Edenton, North Carolina, is a
storybook place. The view across Edenton Bay and the Albemarle Sound from the
foot of Broad Street, the lovely waterfront parks, the tree-lined streets
flanked by fine eighteenth- and nineteenth-century homes, the magnificent 1767
Chowan County Courthouse with its green running to the water, together yield an
unsurpassed feeling of romance, charm, and warmth. (The Chowan County Courthouse
is a National Historic Landmark).
But, Edenton is more than its long, important history. It is a prosperous and
vibrant community that welcomes visitors to share in the beauty of the land and
the water, and in life today in a remarkable small Southern town.
Edenton has been called "The South's prettiest town." Established in the late
seventeenth century and incorporated in 1722, it is located on Edenton Bay at
the head of the Albemarle Sound, 90 miles southwest of Norfolk, Virginia. A town
of 5,000 people, Edenton retains an extensive historic district with a wonderful
assemblage of eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and early-twentieth-century buildings. A
guided walking tour of the historic district is offered several times daily
throughout the year from the Visitor Center.
During the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, Edenton was a
political, cultural, and commercial center in the colonies and in the fledgling
nation. One of its citizens signed the Declaration of Independence (a second
signer died in Edenton while fleeing his creditors), and another signed the
United States Constitution. Artisans in Edenton and the surrounding Chowan and
Roanoke River basins were leaders in building and cabinetmaking. During the
early eighteenth century, Edenton was the second largest port in the
Today, the record of accomplishment from earlier days can be seen in the
public and private buildings along the streets of this remarkable community, and
in the pride its residents take in their past and present.