This previous weekend may have been a Poe Museum first; a baby dedication was held in the museum’s Poe Shrine on Saturday morning. The family gave me permission to take photos, and the ceremony began just a few minutes after the museum opened. Afterward I asked the father of the child why he chose the museum for the ceremony, to which he replied, “Well, I’ve always been a fan of Poe, and this seemed like a good place. This is going to be around for a long time.” At one point I made the comment that I’d never really seen a baby dedication take place outside of a church before. The father said, “Just ask my oldest one. We held his dedication at the Lincoln Memorial.”
While taking a tour of Poe sites from South Carolina to New York, Alabama artist Jeremy Adams stopped by the Poe Museum to see the exhibits and to show us the portrait he painted of Edgar Allan Poe. When he left us, he planned to visit the Allan graves at Shockoe Hill Cemetery and Poe’s mother’s grave at St. John’s Church before heading to the Poe House and grave in Baltimore. In this photo taken in the Poe Shrine, the artist is holding the portrait of Poe he developed over the course of eight months.
Richmond’s Linden Row Inn (www.lindenrowinn.com) is located on the site of the “Enchanted Garden” where a teenaged Poe once courted his first fiancée Elmira Royster. One of Poe’s boyhood homes stood directly across the street from this historic 1840s inn.
So, we’ve got some exciting news that I have been dying to share but unable to until it was no longer considereed confidential. The U.S. Postal Service is issuing a Poe bicentennial commemorative stamp in 2009 and, appropriately, it will be unveiled here in Richmond. The first issue event will be held at Library of Virginia on January 16th so collectors can buy the stamp on the day of issue and have it canceled by the USPS on site. Dignitaries will be there from the Postmaster’s office and Virginia state government to handle the dedication, but our own Hal Poe has also been asked to speak. I will be uploading details about it on the calendar of events and will try to make as many details available as possible. Copies of Hal’s new Edgar biography will be available for purchase and he will stick around to sign copies.
We’ll see you in January! It just so happens that January 16th is the Friday before a three-day weekend so it is a great opportunity to visit Richmond, see a wealth of Poe sites, and get your collectable Poe stamp at the same time. Don’t forget there is a Garrison Keillor and Symphony performance that same week, along with the 24 hours of activity at the Poe Museum on January 19th, the actual birthday.
Check back often. We are always adding new details about events as they become available. If you want to receive email updates when the calendar is updated you can sign up for those on the home page of www.poe200th.com.