Discover the Elizabeth City, NC Historic Walking Tour

Take a walk back in time exploring the various treasures of the region.

On Friday, May 20, 2011 - 10:36
Elizabeth City

History buffs will find lots of historic treasures to explore in Elizabeth City -- so many, in fact, that they might need a guidebook.

That's where the “Elizabeth City Historic Walking Tour” guide comes in.

Published by the Elizabeth City Historic Neighborhood Association, the booklet focuses on sites along the historic Main Street commercial district, listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

“The Main Street district has so many lovely, historic buildings—and is fun for people to walk,” said Association President Jean Baker. “We invite visitors to make a day of it, beginning their tour anywhere they choose and stopping along the way to sightsee, shop, dine and enjoy our ‘Harbor of Hospitality.’”

The guide, with corresponding map, photos and site descriptions, features 66 parks, monuments, buildings and homes, covering approximately 20 blocks and including such sites as:

  • The Reverend Forbes Monument, where the rector of Christ Episcopal Church saved Elizabeth City’s buildings from damage by “surrendering” the city to the Union Navy in 1862.


  • The Lowry Chesson Building, built in 1897 and home to the Bee Hive Department store and later Chesson’s Department Store and “Academy of Music,” the city’s first opera house. Today it is home to The Center, headquarters of Arts of the Albemarle.


  • Arlington Hotel Site, which provided accommodations to Wilbur and Orville Wright in 1900 on their first trip to North Carolina.


  • The Charles O. Robinson House, constructed in 1914 as a wedding present for Ivy Blades, from her father, when she married Charles O. Robinson. Still a private home, it is one of the state’s finest examples of Southern Colonial, or Neoclassical style architecture.


The Elizabeth City Walking Tour guide is free at the Elizabeth City Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, Elizabeth City Chamber of Commerce, The Center at Arts of the Albemarle, Museum of the Albemarle, the public library and the information kiosk at Mariners’ Wharf Park.

Find more on local history in Elizabeth City, NC.