Edgar Allan Poe is one of the most celebrated American writers, boasting -- among other things -- an NFL team and a beer named after his works. Poe died at age 40, and people across the country celebrate his birth and death annually. This year is particularly special for Poe fanatics, because it marks the 200th anniversary of his birth.
Baltimore's yearlong commemoration of Poe will culminate next month with a re-creation of his funeral. Poe lived in Baltimore for several years and died and was buried in the city.Begin at Poe's former residence, a brick home with green shutters where he lived for a couple of years. It was in this house that he penned "Berenice" and "Tales of the Folio Club." It is now home to a museum that is open Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 3:30 p.m. On Oct. 7, the date of Poe's death in 1849, there will be a re-creation of a wake for Poe from noon to 11 p.m.
After seeing the home, head to Annabel Lee Tavern, named after one of Poe's last poems. It boasts a shrine to the author, his poetry covers the walls and Raven beer is on tap. Drink a brew and fill up on sweet potato fries before heading to Poe's last stop, the Westminster Hall and Burying Grounds. On Oct. 10 at noon and 4:30 p.m., a re-creation of Poe's funeral will include a horse-drawn hearse traveling from his home to Westminster Hall, a drum-and-fife corps and actors performing eulogies.
Where is it? Poe House and Museum is at 203 N. Amity St., Baltimore, 410-396-7932 or http://www.poebicentennial.com. Annabel Lee Tavern is at 601 S. Clinton St., 410-522-2929 or http://www.annabelleetavern.com. Westminster Hall and Burying Grounds, 519 W. Fayette St., 410-706-2072 or http://www.westminsterhall.org.
What's it cost? Museum admission is $4 for adults, free for children 12 and younger. Tickets for the viewing are $5. Prices for funeral recreation are $35 in advance; $40 at the door. Children younger than 10 are not permitted.
(Sept. 4, 2009)