Edgar Allan Poe, his wife, Virginia Clemm Poe, and his mother-in-law, Maria Poe Clemm, lived in this house from 1843 to 1844. It is the only surviving house of several in Philadelphia in which the Poes lived. Note the difference between this drawing and what you see before you. This illustration shows the house before the front addition was built in 1848.
Poe thrived as an author during his six years in Philadelphia. He honed his skills as a poet, critic, and editor, wrote the first detective stories, and created enduring tales of horror. The Black Cat and The Gold-Bug were actually published during the time he lived in this house. Even though he saw some success as a writer, his personal life was tormented by the steady decline of his wife's health due to tuberculosis. Watching her sink towards certain death, Poe wrote to a friend saying how he feared he was insane "with long intervals of horrible sanity." A stabilizing force was Maria Clemm, affectionately called "Muddy," who cared for both her ailing daughter and her melancholy son-in-law.