As North Carolina’s second oldest town, Edenton was one of the chief political, cultural, and commercial centers of the fledging nation, boasting a rich history dating back to the 18th and 19th centuries. The state’s first colonial capital, it was established in the late 17th century and incorporated in 1722. Once the second largest port in North Carolina, 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.
Destination Downtown Edenton, Inc. (DDE) is an award-winning, non-profit downtown revitalization organization that utilizes The Main Street Approach to inspire place-making through building asset-based economic development strategies that achieve measurable results such as investment, business growth and jobs. DDE was founded in 2003 and continues to provide support for local businesses, building owners, and new investors in our thriving downtown commercial district.
As a Main Street America™ Accredited program, Destination Downtown Edenton is a recognized leading program among the national network of more than 1,200 neighborhoods and communities that share both a commitment to creating high-quality places and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. All Main Street America™ Accredited programs meet a set of National Accreditation Standards of Performance as outlined by Main Street America.
Edenton is a North Carolina Main Street Community, designated by the NC Department of Commerce and Main Street & Rural Planning Center. Destination Downtown Edenton is charged with administering the program at the local level and building a public-private partnership to spur economic development in partnership with the state agency.