North Carolina July 21, 2022
There Are 5 Must-See Historic Landmarks In The Charming Town Of Edenton, North Carolina
As North Carolina’s second oldest town and its first colonial capital, Edenton has a long and rich history, and one that’s worth exploring. Forbes Magazine also once named Edenton one of America’s prettiest towns, and it’s not hard to see why. Edenton’s historic district features an array of architectural styles that go back as far as the 1700s, and the town was a major political and cultural center during the earliest days of the United States.
Just strolling Edenton’s streets and waterfront will give you glimpses of its long and storied past, but there are five historic sites you shouldn’t miss.
The Edenton State Historic Site Visitor Center (say that five times fast) is a great first stop when you arrive in Edenton, with maps and brochures available to enrich your Edenton experience. Here you can also learn more about the writer Harriet Jacobs, who was born in Edenton and escaped slavery via Edenton Harbor, which was part of the Maritime Underground Railroad. Harriet Jacobs wrote the autobiography "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl," and her (posthumously presented) North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame trophy is on display here.
Historic Edenton State Historic Site, 108 N Broad St, Edenton, NC 27932, USA
For lovely views of Edenton Bay, visit The Penelope Barker House Welcome Center, sometimes called “Edenton’s living room.” It’s also home to the Edenton Historic Commission and the Historic Edenton Trolley Tour. The house was named for Penelope Barker, one of 51 women who were part of the “Edenton Tea Party” protest in 1774 against British taxation. The gift shop located in the Penelope Barker House is also worth a stop, with home decor items and Edenton-specific souvenirs.
Penelope Barker House Welcome Center, 505 S Broad St, Edenton, NC 27932, USA
Founded in 1722, Edenton has many examples of well-preserved 18th century architecture. One of the best known is the Chowan County Courthouse, the most intact colonial courthouse in the United States. This Georgian-style courthouse was built in 1767, and played host to meetings between Edenton’s political leaders during the Revolutionary War.
Chowan County Courthouse, 101 S Broad St, Edenton, NC 27932, USA
The Cupola House was built even earlier, in 1758, and has stood watch over Edenton for more than two and a half centuries. Transforming from a home to a library and now to a museum, the house has survived through the years thanks to the dedication of The Cupola House Association. Take a tour of the museum, then stroll through the restored Colonial Revival Gardens and imagine stepping backward in time.
Cupola House Association, 408 S Broad St, Edenton, NC 27932, USA
Finally, you can’t miss the Roanoke River Lighthouse, now fully restored and originally built in 1886. Once serving as a guide for ships navigating into Roanoke River, today the lighthouse quietly watches over Edenton’s harbor and offers beautiful sunset views. Tours of the lighthouse are available for a small fee.
Roanoke River Lighthouse, 7 Dock St, Edenton, NC 27932, USA
Check out the Visit Edenton website to learn more about
Edenton’s historic sites and tours. And take a look at our guide if you’re looking for more beautiful towns to visit in North Carolina!
Have you ever visited Edenton? What was your favorite historic site?
Address: Edenton, NC 27932, USA Address: Cupola House Association, 408 S Broad St, Edenton, NC 27932, USA Address: Roanoke River Lighthouse, 7 Dock St, Edenton, NC 27932, USA Address: Penelope Barker House Welcome Center, 505 S Broad St, Edenton, NC 27932, USA Address: Historic Edenton State Historic Site, 108 N Broad St, Edenton, NC 27932, USA Address: Chowan County Courthouse, 101 S Broad St, Edenton, NC 27932, USA