Historic Edenton Archaeological Investigation Searching for First Courthouse Starts July 28, 2014

EDENTON, NC July 21, 2014 – Even in a town’s earliest days, there is a need for rules and justice. An archaeological investigation at the 1767 Chowan Courthouse Green July 28 to 31 will search for the town’s first courthouse, built in 1718.

Historic Edenton, NC

“We know there was a courthouse,” says Assistant State Archaeologist John Mintz. “We will try to determine the exact location.”

Mintz will work with Shawn Patch from New South and Associates, to investigate the site. Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) will be used to determine the best place to undertake the archaeological excavation and how deep to explore. The GPR readings will determine where the work is done. After completing the excavation the Courthouse Green will be carefully restored to its original beauty. A generous donation from Piedmont Natural Gas to Chowan County makes this investigation possible.

“Documents tell us that the 1718 courthouse was a wooden frame building, roofed with shingles and plastered inside, built at a cost of £287,” Site Manager Karen Ipock explains. She says there is a description of the building from visiting Virginia aristocrat William Byrd. “After a visit to Edenton in 1728, Byrd observed, ‘Justice herself is but indifferently Lodged, the courthouse having much the air of a Common Tobacco-House.'”

Work was done on the original courthouse into the 1750s, so it probably stood until the new courthouse was constructed and opened in 1767. Additional information will benefit the site, the Town of Edenton and Chowan County.

“It would be nice to know more about how the original building functioned, the exact site and size, and about the foundation,” Ipock continues. “We know the Courthouse Green has always been a center of activity where the militia drilled, markets were set up on court days, and town gatherings were held, so we hope for evidence of these activities as well.”

For more information, please contact Site Manager Karen Ipock at (252) 482-2637. Historic Edenton is within the Division of State Historic Sites in the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources.

About the N.C. Department of Cultural Resources 
The N.C. Department of Cultural Resources (NCDCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s cultural resources to build the social, cultural and economic future of North Carolina. Led by Secretary Susan Kluttz, NCDCR’s mission is to enrich lives and communities by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history and libraries in North Carolina that will spark creativity, stimulate learning, preserve the state’s history and promote the creative economy. NCDCR was the first state organization in the nation to include all agencies for arts and culture under one umbrella. 
 
Through arts efforts led by the N.C. Arts Council, the N.C. Symphony and the N.C. Museum of Art, NCDCR offers the opportunity for enriching arts education for young and old alike and spurring the economic stimulus engine for our state’s communities. NCDCR’s Divisions of Archives and Records, Historical Resources, State Historic Sites and State History Museums preserve, document and interpret North Carolina’s rich cultural heritage to offer experiences of learning and reflection. NCDCR’s State Library of North Carolina is the principal library of state government and builds the capacity of all libraries in our state to develop and to offer access to educational resources through traditional and online collections including genealogy and resources for people who are blind and have physical disabilities.  
 
NCDCR annually serves more than 19 million people through its 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, the nation’s first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the N.C. Arts Council and the State Archives. NCDCR champions our state’s creative industry that accounts for more than 300,000 jobs and generates nearly $18.5 billion in revenues. For more information, please call (919) 807-7300 or visit www.ncdcr.gov.
Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson

About the Author:

Michael "Beach Mick" Hudson is the founder and Editor of Beach Carolina Magazine. Living along the coast of North Carolina, Mike has a passion for the beach and loves to bring news and events of the Carolinas to others around the world.

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