Best Literary Landmarks In DC

September 24, 2012 6:00 AM

(credit: Courtesy of the National Park Service, Frederick Douglass National Historic Site)

frederickdouglass Best Literary Landmarks In DC

(credit: Courtesy of the National Park Service, Frederick Douglass National Historic Site)

It’s no surprise literary landmarks abound in D.C., a city that attracts writers and great thinkers from all genres and countries. The D.C. area’s inspiring atmosphere is often the focus of many literary works. This fall, relive events from your favorite novel, or celebrate a beloved author with a visit to the area’s best literary landmarks.

The Home of Frederick Douglass
Cedar Hill

1900 Anacostia Drive Southeast
Washington, DC 20020
(202) 426-5961

Price: $1.50

Cedar Hill was the Anacostia home of abolitionist and writer Frederick Douglass. Douglass was the author of several autobiographies including his 1845 work entitled “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” and “Life and Times of Frederick Douglass” published in 1881. Cedar Hill is furnished with Douglass’ belongings and other historic artifacts. The house is open to the public every day of the week except Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Burial Place of F. Scott Fitzgerald And His Wife Zelda
St. Mary’s Catholic Church

520 Veirs Mill Road
Rockville, MD 20852
(301) 424-5550

This historic site houses the graves of classic American writer F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. Fitzgerald is perhaps best known for his novel, “The Great Gatsby,” a story that takes place during the roaring ’20s. Fitzgerald was originally buried at Rockville Cemetery. However, The Women’s Club of Rockville convinced Fitzgerald’s daughter, Frances, to reinter her father and mother at St. Mary’s so as to join other deceased members of the Fitzgerald family.

Related: Best Book Clubs To Join In D.C.

Old Stone House: Edgar Allan Poe Museum
Old Stone House
1914-16 E. Main St.
Richmond, Virginia 23223
(804) 648-5523

Built in 1750, the Old Stone House is the oldest original building in Richmond and is listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. Poe never lived in the house, however it functions as a museum to commemorate the late author’s time spent living in Richmond. The museum houses the world’s largest collection of Poe’s original manuscripts, letters, personal belongings and other memorabilia. It was established in 1922.

Childhood Home of James Cain
Paca-Carroll House

2418 Linden Ave.
Baltimore, Maryland 21217

Located on the campus of St. John’s College, Paca-Carroll House is the childhood home of the late crime-fiction author James Cain and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Cain’s father taught at St. John’s College, and Paca-Carroll House served as faculty housing. Cain is best known for his crime fiction novels. His most notable works include “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” “Double Indemnity” and “Mildred Pierce,” all of which were adapted into major motion pictures.

The Exorcist House

3600 Prospect St.
Georgetown, Washington DC 20057

This classically creepy house was featured in the 1973 movie adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s supernatural novel, “The Exorcist.” The novel and film seared the Georgetown mansion into the minds of readers and viewers around the world. Decades later, the house remains a well-known landmark in D.C. Written in 1971, “The Exorcist” is still Blatty’s most recognized novel. However his more recent works include the novels “Elsewhere” (2009), “Dimiter” (2010) and “Crazy” (2010).

Related: Best Movies Set In D.C.

Kevin Porter is a freelance writer covering all things D.C. His work can be found on