It may come as a surprise to some that the cottage where Poe wrote poems such as “Annabel Lee” and “The Bells” is in the Bronx. At Grand Concourse and East Kingsbridge Road in the bustling Fordham neighborhood, the environs today are vastly different from what Poe experienced while living there.
When Poe moved into the cottage in 1847 (with a rent of $100 a year), the Bronx was a rural area filled with rolling hills, woods, and farmland. Poe’s wife, Virginia Poe, had tuberculosis. By moving here, Poe had hoped to ensure she had plenty of fresh air and copious light, which were then believed to be cures for consumption. Virginia eventually succumbed to the disease and Poe moved to Baltimore shortly thereafter, which would become his final resting place.
Before it was purchased by the city of New York in 1913, the home was owned by a number of occupants (including a dentist who used the cottage as his office). It was moved across the street into Poe Park and opened as a museum the same year. The museum has undergone extensive renovations since that time, the most recent having been a half-million-dollar project completed in the early 2010s.
Built in 1812, the cottage has largely been restored to its original condition and even contains a few significant pieces of furniture: the bed where Virginia passed away and Poe’s rocking chair.
Know Before You Go
The cottage is accessible from B, D trains at Kingsbridge Road Station. It's open for limited public hours Thursday–Sunday.