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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • FLY CANADIAN PACIFIC, c. 1950s

Poe House: 1930

Poe House: 1930

Richmond, Virginia, circa 1930. "Edgar Allan Poe's mother's house." 8x10 inch acetate negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston. View full size.

 

Poe Neglected Stucco

I got to wondering what the back of this house might have looked like before the old whitewashed stucco crumbled away, and before the second floor chamber window got replaced by a door and landing, later removed. Here's a quick Photoshopped stab at it, but the door and windows could still use some new paint and putty, and that kitchen yard is a disgrace.

More important question

As most of us Shorpy viewers question, previous commentrs non withstanding,

Does this structure still stand?

I think more important than not, most Shorpy viewers look at this site to see the past, and almsot immediately we look to see if the structure still stands, and if any photography of current state exists.

Quoth Cartman

Mr. Garrison, why do Poe people smell like sour milk?

Here a Poe house, there a Poe house

Poe moved around a lot, so it's not surprising that there are Poe houses in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York. (The last is only a facade on a NYU Law School building). Boston had an Edgar Allan Poe Square and a house, but both vanished sometime after 1930. Richmond has a Poe Museum which advertises being "only blocks away from Poe's first Richmond home." Perhaps that's what Johnston photographed. It's gone too, as is the house of his foster family the Allans.

In the immortal words of Bette Davis

"What a dump!"

Let us not forget ...

this photo was his grandmother's home, NOT his,

[Erm, this is NOT his grandma's house. - Dave]

and he was born in 1809, so by 1930 this grandmother's home may have been neglected for 121 years before [???] his birth. Look around you, even just at your own grandmother's home today and see if the place hasn't fallen into disrepair and decay and see if creeping slums have enveloped the area as in the case of my grandmother's dwelling. Many once-elegant and genteel neighborhoods, even from the 1940's have turned into wastelands, especially those next to run-down urban areas as in Detroit, Philly, Hartford and New Haven, Ct. Not all real estate escalates in value. Also, this is a back alley, not a front entrance, which is usually more attractive. Poe himself may have never imagined such a dump for his grandma.

It's No Wonder

Comes as no surprise to me that Poe had Ravens at his chamber door. No mortals were tall enough.

Ghost of Poe?

Look at the base of the water pump right of center. Interesting!

This explains a lot

No wonder Edgar was so dark and haunting in his writings.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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