History seeps from every nook and cranny of Edenton and Chowan County. Outstanding historic 18th century architecture includes some of the state’s oldest homes and churches; the 1767 courthouse, considered the most intact in America; a site along the Maritime Underground Railroad, and even an historic baseball field.
Click the links to learn more about our historic sites »
Most intact colonial courthouse in America. Joseph Hewes, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was one of the commissioners appointed to raise money for its construction. Prominent revolutionary patriots, Judges James Iredell and Samuel Johnston heard cases here.
The Courthouse is open Tuesday–Saturday from 10:00am–2:00pm — drop in anytime.
The Lighthouse is open daily from 10 to 4. Admission is $3.50 for adults, $1.75 for youth 3-12, and free for children 2 and under (must be accompanied by an adult).
To schedule a group tour or an event at the lighthouse, contact Historic Edenton State Historic Site by email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 252-482-2637
The Roanoke River Lighthouse sits in its permanent location overlooking Edenton Bay. The lighthouse was originally located on screw-pilings in the Albemarle Sound marking the entrance to the Roanoke River near Plymouth.
The lighthouse is believed to be the last surviving example in the United States of a squarer frame building built for a screw-pile base. The lighthouse was in commission from 1887 until 1941.
To learn more about the lighthouse, go to its website: edentonlighthouse.org
Click here to read the cover story in Lighthouse Digest about the relocation.
And when you visit, take time to see the other Albemarle region lighthouses. Here’s a handy brochure that describes all four.
Edenton’s Roanoke River Lighthouse Moved Offshore
WRAL’s Tar Heel Traveler series profiles the Roanoke River lighthouse move on May 1, 2012.
Roanoke River Lighthouse Restoration
Professionally produced by visitnc.com, this video shows early restoration work being done on the lighthouse when it first arrived in Edenton.
7 Dock Street
War on the Chowan River/Buffalo: how the river became a boundary between Federal and Confederate territories.
Edenton/Battle of the Albemarle Sound on Edenton Harbor — the three hour battle between the CSS Albemarle and a Union flotilla on May 5, 1864.
The Edenton Bell Battery, an artillery unit organized locally using guns cast from the bells of churches and municipal buildings.
Harriet Jacobs’ escape from slavery via the Maritime Underground Railroad and her Reconstruction relief work.
Built in 1758 for Frances Corbin, an agent for Lord Granville, one of the eight Lords Proprietors. The gardens were restored from 1769 Sauthier Map of Edenton. National Historic Landmark. Gardens open daily and House open daily on guided walking tour.
The Edenton Cotton Mill Historic District, consists of 57 mill houses (1899-1923), a brick office building, an impressive industrial building (1900), and the First Christian Church (1916).
Watch a video about the Mill Village.
Read an article about the renovation of the Mill.
The former Edenton Cotton Mill office building is now the site of the Edenton Cotton Mill Museum of History, open every Saturday and Sunday from 10-2.
An exploration of Edenton and its rich historic assets can be seen in a wonderful self-guided, mobile-friendly walking tour throughout the Historic District featuring 10 signs with outstanding graphics; photography and interpretation to keep you following the Trail
This newly created innovation is a collaborative effort between the Edenton Historical Commission; Historic Edenton State Historic Site and many local historians and photographers
Visit and learn more about other sites on the Edenton Museum Trail:
(1) Barker House
(4) 1767 Chowan County Courthouse (no QR code on pedestal sign)
(5) 1800/1827 James Iredell House (no QR code on pedestal sign)
(6) Kadesh Church
(10) 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse (no QR code on pedestal sign)
Restored historic 18th and 19th century homes and buildings. A short presentation on the history of Edenton, handicap accessible, exhibits, guided walking tours, and maps.
Historic Edenton State Historic Site Visitor Center open year round, Tuesday-Saturday 9am–5pm; fee for guided tours. Closed State Holidays.
The guided walking tours include interiors of the Iredell House, St. Paul’s Church, 1767 Chowan County Courthouse, Cupola House and 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse.
The 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse is open daily 10am–4pm for touring. On Sunday and Monday, Walking Tours are available from this site after 1pm.
Walking Tour Costs: Adults — $10; Children — $5 (ages 3–13)
Harriet Jacobs Walking Tours and Iredell House Only Tours upon request
Home of James Iredell, North Carolina Superior Court Judge and Attorney General during the American Revolution, and an Associate Justice on the first U.S. Supreme Court. Also the birthplace of James Iredell Jr., Governor of North Carolina.
Not open to the public. To see this site, visit the Historic Edenton State Historic Site Visitor Center.
Colonial Waterfront Park. This site is part of the Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program where African American watermen worked to identify sympathetic seamen and to arrange passage on ships for enslaved persons to a free state. Harriet Jacobs’ description of her escape by sea from Edenton in 1842 is one of only a few written accounts existing.
The second oldest church building in North Carolina, begun in 1736. The parish, organized under the first Vestry Act of 1701 holds the oldest charter in the state. Three colonial era governors are buried in the churchyard. National Register of Historic Places
Fugitive slave, writer and abolitionist. Copies of her book, Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, are available at the Historic Edenton State Historic Site Visitor Center along with a North Carolina Highway Historical Marker and a self Guided walking tour brochure.
The Penelope Barker House Welcome Center is a waterfront historic house offering information and maps, trolley tours of historic sites, exhibits, restrooms and a book and gift shop. Known as Edenton’s Living Room and a nice place to relax and enjoy the views of Edenton Bay.
Open year round 10am–5pm daily. Admission: free. Home to the Edenton Historical Commission.
Edenton Trolley Tour times: Tuesday–Saturday 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 1:30pm & 2:30pm
Sunday Trolley Tours — 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30pm (Summer season only)