This series will highlight many of the historic locations that Baltimore is famous for that exist in Southwest Baltimore!
It’s almost impossible to think of Baltimore without thinking of one of its premier residents – Edgar Allen Poe. One of the best spots in Baltimore for Poe history is The Poe House (203 N. Amity Street) in the Poppleton community. Poe lived there from about 1833 until 1835.
In 1830 this small brick home was built and two years later Poe’s aunt Maria Clemm rented it. Poe moved in with her along with his grandmother, Virginia. Poe moved in with them after leaving West Point. The rent was paid primarily thanks to a pension that Poe’s mother, Elizabeth collected because of her husband, David Poe Sr., who had been a veteran of the American Revolutionary War.
Poe left the house in 1835, moving to Richmond, VA to edit the Southern Literary Messenger. Around the same time, the pension money stopped because of Elizabeth’s death. Maria, unable to cover rent, moved to Richmond after Poe’s marriage to Virginia.
The home, originally a duplex, was nearly demolished in the 1930s in order to construct one of America’s first public housing projects, appropriately named Poe Homes. Thanks to the efforts of The Edgar Allan Poe Society of Baltimore, the original home where Poe lived was saved. In 1949, the home opened as a historic house and museum.
The home and museum are currently being cared for by a non-profit organization, Poe Baltimore, Inc. and is open to the public on a seasonal schedule (Link: http://www.poeinbaltimore.org/directions/).
The house is still in great condition and retains a lot of the original woodwork. Visitors today can step back into the 1830s and hear stories about Poe’s time in Baltimore. If you haven’t stopped by this historical gem, be sure to plan a visit soon!