Historic Edenton

Colonial Period – A National Historic Landmark

Featuring 18th and 19th century history, North Carolina's second oldest town Edenton was one of the fledgling nation's chief political, cultural, and commercial centers. The state's first colonial capital, it was established in the late 17th century and incorporated in 1722. Once its second largest port, Edenton provided slaves with a means of escape via the Maritime Underground Railroad before Emancipation. Today it features an extensive historic district with architectural styles spanning 250 years, such as the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse National Historic Landmark. Read the complete overview

Programs, Group Activities

Special events are conducted throughout the year. Groups of ten or more please contact us for reservations and to discuss all the group tour options available for adult, children, and school groups. Group tour options include: private tours of our regularly scheduled buildings, tours with hands-on historic activities and crafts, and Harriet Jacobs Walking Tours. If your group would like a tour about a topic of special interest, or has special requirements, be sure to let us know when you contact us to schedule your tour.

Guided Tours

We offer a variety of tours of Edenton's historic treasures on a daily basis. These tours include:
  • 1758 Cupola House
  • 1767 Chowan County Courthouse
  • 1800/1827 Iredell House
  • 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse

Other Resources

What's New

  • 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse
    is now open for tours!

  • Looking for a memorable venue for your wedding or event? Select locations at Historic Edenton are available for that special occasion. Email Edenton@ncdcr.gov or call 252-482-2637 to discuss your needs.

Upcoming Events

  • August 18:
    Celebrating Blackbeard?

    Saturday, 10 am
    The Charlotte Observer published a story questioning why North Carolina would celebrate a murdering scoundrel like Blackbeard? It's a point well taken, and yet, most people are fascinated by North Carolina's most notorious pirate. Fortunately, archaeology gives us a legitimate opportunity to satisfy our guilty pleasure!
    Join us for an engaging lecture to help us celebrate the arrival of the Queen Anne's Revenge exhibit! Our lecturer is Dr. Charles Ewen from East Carolina University who will be speaking on the topic: "Celebrating Blackbeard: But Should We?" Located at the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse. This special event is free, and open to the public.

  • August 21:
    Remembering James Wilson

    Tuesday, 6 pm
    August 21st is the 220th anniversary of the death of Edenton's James Wilson. Wilson was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and a signatory of the United States Declaration of Independence. In 1789, Wilson became one of the first Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States.
    Wilson's last and final years were marked by financial failure and imprisonment, before fleeing to North Carolina where he visited his friend James Iredell.
    Join us for a short lecture given by our Research Historian, Charles Boyette, on Tuesday at 6 pm. Light refreshments will be provided. Located at the Historic Edenton Visitor's Center at 108 N. Broad Street, this special event is free, and open to the public.

  • Stay tuned for more upcoming events . . .

View NC DNCR Upcoming Events Calendar

Historic Edenton Information

Contact Us

Historic Edenton
108 N. Broad St.
Edenton, N.C. 27932
Phone: (252) 482-2637
Email: edenton@ncdcr.gov

Hours of Operation

Historic Edenton Visitor Center
Tuesday-Saturday 9 am to 5 pm
(Orientation video and exhibits)

Guided Tours

Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm

1767 Chowan County Courthouse
$2.50 per person
1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse
$2.50 per person
The James Iredell House
$2.50 per person
All three above for $5 per person;
Children's and group rates are available.

Harriet Jacobs or Themed Tours
By reservation only, $5 per person

Closed Sunday, Monday, and state holidays.


No admission fee for the Vistor Center. Fees apply to guided tour packages, in addition to specific special events.

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