A longtime tribute to Edgar Allan Poe may have come to an end with the absence of the “Poe Toaster,” who for more than half a century has marked the poet’s birthday by laying roses and a bottle of cognac at his original grave site.
This is the first time since Jan. 19, 1949 that the person, whose identity is unknown, failed to arrive, said Jeff Jerome, curator of the Edgar Allan Poe House.
“I was very annoyed,” he said. “I’ve been doing this since 1977, and there was no indication he wasn’t going to show up,” Jerome said.
The curator said the toaster usually arrives between midnight and 5:30 a.m. He said he arrived at Westminster Hall at 10:30 p.m., because one year the toaster left his offerings at 11:30 p.m.
He sometimes kneels at the tombstone or puts his hands on it, Jerome said. “There’s no elaborate ceremony — it’s very short and touching,” he said.