Many spots in Richmond bear the magic imprint of Edgar Allan Poe. We can visit the site of the theatre where his young, tragic mother trod the boards; of the hovel where she died in the arms of a kindly milliner; of the early home of the Allans where he spent his boyhood; their later spacious mansion where he began to write; the office of Mr. Allan where he worked sporadically as a clerk; Monumental Church where he sat in his foster father’s pew; the lovely garden where he walked as a boy with Elmira Royster, the “Lost Lenore,” and many a tavern where he would sit and confide his tale of unhappiness to Ebenezer Burling.
The places he touched center around Capitol Square. West of the square and where the Federal Reserve Bank now stands was the home of Mrs. Robert Stanard, the mother of Poe’s school friend, and the “Helen” whom he adored and immortalized. On Bank Street, to the south, was Mrs. Yarrington’s boarding house where he was wed to Virginia Clemm. Monumental Church is northeast and near the corner of Twelfth and Broad Streets. It is located on the spot where the Richmond Theatre went up in flames the same year Poe’s mother acted there.
The Allan home, where he lived as a child, was on the west side of Fourteenth Street between Franklin and Main. A block away, at the southeast corner of Fifteenth and Main, stood the Southern Literary Messenger building, and directly behind it the offices of Ellis and Allan where he worked occasionally as a clerk.
Up at the southeast corner of Fifth and Main Streets stood the more handsome house to which the Allans moved later. At Second and Franklin Streets were the gardens that he loved. On East Main between Nineteenth and Twentieth Streets stands the Poe Shrine with its invaluable relics. The shack where his mother died is behind the row of brick tenements on the north side of Main Street between Twenty-second and Twenty-third.