They might not have been called tourist, but whether they were refugees from Roanoke Island (John White’s colonists), entrepreneurs from London or adventurers from the West Indies, they started coming more than 300 years ago to what is now called Edenton. They came in search of opportunity and freedom and they are still finding it.
It is amazing. A 300 year old historic town with homes just as old and public buildings, still in use, that go back to the founding of the nation.
~ Frank C.
That little “Town on Queen Anne’s Creek”, as it was called back then, now hosts the oldest house (1718) in North Carolina and the oldest in-use Courthouse in America (1767) ; but most importantly, it was the “intellectual capital” of North Carolina’s fight for American Independence. Little ole Edenton produced signers of the Declaration of Independence, the US Constitution, the godfather of the US Navy, the mother of woman’s political liberation, one of President George Washington’s first appointees to the new US Supreme Court, not to mention a handful of US. Senators, Governors and intellectual leaders. For more detail, visit our History page.
Today, Edenton remains a small waterfront town where everyone is welcome and engaged in the community. It is home to high tech boat building, peanut processing (for professional baseball, Walmart, Costco and others), and a great little airport capable of handling any size private jet. It is also a North Carolina Certified Retirement Community, one of only 18 such designated places in the state.
The North Carolina General Assembly established the N.C. Certified Retirement Community Program (S.B. 1627) as a vehicle to designate communities that offer unprecedented, quality of living that is sought by the mature community. To gain certification, a local government must submit an application for consideration. Initial evaluation of the community and technical assistance is provided by Visit North Carolina staff.
Edenton was one of the first towns in North Carolina to be certified. To learn more about the criteria Edenton meets and exceeds, review the state’s criteria.
For a neat summary of what folks today find appealing about Edenton, see this UNC-TV report.
If you are looking for miniature golf courses (we have nothing against them) or gaudy boardwalks (we even like them on occasion) you will not find them in Edenton. Come visit Edenton for a more sophisticated experience. Learn while staying in what Forbes.com called “one of America’s prettiest towns.”