little home has become a destination for Poe pilgrims from around the world.

Honeymooning in Petersburg

Street view of Poe's house in Petersburg
Hiram Haines Coffee and Ale House. Photo by Jeffrey Kyle Rayner. Image sourced from Edgar Allen Poe’s Petersburg.

Petersburg, Virginia, was a melting pot of French, Haitian, Scotch-Irish, and free black populations. It was in this eclectic city that Poe chose to take his new wife, thirteen-year-old first cousin Virginia Clemm, on their honeymoon in 1836. They stayed in the Hiram Haines Coffee and Ale House, which is pictured here as it looks today. Legend says that on the anniversary of Virginia’s death, she can be seen looking out the window on the far right. (Haunted hotels! Who knew?)

A photo of a fireplace with a portrait above it, located in the upstairs of the Hiram Haines Coffee and Ale House
The upstairs of Hiram Haines Coffee and Ale House. Image sourced from Edgar Allen Poe’s Petersburg.

The House’s upstairs rooms are virtually untouched since the time Poe and Virginia visited them. The second-floor bedroom where Poe and Virginia would have stayed for their honeymoon.

Completing “The Raven” in New York

Sepia sketch of the Brennan farmhouse on Eighty-Fourth Street in New York
This etching created around 1880 depicts the Brennan farmhouse on Eighty-Fourth Street in New York.

Precisely when, where and how Poe composed “The Raven” is unknown. But the most likely location of the poem’s completion, if not its conception, is the Brennan farmhouse that once stood on what is now Eighty-fourth Street between Amsterdam Avenue and Broadway in New York. This etching created around 1880 depicts the Brennan farmhouse. Though the building has been demolished, the mantel from Poe’s room is preserved at Columbia University.