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Raymond Biswanger Slide Collection

Edgar Allan Poe: 1825
Richmond, Virginia; and Baltimore, Maryland

Elmira Royster was Edgar Allan Poe's neighbor and teenage sweetheart. They were apparently engaged in 1825, but it was broken off by 1826, ostensibly by her disapproving parents. She subsequently married a Mr. Shelton, whose prospects seemed, at least to her parents, more promising than those of Poe.

Their romance blossomed again, however, in the last years of Poe's life, when he went to Richmond after his wife Virginia's death.

The Elmira Shelton House, where Poe visited in 1848 and 1849, still stands at 2407 East Grace Street.

Elmira Shelton House, 2407 Grace Street, Richmond, Virginia [8 June 1967]

On 1 April 1825, Baltimore newspapers reported that a man would fly from the top of the newly-built 234 foot high shot tower at 801 East Fayette Street, to the old Lazaretto Lighthouse. These stories apparently originated from Edgar Allan Poe.

Crowds which gathered at the scene were not pleased to find that it was a joke. This incident is often deemed to be a hoax, as the first printed report of this event dates to a Poe biography published in the 1920s.

The Lazaretto Lighthouse may, however, have inspired the short story “The Lighthouse,” which Poe never finished.

Old Shot Tower, Fayette and Front Streets, Baltimore, Maryland [Top image--3 August 1959; Bottom two images--7 June 1959]

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