Poe Places: An East Coast Journey in the Footsteps of Edgar Allan Poe: Petersburg, Virginia

It’s taken me several years, thus far, to travel up and down the East Coast in search of the places entwined with the history of poet and writer, Edgar Allan Poe. His works have been such an inspiration to my own pen and he birthed my love of poetry and the detective story. So it makes absolute logical sense to travel up and down the coast to follow in the footsteps of a dead guy from 300 years ago right? Right.

Edgar was born in Boston, Massachusetts to David and Elizabeth Poe. He had two siblings, older brother Henry and younger sister Rosalie. The children, at a young age, found themselves parentless as their father abandoned them and at the age of three, Edgar’s mother, a then actress in Richmond, Virginia, died of tuberculosis. The children were then separated. Henry was sent to live with his paternal grandparents in Boston, Rosalie to the McKenzie’s of Richmond and Edgar was adopted by John and Frances Allan, also of Richmond, Virginia.

While the places I have visited thus far are all of importance and have their own individual connection to Poe, they are not in any historical order and notably the states of New York and Massachusetts I have yet to visit. Today’s adventure takes me to the city of Petersburg in Virginia.

After marrying his cousin, Virginia Clemm, then age 13, in the spring of 1836 in Richmond, Virginia the two departed for their honeymoon coming to Petersburg, Virginia. They stayed on the second floor of the Hiram Haines Coffee House, owned by poet and writer Hiram Haines and his wife Mary Ann, who was a childhood friend of Poe’s.

It’s unsure whether they stayed as little as a few days or two weeks. The coffee house is no longer open and at the time I visited a sign was on the door with a real estate agency seemingly the building being for lease.

Thanks for reading and if you’ve stumbled upon my journey for the first time, you can read here to see where I have been thus far in my now ten years and counting adventures of following in the footsteps of Edgar Allan Poe.

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