Tucked away on a corner of Broad Street near the waterfront, you’ll find one of Edenton’s colonial treasures – The 1758 Cupola House and Gardens.
This beautifully restored, historic landmark was designed by John Hawks and built by Frances Corbin, a land agent for the Earl of Granville.
After Corbin’s death in 1777, the house continued to be used as a private residence for the Dickinson family who resided there for over 140 years.
Eventually, most of the gardens and land were sold, and the house fell into disrepair until the early 1900’s when a group of dedicated citizens formed The Cupola House Association and rallied to save and restore what remained of this important piece of Edenton’s history.
Since that time, the house has been used as Edenton’s public library, a tea room, and a museum.
When you visit Edenton today, you’ll find the house and gardens have become a central place for the community to gather and celebrate throughout the year.
In March, you can hear the delightful sounds of Irish music as the gardens are turned into an Irish Beer Garden where people enjoy drinks and pub food to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.
In May, the gardens are transformed as a beautiful backdrop for Easels in the Gardens, a biennial two-day event that showcases plein-air artists and culminates in an elegant Garden Party.
In October, a Colonial Market is set up in the gardens. You’ll find unique colonial-inspired wares such as authentic, hand crafted pewter pieces from Old North Pewter, a local Edenton family business. Check out their Instagram! During the market, you can sample colonial foods, and children can participate in colonial hat-making, games, and crafts.
In December, the gardens become a magical setting for Edenton’s annual Community Christmas Tree Project where local organizations display thematically decorated Christmas trees that fill the gardens with twinkling lights. Visitors to the Cupola House are treated to wassail, cookies, and carolers during Edenton’s Christmas Candlelight Tour.
Even if you’re not able to participate in one of these special celebrations, you can visit the Cupola House and schedule a tour with the Historic Edenton State Historic Site. The gardens are open daily to the public to enjoy free of charge.
So, the next time you’re in Edenton, we invite you to visit this historic treasure, wander through its peaceful gardens, and rest in the shade of an arbor. We can’t wait to see you soon!