Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site

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The Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site is believed to have been home to the legendary Gothic author. During his six years in Philadelphia (1838 – 1844) it has been described as “his happiest and most productive” in his short life and career. Poe lived with his wife Virginia and her mother Maria Clemm, who was affectionately known as Muddy. It was during this time Poe wrote The Black Cat, which describes a cellar very similar to his own on 7th Street. However, tragedy did strike during this happy and productive time when his wife developed the contagious disease of tuberculosis.
The site was declared by Congress a national memorial in 1980, a historic site apart of the United States National Park Service as it serves to commemorate
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The walls are left barren, and are removed of any paint only to reveal the plaster walls. The house is not reconstructed to look like what it may have looked like when Poe lived there, but there is are a couple of large murals that do depict what some of his furniture looked like. Text is minimal throughout the house and is only located on doors or propped up on shelves. Entering from Poe living room and kitchen the visitor then walks up narrow and steep stairs turning to his what is believed his room and office, and up more stairs the visitor can view Poe’s wife and mother-in-laws’ rooms. Visitors exit through a back stair case that is not part of the original Poe house and are taken to the garden outside. No text or labels are found what the land may have been used for only a large sculpture of a raven can be found there. Back in the house visitors are lastly encouraged to explore the cellar, a small, poorly lite room where a stuffed black cat can be found. This references Poe’s short story, The Black Cat. The setting being influenced supposedly by Poe’s Philadelphia cellar. With all the limitations of the exhibition space and information presented within the house itself, more can be done to the house by making it not only interracial part of the history of literature but the history Philadelphia and even more so to the community of Spring …show more content…
The tours are offered in two themes, Poe’s Life, Literature, and Legacy and Poe in Philadelphia. In Poe’s Life, Literature, and Legacy “Students explore interactive exhibits that reveal Poe's many literary interests and his influence on other writers and artists. Students view an 8-minute biographical film. Students join a park ranger on a visit through Poe's home focusing on his life, literary accomplishments and legacy.” Poe in Philadelphia is a program that “includes the elements of "Poe's, Life, Literature, and Legacy" with a fun, interactive game based on "Jeopardy." Students work in teams to use the knowledge they have gained from their class work and visit to compete for educational prizes” and is recommended for middle schools