Simply Nerdy Mom: Final Resting Place of Edgar Allan Poe

Friday, January 19, 2018

Final Resting Place of Edgar Allan Poe


January 19th marks author Edgar Allan Poe's 209th birthday. As a huge fan of his, I will be spending the day marathoning films adaptations of his work as well as documentaries. I also wanted to celebrate the day by giving my readers a little tour and information on Poe's final resting place, which we visited on our last day in Baltimore last September. Enjoy!

When I got the email for my press passes to Baltimore Comic Con, which took place in September, I knew immediately that I wanted to make time for a few other things while in the city. One huge thing on my bucket list was visiting Edgar Allan Poe's final resting place as I am a huge fan.

Conveniently, our hotel (Baltimore Plaza Hotel) was literally just down the street from the cemetery. Although, our GPS failed us and took us way out of where we needed to be, once we realized how close it was, we felt really dumb that we didn't even see it when we drove right past it. I had expected the main stone to be rather close to the road, but I really didn't notice it when we drove past because of the surrounding wall. It also happens to be a Poke Stop if you are a Pokemon Go player. Admittedly, I'm actually quite glad we got lost. We found a gas station with gas prices so low I thought we went back in time, and the buildings are really a sight to see if you are into architecture and classic design. The unfortunate part is that a lot of statues and things were heavily vandalized, which really broke my heart. 

We visited on a Sunday before we headed back home, and not only did we somehow get our parking in a garage for the entire weekend super cheap, but parking next to the church was free! I highly recommend going during a Sunday for that reason, but quite honestly, you could spend hours in this cemetery and parking would get pricey. It's not that the cemetery is particularly large, but there's just a lot to see and read, and from personal experience, you will probably need a moment to compose yourself. 



The cemetery is full of these information sections with so much to read and learn about the historical figures that are buried here. Edgar Allan Poe may be the only recognizable figure unless you are native to Baltimore, but there is a lot of history here. 




As soon as you walk in to the right is the large Poe marker. Depending on when you visit, there will be "gifts" from visitors. Sometimes you'll find roses or liquor, but for the most part, people leave pennies in the letter of Edgar's name on the front of the stone. The stone also marks his wife as well as his mother in law. 

I barely got in the front gates and while I was standing next to the stone, I started to get a little emotional. Nothing prepared me for the emotions that would run through me while walking through the rest of the cemetery. It's very overwhelming. 


To some, the cemetery may seem run down or not very impressive. To me, it was beautiful and I probably could have spent all day there.

It's hard not to feel something here. I'm serious. I was so overwhelmed with all kinds of emotions here. It's very peaceful for being right next to the road, but I think the trees, buildings, and brick wall surrounding the cemetery help block out a lot of the noise, but once again, it was a Sunday, so that could be a factor as well. 

I got a little wet in the eyeballs seeing grave markers broken, nearly buried, or completely hidden by greenery. Because the land is so old, and the only grave that has ever been moved has been Poe's, these things tend to happen. It's really sad to think about how even after we are gone, after so long, our grave markers even disappear. It's almost like these people didn't exist and that hit me really hard. I made a point to stop at each and every grave and touch all of them tenderly with one hand, and my heart with my other. I moved greenery and did the same for the hidden graves as well. Some markers were so old, you could just see the tip top of them poking out of the ground, almost being mistaken for rocks. 




And this is what shocked me.

There are graves under the church. They took care to leave them as is, and built the church around the graves. They aren't closed in, and you can still get to them. I obviously didn't expect this, as typically graves are disturbed and relocated or just completed built over when cities expand. I'm so glad that they tried as best as they could to preserve things and leave resting places alone. 



Around the back of the church (which is beautiful, by the way), next to (I believe) is his grandfather, but I cannot remember specifically, is Poe's original burial spot. 



People often leave gifts here as well. 

I, of course, spent the most time here. Obviously out of all the graves, this one is the best taken care of because I really believe visitors make it so. I'm sure whomever takes care of the property does what he/she can, but in Poe's case, the fans are the ones that really take care of it the most. It's the only grave with a nice little pathway to it, and there are no weeds  or anything like that around it. 


We didn't go inside the church, so I have no pictures of the inside of it. However, you can see how large and beautiful it is. We are not religious. It's not that we don't believe in God, we just aren't an overly religious family. For us, our admiration was the architecture. My husband and I stood and admired it for quite some time from every angle. It also happened to be a gorgeous day so the entire experience was very moving. 


We noticed this plaque on the fence on the way out. Somehow we missed it walking in even though we walked right past it. At any rate, this lists who is buried here. Not everyone, but the notable men who fought in wars. Once again, unless you are local or a history buff, this probably means nothing to you, but my husband and I stopped for a moment to pay respects to these men. 

I'm hoping to make this an annual tradition, weather permitting. It would be nice to stop and leave a token and pay our respects before we head for home the Sunday after our convention attendance. Remarkably enough, the cemetery was completely empty the entire time we were there. It being a convention and baseball game weekend and a lot of people in the city from other states, I figured there would be a steady flow, but it was calm and quiet. A few people had walked out as we were going in, and friends of ours showed up shortly after we left, but when you visit, you could potentially have the entire grounds to yourself. 

If you are in or around Baltimore Saturday, there is an event at the cemetery to celebrate Poe's birthday with raffles and readings and an appearance by the Poe Toaster. Obviously, if you know the story if the Poe Toaster, you realize this is not the original Toaster, but if you don't you can read more about HERE. I've never been, but I hear it's really quite an experience you don't want to miss. If you plan to attend, or do attend, please let me know how it goes. I would love to be there myself!

Find out more on the life and works of Edgar Allan Poe, events, and tours of Westminster Burial Grounds and Catacombs, visit Poe's Memorial Grave

2 comments:

  1. Your posts are always so interesting to read Darling! The church looks gorgeous. I'm going to make this a place on my list to go visit one day. Looks like a fascinating place💋
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    1. Thank you! It's definitely a must see if you ever find yourself in Balitmore, Maryland, USA. His home is also located not far from here and can be toured as well.

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