Edenton might be a small town, but it is packed with important and interesting places to visit.
People are always asking us about what places they should visit when they stop by. Today I’ll tell you.
Here are the top five most essential places to visit when you come to Edenton (in no particular order):
Penelope Barker House
The Penelope Barker House is not only the site of the first recorded political action by women in the colonies. It is a museum to Edenton’s illustrious history, the place to buy your trolley ticket, an excellent stop for questions about Edenton, and the perfect place to relax in a rocking chair overlooking the Albemarle Sound on a beautiful day.
The Penelope Barker House is in many ways the center of Edenton’s historical tourism. It will add depth and context to everything else you see and visit while you are in town.
Roanoke River Lighthouse
This iconic lighthouse that overlooks Edenton Bay has a story as interesting and surprising as any building in town. It is the last remaining lighthouse of its kind in the country and remains one of the best-preserved structures of its kind anywhere.
The Roanoke River Lighthouse gives you an unbeatable view of the Albemarle Sound and Edenton Bay, and you’ll even be able to take a fascinating tour of the structure, still largely appointed as it was when it was still in service.
Just a few dozen yards up from the Barker House and Roanoak River Lighthouse, the Cupola House is one of the best-kept examples of early architecture in the country. The Cupola House is largely responsible for the historic preservation you see today. As a museum was gutting the residence taking historical treasures away from the community, residents stepped in to stop the loss of treasured 17th-century architecture and began the revival and revitalization of Edenton’s history that you see today.
But, the building isn’t the only treasure. The grounds are covered in the same beautiful gardens that would have adorned the property back in the early days of the Cupola House. At the Cupola house, you’ll see Colonial America as it really was.
Iredell House Homesite
James Iredell was the Attorney General of North Carolina and a member of the first US Supreme Court, handpicked by George Washington himself. He spent most of his life in Edenton.
The Iredell Homesite tells the twin story of a family that was influential and important both here and in the early history of the US, AND the story of slavery in the Antebellum south.
At the home site, you learn about the real lives of both the Iredell family and the many enslaved persons who helped build Edenton.
1767 Chowan County Courthouse
Easily one of the most important structures in the history of Edenton and maybe the country, the Chowan County Courthouse is the most intact Colonial courthouse in America.
Still used annually by the North Carolina Supreme Court, the court was constructed with the help of signers of the Declaration of Independence, and prominent members of the American Revolution heard cases here.
Today, it is not only on the National Registry of Historic Places. It hosts community events throughout the year.
Edenton is full of one-of-a-kind historical treasures. We have buildings, architecture, and things you won’t see anywhere else.
If you love history, Edenton is THE place to visit.