The Poe Museum, located in Richmond, Virginia, houses the world’s finest Poe memorabilia. Items include original manuscripts, rough drafts, letters, and even personal belongings. The museum, which opened in 1922, is only blocks away from Poe’s first Richmond home. It’s also mere minutes away from his first place of employment, the Southern Literary Messenger.
One of the strangest artifacts the museum has in its possession is a lock of Poe’s hair. The hair was taken from Poe’s eyebrow after his death. His close friend, magazine editor Joseph Snodgrass, took the sample. But perhaps even more strange is that Snodgrass wasn’t the only one.
According to the museum’s website, after his death in 1849, no fewer than 50 people stopped by to take a snippet of Poe’s hair. It’s kind of creepy… much like the writer himself.
Other interesting relics include Poe’s walking stick. Two weeks before he died, Poe left his walking stick at Dr. John Carter’s home (Poe’s friend and medical practitioner). On this night, Poe mistakenly took Dr. Carter’s walking stick instead of his own.
After learning about Poe’s death, Dr. Carter was able to retrieve his own walking stick, but elected to keep Poe’s. Years later, when Dr. Carter died, his caretaker’s daughter inherited the stick. She sold it to the Poe Museum in 1922 for $250.
The museum also has quite a few furniture items that belonged to Poe, including his childhood bed. Additionally, the museum has his trunk, although the contents of it are empty. Visitors can also view Rosalie Poe’s piano, Poe’s sister.
The museum is open Tuesday-Saturday 10am – 5pm and Saturday 11am – 5pm. They are not open on Mondays. Admission is $6.00 for adults, $5.00 for seniors, and $5.00 for students.
For those who don’t live near Richmond, Virginia, there is a virtual tour available through the museum’s website.