Westminster Hall and Burying Ground, Baltimore

Westminster Hall and Burying Ground, Baltimore

Westminster Hall and Burying Ground in Baltimore is a historic cemetery and former church with significant ties to the city's early history. The graveyard was established in 1787 by the First Presbyterian Church of Baltimore, and over the next 60 years, it became the final resting place for many influential merchants, politicians, statesmen, and veterans of the American Revolutionary War and War of 1812.

However, the most famous resident of Westminster Hall and Burying Ground is American author Edgar Allan Poe, who is buried here in two graves. Poe's original burial spot, towards the back of Westminster Hall, is marked by a headstone with an engraved raven, and it is also the final resting place of his grandfather General David Poe Sr. and his brother Henry Leonard Poe. In 1875, a local school teacher started a "Pennies for Poe" campaign to raise money for a more appropriate monument, resulting in the large marble monument located at the front of the cemetery facing Fayette St.

Poe's wife Virginia died in the Bronx in 1847 and was interred in a vault. In 1885, her remains were moved to the Poe Monument and were reburied in a small bronze box to the left of the monument. Westminster Hall is the location of the Westminster Preservation Trust annual Poe birthday celebration every January, often featuring theatrical presentations and an apple cider toast.

Westminster Hall and Burying Ground is a national historic district, and its significant ties to Baltimore's early history make it an important site for both locals and tourists. While the tradition of the Poe Toaster, an unidentified man who made an annual tribute to Poe on his birthday, seems to have ended in 2009, the cemetery remains a popular destination for those interested in the life and works of one of America's most celebrated authors.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Baltimore. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Westminster Hall and Burying Ground on Map

Sight Name: Westminster Hall and Burying Ground
Sight Location: Baltimore, USA (See walking tours in Baltimore)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark

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