Westminster Cemetery - Baltimore, MD
Arriving later than we hoped, we pulled up to Westminster (Hall) Cemetery Sunday night. Spooky, eh?
When Poe was originally buried in 1849, he was placed in an unmarked grave in the Poe family plot at the Westminster Burying Grounds (now known as Westminster Hall).By 1865, a movement had begun, under the leadership of Miss Sara Sigourney Rice, to provide for a monument to Baltimore's neglected poet. Through a combination of pennies accumulated by students, gifts from friends and a variety of benefits, half of the necessary amount was raised by 1871. The remainder was donated by Mr. George W. Childs of Philadelphia in 1874. (While visiting the grave, it is not uncommon to find pennies left in tribute to Miss Rice's efforts.)The remains of Poe and Maria Clemm, his aunt and mother-in-law, were exhumed from the rear of the burying grounds and moved to the sight of the new monument. The remains of Virginia Poe, his child bride and first-cousin, buried in 1847 in New York, were brought to Baltimore and added to those of Poe and Maria in 1885.
Each January 19th, whether the midnight be dreary or not, a mysterious stranger, clad in black cape and white scarf, appears at Westminster Hall and places three red roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac at Poe’s memorial. The man of mystery has been coming every year since 1949, the 100th anniversary of Poe's mysterious death. It is believed that there have been two mystery strangers over the years, perhaps a son carrying on his father's tradition.
Heading home on our final day, we detoured away from our planned Philadelphia trip and started heading towards Detroit. Not far from DC we pulled off the interstate for a wonderful cache involving a viewfinder and Civil War images. It just happened to be in Sharpsburg, MD.