Edenton, North Carolina — “The South’s Prettiest Small Town”

The first permanent settlement in North Carolina, Edenton is the “mothertown” of the state. Edenton at once became the focal point of civilization in the province, the capital of the Colony and the home of the Royal Governors.

Originally incorporated in 1715 as “The Towne on Queen Anne’s Creek,” and later as “Ye Towne on Mattercommack Creek” and, still later as “The Port of Roanoke,” the spot was named Edenton in 1722 in honor of Governor Charles Eden. All students of history are familiar with the Boston Tea Party. But how many have ever heard of the Edenton Tea Party? In 1774, over fifty of Edenton’s leading ladies (including the wife of a British tax agent) signed a pledge to cease use of East India Tea, thus showing that southern merchants were in accord with their Boston cousins in opposing British taxation. The Edenton Tea Party as it came to be known was one of many colonial-era events that helped position Edenton as one of the most important ports on the east coast.

Edenton was established in 1728 as the colonial capital of North Carolina, and it soon became the cultural and economic capital as well. Hundreds of ships made the town a regular port of call, offloading food, goods, and slaves and shipping the prolific agricultural products of the region to European ports. The result was a thriving plantation economy that brought life to northeastern North Carolina.

Today, visitors can revisit Edenton’s colonial past with tours through a beautiful historic district that some say surpass Williamsburg, Virginia because the homes and buildings of Edenton are not reconstructed, but are the restored originals. Over 25 homes and public buildings comprise the North Carolina State Historic Site, and many special events and seasonal tours bring sparkle to the town. The waterfront is a favorite spot for pleasure boaters, and land travelers will find several quiet bed and breakfasts to lure them off the beaten path. The surrounding countryside boasts many plantations that once provided the economic backbone of the area.

The Town of Edenton: www.Edenton.com
Chowan County: www.ChowanCounty-NC.gov