Edenton has been making history for 300 years. Founding fathers and mothers were instrumental in establishing the principles and values upon which our nation was founded while surviving the Revolutionary and Civil Wars.
Today, visitors will find historic homes and three National Historic Landmarks preserving our heritage for future generations. The states oldest, still in use, Courthouse stands above the village green looking toward Edenton Bay, as it did when built in 1767. Recently awarded the distinction by Forbes.com as “one of America’s Prettiest Towns”, Edenton continues to show her age with pride.
Edenton served as the first Colonial Capital until 1743. Edenton boasts an active Downtown District surrounded by fine examples of Jacobean, Georgian, Federal, Greek revival, and Victorian homes allowing visitors to see the fabric of America’s architectural styles come alive. Guided walking and trolley tours are provided daily from the Barker House Welcome Center and Historic Edenton State Historic Site.
More important than buildings are the founding men and women who put Edenton on the map, as they built a state and a nation. Joseph Hewes, signer of the Declaration of Independence and godfather of today’s US Navy – served as Colonial Secretary of the Navy. Hugh Williamson, signer of the United States Constitution convinced a skeptical North Carolina to ratify the proposed constitution after first rejecting doing so until the Bill of Rights was included. Samuel Johnston, whose home, Hayes Plantation a private residence today, was North Carolina’s Governor 1787-1789, and was a US Senator in the first sessions of Congress. After the successful battle for independence, Johnston was the first man elected President of the Confederation. He refused the offer due to ill health. Johnston presided at the NC constitution ratification debates and helped Williamson secure its adoption; at the time Johnston was the Governor of NC.
Penelope Barker, organizer of the Edenton Tea Party, in 1774 proved herself to be one of the most courageous women of all time. The famous Boston Tea Party was staged by men dressed to disguise their identities, not Penelope and her Edenton Ladies; all 51 signed their names and sent their petition to King George saying, NO to his taxes. A century later, writer, activist, abolitionist and educator, Harriet Jacobs, authored the story of her life,
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl.
James Iredell was only 38 years old when George Washington chose him as a Justice in the first US Supreme Court. His home stands a few blocks from the 1767 Courthouse.
This Preserve America Community was named one of the National Trust’s Dozen Distinctive
Destinations because of this rich history combined with its cultural and natural highlights.
Fishing, Sailing, Cruising, Cycling, Paddling, and Hunting can all be found here with Open Bass Tournaments, Sailing Regattas, Cycling Routes, six (6) trails, part of the North Carolina Paddle Trails, weave through our river, sound and creeks giving paddlers an experience accompanied with wildlife and scenery that cannot be matched, along with a sense of well-being. A total of ten (10) camping platforms can be reached and the adventurous can book overnight lodging on either Holladay’s or John’s Islands for outdoor recreation enjoyment. pathsofchowan.org
Bed & Breakfast Inns, Fine-Dining, Boutique & Antique Shops, Arts Council with Rotating Exhibits, Art Galleries, Historic Homes, and Scenic Parks within the historic district of this charming town lend itself to rest and relaxation with that special someone that cannot be found just anywhere. This total package can also lead to a
little hand-holding along the waterfront breakwater on Edenton Bay as well as a perfect setting for weddings with backdrops that complete the whole picture. visitedenton.com/weddings/
Commemoration of the Sesquicentennial of American Civil War 2011-2015 has taken on a life of its own with tours regarding Harriet Jacobs’ escape from slavery via the Maritime Underground Railroad, The Edenton Bell Battery, an artillery unit organized locally using guns cast from the bells of churches and municipal buildings and Occupation of Edenton homes by Union forces such as the 1st New York Mounted Rifles – Edenton/Battle of the Albemarle Sound in Edenton Harbor are both part of the North Carolina Civil War Trail sharing their story. nccivilwar.com
Now settled over Edenton Bay, the 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse started life in 1903 as a warning signal at the mouth of the Roanoke River and there it stood for 52 years, a marine salvage moved it to Edenton in 1955 and placed it on land at Filbert’s Creek. This one-and-half story screw-pile structure has become a Lightkeeper’s interpretive site with daily touring. edentonlighthouse.org
Edenton Harbor Marina has 9 transient slips as well as tie up along the breakwater, maximum length 44’ for slips, 10’ draft and 18’ beam, restrooms, showers, electric, pumpout, fresh water and WiFi. Restaurants, Touring, Golf, Shopping, Laundry, Theater and Kayak Rentals are all within easy access. Mobile repair service is also available. As part of the Albemarle Loop, boaters enjoy a 2-night complimentary stay. townofedenton.com
There are many reasons to visit Edenton, its history and beauty is but a few; its people and charm
touch you and make you want to stay.
Chowan County Tourism Development Authority
Click Here To Open A Chart View Window, Zoomed To the Location of Edenton Harbor (City Docks)