The Raven Room: An October Must See Visit
Each October, fans of Edgar Allan Poe pay homage to the great poet by visiting the Raven Room, Poe’s old dorm room at UVA. Here at the Inn at Monticello, we’re always amazed and thrilled to see how much people still love the brilliant and troubled author.
The upkeep and dedication to Poe’s room is as much a story as the room itself.
The Raven Society, a merit-based society, was charged by then UVA President Edwin A. Alderman with the upkeep of dorm 13 West Range, Poe’s room. That was over 100 years ago.
It was in 1924 that Professor Edmund S. Campbell, the head of the School of Architecture, had Poe’s room refurnished so that it looked more like dorm rooms of 1826.
Then in the 1950’s, the room was once again renovated. An alum of UVA, A. Churchill Young, made the generous donation of Poe’s old bed, which was from the Richmond, VA Allan house.
The closets and mantel that had been added to the room in 1826 were removed. Now, Poe’s room looks much like it did during the author’s time at the University.
And Raven Society members continue the UVA pledge by keeping the wooden floors swept, antique furniture dusted, and fingerprints removed from the glass that allows visitors to see into the room.
The Raven Society
The Raven Society, which was founded at UVA in 1904, remains to this day, one of the oldest and most prestigious honor societies at university. It sponsors scholarships and fellowships that recognizes scholarly, academic excellence.
The Society uses Poe’s dorm room for annual midnight initiation ceremonies. Poe’s work is read and new members sign their names in a book of names with a quill pen. Members also take an oath of selfless service.
Visit the Raven Room
When you visit Poe’s room, you won’t be able to step into the room directly. There’s a glass door that allows you to see the room as it would have been furnished in the early 19th century.
Visitors can press a button to hear information about student life on the University campus during Poe’s time.
This is just one of the unusual activities you can enjoy when you visit Charlottesville. The Inn at Monticello can give you plenty other ideas for ways to spend a relaxing day. Just ask us!