For anyone not aware of Edgar Allan Poe’s connection with South Carolina, reminders of his presence on Sullivan’s Island abound all over the small, barrier island town. There are Poe and Goldbug Avenues, a Raven Drive and a library and even a tavern with the author’s namesake within the 29482 zip code.
On November 18, 1827, Poe came to the Charleston, SC, area as a US Army private stationed at Fort Moultrie. Poe was not exactly a stranger to Charleston; he had a connection to the area — his actress mother had performed on stage in the city of Charleston several times before her death in 1811.
Poe dedicated his 1829 Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque to Colonel William Drayton, who he met while stationed at Fort Moultrie. And the setting for Poe’s 1843 short story “The Gold Bug” is none other than Sullivan’s Island.
Fort Moultrie’s long history dates to before 1776. It was rebuilt in 1798, again in 1809 and modernized in the 1870s. Today, the fort is operated by the National Park Service and has been restored to reflect its different periods throughout history. It includes a visitors’ center and museum with exhibits and is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. each day except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Days.
And just in time for the haunting month, Fort Moultrie on Sullivan’s Island will be hosting Edgar Allan Poe: Back from the Grave on October 15, 2011. A literary haunted house of sorts, Poe Back from the Grave will welcome guests to roam the creepy passageways of Fort Moultrie as they experience Poe’s characters through vignettes, live music and special effects, with the evening culminating in the author’s “funeral” and a dessert reception.
This rain-or-shine arts event is not appropriate for children under age 12. Guests will be admitted beginning at 7:15 p.m., and ticket prices range from $30 to $65 per person. For Poe enthusiasts with younger children, a FREE family-friendly Sullivan’s Island event will take place on Friday, October 14, 2011, at the Fort Moultrie auditorium. Starting at 7:00 p.m., guests will be admitted free of charge to watch The Gold Bug movie.
For more information: creativespark.org.