Edgar Allan Poe National Historic SiteApprox. Time: 1 hours
Activity Level: Easiest

It's not known exactly how long Poe lived at the 7th Street address. The Poe family moved in sometime in 1842 or 1843 and left in April 1844. Poe rented this house, as was his custom. Historians do not know whether the house was furnished when the Poes arrived. Any furniture and belongings relating to the Poes at this address has vanished. Congress chose the site as a national memorial to Edgar Allan Poe in 1980.

An eight-minute film on Poe's life and a room with biographical and critical information on Poe greet the visitor to the Poe House. This part of the memorial is actually part of what was a neighboring house. The visitor next walks into the house where Poe actually lived.

The Park Service chose not to refurnish the house with period furniture. The visitor walks through empty rooms, floors groaning. The walls are a palette of peeling paint; the fireplaces, cold brick maws. Then a sound. A tapping and rapping. It is your heart bursting at its chamber walls. It is believed that Poe wrote the following pieces in this home: Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat, The Gold-Bug, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Masque of the Red Death, The Purloined Letter, The Cask of Amontillado, A Descent into the Maelstrom, William Wilson, The Man of the Crowd, The Oval Portrait and he is likely to have begun work on The Raven here.