Here is my Local History Project where we were required to choose a figure from the Hall of Fame and find a location in New York that is related to them. We were then required to create a Pod Cast to discuss it all. I choose Edgar Allan Poe.
Pod cast Script: Edgar Allan Poe
I’d like to introduce you to Edgar Allan Poe, one of the most prominent writers of the 19th century. Poe was Born in Boston on January 19, 1809. He died on October 7, 1849 after only having lived 40 years. The cause of death is unknown. Some of you may be familiar with some of Poe’s popular works such as “The Black Cat,” “Life of Poe” or “Annabel Lee.” Poe moved around often spending much of his time in Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York.
Yes, Poe was an extraordinary writer but there are things about Poe that many are unaware of. For instance, many fail to realize that even though Poe was a renowned author of many different forms of literature and was one of the first American writers to gain an audience overseas he died poor due to investing his entire savings in a magazine venture that went bankrupt. He didn’t just write poems, stories and essays, Poe actually worked as a critic and wrote many negative reviews about authors in the Romantic genre and raved over writers such as Emily Dickenson. Poe’s wife, who died of tuberculosis, was his first cousin. Poe had a serious drinking problem, yet his tolerance for Alcohol was so low that one drink would cause damage. Another interesting detail that you may not know about Edgar Allan Poe is that he spent much of his time in Bronx, New York.
Poe often enjoyed getting away from the stressful streets of Boston and traveling to his peaceful cottage in the Bronx. Please keep in mind that during the 1800’s the Bronx was still considered the countryside. The cottage is a small wooden farm house with three rooms, a parlor, a bedroom, and a kitchen which was all originally built in 1812. The house is furnished with a rocking chair, bed and mirror among other things that Poe might have used. There is a narrow stair case that goes up to the bedroom attic that has a very low ceiling. Although the house was built in 1812, Poe did not purchase it until 1846. During his time spent in his cottage, Poe wrote “The Bells,” “Eureka” and “Annabel Lee.” Three years later Poe died. The Cottage is considered to be one of Poe’s final homes before he died.
The Cottage is now called Poe Cottage. It’s no longer in the countryside but what is now Fordham. It’s exact address is Park Grand Concourse at Kingsbridge Rd Bronx, NY 10458. Right beside Poe Cottage is Poe park where Poe spent much of his time writing and looking at nature. As time progressed around the 1900’s, the countryside known as the Bronx began to urbanize. Buildings and roads were built around the small cottage growing into a bustling city that is the Bronx we know today, which began in.
In the 1890s during the modernization of the Bronx, the Shakespeare Society saved Poe’s Cottage from destruction but after years of Neglect the Historical Society took possession of it and turned it in to a museum in 1975. Poe’s Cottage has been renovated, restored and preserved as a museum. It has been restored in to the same state that Edgar Allan Poe left it in before he departed. The Poe Cottage Museum is open to the public on Saturdays from ten to four, Sundays from one to five, and Monday through Friday from Nine to five pm. They provide guided group tours by appointment and charge admission fees. Adults are charged five dollars, and students are charged three dollars.
So I hope you visit. Have a good time.
I chose this picture because it was the only one that could should you exactly what the Bronx looked like when the cottage was first built. The Bronx was literaly the country and there was not a building in sight.
Photo taken by The Kelmscott Bookshop
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