Edgar Allan Poe is best known for his gripping tales of terror, but he also had a gift for romantic poetry. Visitors to the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site in
© National Park Service
The Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site in
Philadelphia was once the home of Poe, his
wife and cousin Virgina Clemm, and
their cat Catterina.
Of Poe's several homes in
Because little is known about Poe's furniture and belongings, the Park Service has chosen to leave the house empty. Rather than point to artifacts, rangers discuss Poe's life and writings. Ranger-guided tours begin at the visitor center, which has exhibits, photographs of Poe's family, and an eight-minute slide presentation.
Poe was born in
In 1836, Poe married his cousin Virginia Clemm and enjoyed his most productive years with her in
Poe is credited with being the inventor of the modern detective mystery. In 1841, he published "Murders in the Rue Morgue," which features an intelligent but eccentric detective, Cesar A. Dupin, who systematically solves crimes using rational thinking, or what Poe called "ratiocination."
This detective, who appears again in "The Purloined Letter" and "The Mystery of Marie Roget," is the unmistakable ancestor of Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, and Earl Stanley Gardener's Perry Mason.
Edgar Allen Poe National Historic Site Information
Address: 313 Walnut St., Philadelphia, PA
Hours of Operation: Wednesday through Thursday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Day, and Veteran's Day
Learn more about these other national historic sites:
Find out more about travel destinations in North America:
- National Monuments: Learn about
’s national monuments, memorials, and historic sites. America
- National Memorials: Discover national memorials in the
- National Historic Sites: Read about American national historic sites.
- Philadelphia City Guide: Find out where to stay, what to do, and where to eat when you visit Philadelphia.
- Pennsylvania State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Pennsylvania as well as other recreational activities.
Eric Peterson is a Denver-based author who has contributed to numerous guidebooks about the Western United States.