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Volume 1, Issue 10, October 27, 2016
Happy Halloween
Edgar Allan Poe is best known for his horror stories and poems that range from ghostly tales to psychological fear. He is credited with launching the detective genre and his works have long been particularly popular on Halloween. He lived in several places throughout his life, sometimes moving to different homes within the same city. His happiest years were in Philadelphia, and saddest in the Bronx, NY, when his wife died of tuberculosis. The homes featured here are from those two periods.

Cynthia Collins
Cynthia Collins  
Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site
Poe lived in Philadelphia from 1838-1844 and considered those six years as his best, both personally and professionally. He was happily married to his cousin, Virginia Clemm, and wrote some of his most famous stories during this time. The Poe family lived in several places in Philadelphia but the building that is the Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site was their last residence, 1843 to 1844, before moving to New York.

Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site, Philadelphia, PAThe house does not have any furnished rooms other than a reading room, but contains illustrations that indicate how it might have been furnished when he, his wife, and mother-in-law, lived there. It also has exhibits of his writings, his life, and what Philadelphia was like in his day. The site has two adjoining buildings that were added after Poe left. That space serves as a display area for exhibits, a gift shop and a screening room. It is the basement of Poe's house that inspired his short story, "The Black Cat."

After Poe moved away, the house had several residents until the 1930s, when Richard Gimbel, of the Gimbels department store family, purchased it and turned it into a museum. It has been listed in the National Register of Historic Places since 1966, and is part of the National Park Service. Visitors may either take a guided or self-guided tour. More information about the schedule of operation is available on its website.

Poe Cottage
The Poe family left Philadelphia for New York, settling in New York City. Poe's poem, "The Raven," was published in 1845 and he became a household name virtually overnight. However, his wife, Virginia, had shown early signs of consumption (tuberculosis) while still in Philadelphia and her illness was progressing. After roughly two years in Manhattan, they moved in 1846 to the country to a cottage in Fordham, NY, which is now part of the Bronx. It was there that Virginia died in 1847. Poe died two years later, in 1849, after being found delirious while walking around Baltimore.

Poe Cottage, Bronx, NYThe Poe Cottage is a white farmhouse built around 1812. While living there, Poe wrote "Annabel Lee," a poem that expresses a deep love a man had for a woman who had died. No one knows exactly who inspired the poem, but many people believe it is about his wife. The cottage was purchased by New York City and became a museum in 1913. It has been administered by the Bronx County Historical Society since 1975. Information about tours and schedule of operation is on the website.

Recent News...

Very excited to share book review excerpt of The Unicorn Tree by major review website..
Book Review
Reviewed by for Readers' Favorite

The Unicorn Tree by Cynthia Collins is a great novel for a younger audience that teaches readers how to deal with absence. Lisa’s life is about to change. She’s a senior in high school and exploring college. Her brother is part of the crew of a clipper called the Northern Star for the summer. She has to do a paper on the historical Mirabelle Manor. The more she learns about the manor, the more it parallels to her life. ...

The Unicorn Tree is the perfect comfort for juvenile readers who have a parent or relative away on a dangerous job.... It’s a comforting novel that’s real, heartfelt, and a little bit mystical. A must-read!

(To read entire review, click here. ...
Continue reading-->).

The Unicorn Tree
The Unicorn Tree by Cynthia Collins

A teenage girl whose brother is lost at sea –

The diary of a nineteenth-century woman –

And the special place that binds them…

For reviews, excerpts, and summary, see

Ghost story and maritime adventure...
Available at
Photo credit: Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site: courtesy of NPS. Poe Cottage: courtesy of the Bronx County Historical Society.

All articles in this newsletter are by Cynthia Collins. The featured historic site section contains general information. The other articles may not be reprinted without written permission. Subscriber lists are not sold or given to any third parties and historic sites are not charged for being featured. To suggest historic sites for future issues, request article reprint permission, or any comments/questions regarding this newsletter, please contact Cynthia Collins.
Copyright © 2016 Cynthia Collins, All rights reserved.

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