Tobacco and Trolleys: Industry and Transportation
Antebellum Architecture
Richmond's African American Heritage
The Continuing legacy of Historic Preservation
photos  
Discover Our Shared Heritage Travel Itinerary
RICHMOND
Old Stone House

Old Stone House

Old Stone House
City of Richmond
Department of Community Development

 

The Old Stone House, one of Richmond’s only remaining colonial period dwellings, now serves as part of a museum dedicated to the life and work of American poet and storywriter Edgar Allan Poe. Poe never lived in the house, although it stands just blocks away from his first home in Richmond and his first place of employment, the Southern Literary Messenger. Poe worked as editor for the Messenger under Thomas W. White, a position he held from December 1835 to January 1837. After leaving Richmond, Poe continued to edit and write his sensational tales in Philadelphia and New York.

The house is a rare example of early stone construction in the city, and its coursed rubble stonework probably is of stones from the nearby James River. Although tree-ring dating has suggested a construction date of 1754, the earliest written records of the house date it to 1783. City land-tax books show that a Mr. Samuel Ege, a local flour inspector, lived in the house. He likely inherited the property from his father Jacob Ege, a German immigrant and tailor. The house’s location in Shockoe Bottom (then called Shaccos or Shockoes) afforded convenient access to the many 18th-century flourmills that stood along the canals and millraces adjacent to the river.

Old Stone House 1865

Old Stone House 1865
Virginia Commonwealth University Libraries

 

Architecturally, the house is of a simple design with a gable roof, two end chimneys, and three asymmetrical dormers on the façade. The interior has a hall-parlor plan typical for the period, plaster walls, and minimal wood trim. A steep staircase leads to the second floor. Behind the house is a handsomely landscaped formal garden, installed sometime in the 20th century. An annex containing an entrance foyer and museum room is an addition to the northwest corner of the house that dates to the same period as the garden. Two buildings on the east side of the garden house additional museum rooms and a gift shop. The southernmost of these two buildings is partially of materials salvaged from the offices of the Southern Literary Messenger where Poe worked.

The Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities (APVA) acquired the house in 1911. Because the Edgar Allan Poe Museum complex has been in the house since 1922, the public often refers to the house itself simply as the Poe House. The official Poe Museum website says the following of its namesake: “Called "America's Shakespeare," Edgar Allan Poe created or mastered the short story, detective fiction, science fiction, lyric poetry and the horror story. His dark genius has invited children and adults to read and love literature for over 150 years.”

Plan your visit
The Old Stone House is located at 1914 E. Main St. at the corner of 19th and Main Sts. in the heart of the historic Shockoe Bottom neighborhood.  The Poe Museum in the house is open to the public for a fee: $6 for adults and $5 for seniors and students.  Guided tours are offered on the hour Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 to 5:00pm, Sunday 11:00am to 5:00pm.  For information, visit the Poe Museum and Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities websites. The Old Stone House has been documented by the National Park Service’s Historic American Buildings Survey.
top
previous page Next page