After ninety-one years occupying the Old Stone House, the Poe Foundation finally owns the building. On Saturday, October 5, 2013, Anne Geddy Cross (pictured above), President of President of Preservation Virginia, signed the Deed of Gift transferring the house and garden from Preservation Virginia to the Poe Foundation. The Poe Foundation’s Past President Harry Lee Poe and its new President Annemarie Weathers Beebe gratefully accepted the gift. Preservation Virginia’s Director of Preservation Services Louis Malon and the Poe Museum’s Curator Chris Semtner, who have both been coordinating the transfer process over the past few years, were in attendance to witness the event. Before the transfer could take place, an easement was registered with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources to protect the house from significant changes that would alter its historic character.
Representing the Ege family, who owned the property from at least 1748 until 1911, Tina Egge, fifth great niece of Jacob Ege (different branches of the family spelled the name differently), the builder of the house, attended the event. Rose Marie Mitchell, who has written a new book about the history of the Old Stone House, spoke and signed copies of her book in the Exhibits Building, which featured a temporary exhibit documenting the history of the house.
The Poe Foundation has owned the rest of the Poe Museum buildings and grounds since the 1920s, so it is fitting that the Old Stone House should finally come under its ownership. Although the enormous gift and the new easement are significant developments for the Poe Foundation, the museum’s visitors will not see a dramatic change in the way the museum operates. They will, however, see some dramatic changes next spring when the major Enchanted Garden restoration project sponsored by the Garden Club of Virginia is underway.
After a break for the summer, the Poe Museum’s popular monthly event series, the Unhappy Hour, returns Thursday, September 26 from six to nine for an evening of live music, fine food and drink, and the closing of the museum’s special exhibit Poe in Paris. The theme for the night is “The Fall of the House of Usher,” so we will be screening a short film inspired by the story. The music will be provided by Margot MacDonald, and, in honor of the Poe in Paris exhibit, food will be provided courtesy of La Parisienne Bistro and Café. The event will take place in the Poe Museum’s legendary Enchanted Garden. Admission is by five dollar optional donation, and a cash bar will be available. For more information, contact the Poe Museum at 888-21-EAPOE or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s that time of year again. You and your kids are looking for fun Halloween activities, and you can’t do much better than Poe’s Pumpkin Patch, an afternoon of Poe-themed fun and games for children eleven and under. The event will take place in the Poe Museum’s garden on Sunday, October 28 from 2-5 P.M. Be sure to dress up for the costume contest and practice your technique for the mummy wrapping contest. Don’t forget to pick up a pumpkin (while supplies last). Make sure your kids grow up weird by taking them to Poe’s Pumpkin Patch!
Event is included in price of Poe Museum general admission. For more information, call the Poe Museum at 804-648-5523.
Thursday, December 8, 2011 is the bicentennial of the death of Edgar Allan Poe’s mother, Eliza Poe. Though Edgar was only two years old when he lost his mother, his “mournful and neverending remembrance” of her cast a shadow over his life and work. Although Eliza Poe’s fame has long been overshadowed by her famous son, she was actually a talented and popular actress in the early days of American theater.
In observance of the bicentennial, the Poe Museum hosted a lecture by renowned Poe scholar Richard Kopley, a performance by Eliza Poe interpreter Debbie Phillips, and an exhibit of rare artifacts related to her life and career. The weekend began with the Poe Illumination, in which the Poe Museum’s Enchanted Garden came to life with thousands of lights and holiday decorations. Below is some video of the Poe Foundation’s President, Dr. Harry Lee Poe, speaking at Eliza Poe’s grave after having laid a wreath on her monument.
The exhibit devoted to Poe’s mother continues until April 1, 2012, so be sure not to miss it. In case you can’t attend in person, some of the artifacts from the exhibit can now be seen in our online collections database.
It’s that time of year again. Kids are wearing costumes, decorating pumpkins, and hunting for candy. On October 29, they can do all those things and more while getting an introduction to great literature at the same time by coming to Poe’s Pumpkin Patch at the Poe Museum. The event runs from noon until 5 P.M. and is included in the price of Poe Museum admission. The Poe-themed games include a mummy wrapping contest inspired by “Some Words with a Mummy,” a black cat pinata inspired by “The Black Cat,” a treasure hunt inspired by “The Gold Bug” and “The Purloined Letter,” and more. A costume contest will allow guests to show off their costumes, and pumpkin decorating will be available for them to exercise their creativity. So make sure your kids grow up weird by bringing them to Poe’s Pumpkin Patch on October 29.
Thought I’d post a few more pretty pictures from the Enchanted Garden at the Poe Museum for your enjoyment on this humid Monday.
(Just click the photo to be taken to a larger version of the image!)
There are still plenty of beautiful flowers blooming away, just in time for our next Unhappy Hour coming up this Thursday, May 26th, which will feature a visit from Poe’s mother, Elizabeth Arnold Hopkins Poe (as portrayed by Debbie Phillips).
It is turning out to be a rather lovely late February day here at the Poe Museum (albeit a bit blustery).
The fountain in the garden is on for the first time since last fall. It gets turned off during the winter to prevent unfortunate things like cracks and breakage during the cold winter months.
There are other signs that spring is on its way showing themselves all over the Enchanted Garden – more and more every day.
Here are a few photos I’ve taken of some harbingers of spring over the past couple of weeks:
Daffodils beginning to poke through the soil
New grass (with the Old Stone House in the background)
The first flowers I’ve spotted in the garden so far this year.
Some more flowers near the fountain
You, too, can share photos that you’ve taken in the garden at the Poe Museum by posting them in the Poe Museum photo group on Flickr (a great photo sharing website). It’s free to register, so why not share some of your Poe Museum photos with us?
Here’s a link to a flickr album I am using to attempt to document the onset of spring in this lovely little corner of the City of Richmond: Spring in the Enchanted Garden. Slowly but surely the garden is coming back to life after its winter rest.