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. Visit our Special Events calendar for daily programming and special event schedules. 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. Guided trolley and bus tours (bus not included) are also available. 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:
  • 1736 St. Paul's Episcopal Church
  • 1758 Cupola House
  • 1767 Chowan County Courthouse
  • 1800/1827 Iredell House
  • 1886 Roanoke River Lighthouse
  • 1892 Zeigler House - Historic Edenton Visitor Center

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

  • November 29 - January 6:
    Historic Holiday Tours

    Enjoy festive holiday tours of Historic Edenton and learn about traditions and Christmases past. Variety of tour options available Tuesday – Saturday allow you to pick and choose the holiday experience that works best for you. Visit the lonely Christmas of the lighthouse keeper while touring the Roanoke River Lighthouse along the edge of Edenton Bay, tour the Iredell and Cupola Houses and the historic 1767 Courthouse and learn how families spent the holidays in colonial and early 1800s Edenton, or bring the kids by the Visitor Center and make a historic Victorian ornament to help us decorate our tree. Call 252-482-2637 for more details and tour times and options. Admission ranges $2 – $9 depending on tour option.

  • December 12:
    Caroling in the 1767 Courthouse

    Friday, 6 - 7 pm
    Get in the festive spirit by joining us for an evening of community caroling and hear the traditional sounds of Christmas as they echo off of the walls of the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse, a National Historic Landmark, and one of the most important Colonial buildings still standing in the state. Light holiday refreshments will be served. Call 252-482-2637 for more details. 1767 Chowan County Courthouse is located at 117 E. King Street, Edenton, NC.

  • December 12 and 13:
    Holiday "Groaning Board"

    Friday and Saturday, 1 - 5 pm
    Join us for a special holiday tradition at the annual "Groaning Board" Christmas Tour at the James Iredell House, home to colonial leader and George Washington-appointee to the United States Supreme Court. It is a display of southern hospitality at its finest with the table so full that the boards groan! The afternoon will include festive decorations and music, holiday refreshments, and historic holiday tours inside the Iredell House. After your tour, step outside to 1827 Bandon Kitchen and see a historic chocolate making demonstration. Enjoy a tasting of a colonial hot chocolate drink that would have been popular to serve during the holiday season. Call 252-482-2637 for more details.

  • December 13:
    Yoga in the (1767) Courthouse

    Saturday, 10 - 11 am
    At this special monthly yoga class, taking place every 2nd Saturday, you can improve your flexibility and strength in a beautiful historic and unique setting! The class is designed for all levels - even beginners - and is led by several local Edenton yoga instructors. Traveling and don't have your yoga mat? Not a problem! There will be extra mats available on a first come, first serve basis. After you are refreshed and relaxed, improve your mind as well, and take a guided tour of the building and learn its rich history!

  • December 24 - 26
    Site Closed

    We will be closed Wednesday, December 24th through Friday, December 26th in observance of Christmas (state holiday). We will re-open to the public on Saturday, December 27th on our regular schedule.

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

Tuesday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Closed Sunday, Monday, and state holidays.


No admission fee for the Vistor Center. Fees for guided tour packages range from $1 to $9 per person. Childern 12 and under are free.

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