Get your tickets now for

Easels in the Garden!

Artists will be at work in 20 private and public gardens in Historic Edenton, North Carolina on Friday and Saturday April 20 and 21, 2018. Guests are invited to stroll through the gardens as musicians play and artists work in a variety of media. Painters, potters and sculptors will interpret the outdoor splendor found in the wide range of gardens open for the weekend event. Many of the artists are well known and visitors will be eagerly awaiting their new paintings and works as well as the thrill of discovering a new artist. These paintings will be available for sale at the grand finale, the fabulous garden party in the Cupola House gardens to which all ticket holders are guests. The two day event includes not only the garden tour but art activities for children and five floral arranging workshops at the Cupola House Gardens.
Held every two years, proceeds from this garden tour benefits the preservation and educational programing of the 1758 Cupola House. For 260 years, this beautiful house has stood on Broad Street overlooking the Albemarle Sound. The Cupola House is designated a National Historic Landmark and is maintained by volunteers who tend to the house and its gardens restored with heritage plantings that reflect the gardens of the past.
Edenton has been called “The South’s Prettiest Small Town” but it is BIG on gardens and on southern hospitality. Easels in the Gardens 2018 offers visitors a rare opportunity to enjoy 17 private gardens as well as four public gardens. Many of these gardens are tucked away, hidden from view. The garden gates will be open and visitors can talk to the garden owners, discover their secrets and envision the possibilities of their own gardens.
For those with historical interests, the opportunity to explore Edenton’s colonial past is right at hand as all but two of the gardens are in the Historic District. The tour will take visitors past the 1767 Georgian style brick courthouse which overlooks the waterfront Green once used to drill Revolutionary War troops. The famous ladies of Edenton who held the Edenton Tea Party in protest of King George III’s taxation of the Colonies are remembered with the Edenton Tea Pot. This symbol of their courage can be found in one of the tour garden, The Homestead, beside the Green. Notable patriots called Edenton home and many of their houses and restored gardens are on this tour in the heart of the Historic District.
On Friday and Saturday for lunchtime fare the St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Women will offer delicious box lunches across from the Cupola House Gardens. On Friday evening, visitors and locals can attend the free, family friendly street dance. They will Boogie on Broad with the Catalina Band and enjoy local restaurants and food trucks in Downtown Edenton. The weekend will close with the southern hospitality of the Saturday garden party at the Cupola House. The party will offer food, drink, music, and the opportunity to view and purchase the artwork produced during the tour’s two days.

Times:  1:00 to 5:00 PM Friday and Saturday, April 20 and 21, 2018. *Tickets may be used both days and include the workshops and the Saturday garden party.

Will call at the Cupola House Gardens, 408 South Broad Street, Edenton, April 20-21, 2018 , 11:00 PM through the afternoon.

For more information about “Easels in the Gardens” contact Clara Stage at cfmincey@gmail.com.

Check out WRAL’s Tar Hell Tarveler episode about Easels in the Garden here!


About The Commission

The Edenton Historical Commission is housed in the Penelope Barker Welcome Center, in the heart of Edenton, NC. Edenton is truly one of the South’s most beautiful towns and is located on the Albemarle Sound, in eastern North Carolina. Our mission is to preserve and educate our visitors on the history of our area, as well as help guide you on your visit. The staff and volunteers at the Penelope Barker Welcome Center look forward to your visit and hope to see you soon. This website serves to provide you with information that will make your visit to Edenton more enjoyable.


Great news!

If you missed the broadcast of UNC TV’s NC Weekend that featured Edenton, you have another chance to see it. The segment entitled ‘Collecting Carolina, Historic Edenton,’ can be found here.

Here are several helpful links:

For a segment on our annual Christmas Candlelight Tour, click here

Planning a weekend trip to Edenton? Start here!


Edenton is….


The little town that 300 years ago served as the Colonial Capitol of the newly defined territory of North Carolina invites you to help celebrate a rare anniversary in American history – 300 years of continuous existence.  To help navigate your trip, we have established a Museum Trail that provides continuous guidance around town. You will find carefully preserved, original buildings. Because Edenton is over 300 years old, our streets have seen all kinds of fashions and ways of life! For videos of what life in Edenton, NC might have been like throughout our history, click here. In addition, we have lots of historical photographs of the area! Check those out here.


Your first stop while visiting Edenton should be at the Penelope Barker House Welcome Center, home of the courageous Penelope Barker, the organizer of the first (1774) political action by women in western cultures.  Situated at the base of South Broad Street alongside Edenton Bay, the house serves as “Edenton’s Living Room”.  Or, take a Trolley tour and see the 1767 Chowan County Courthouse, the oldest functioning courthouse in America, the Cupola House and several fine examples of colonial architecture.  The Courthouse stands today where it was plotted to stand in 1712 and is still used, on occasion, by the NC Supreme Court. In Edenton, you will be seeing originals, not reproductions. Our quaint downtown has plenty of specialty shops and restaurants, owned by the friendliest folks around who would love to meet you!


Forbes.com included Edenton in their article “America’s Prettiest Towns”. Edenton is, indeed, a photographer’s playground.  From the scenic Edenton Bay and colonial architecture to the nearby swamps and miles of colorful crops, there are so many “aha” moments just waiting for you to capture!   Spend a few minutes on our pictures page, and you begin to get a feel for just how beautiful this area really is. Feel free to send us your best shots to share!

A Center of Scholarship

Edenton is blessed with a rich cultural history dating back well before the American Revolution. Edenton served the colony’s capitol and main commercial center during the first half of the 18th century. Craftsmen, some native born, some immigrants, some in bondage, created the elegant houses and furniture for which the town is now known. The Edenton Historical Commission has taken the lead in preserving and exploring this history. In addition to our local student engagement, we are one of only a few locations in the country that publish scholarly articles on Southern culture.  In our Decorative Arts section, you will find articles on regional southern architecture, furniture, and historic trades. From the Perquimans County cabinetmaker who searched for the best location to practice his craft, to the African American house joiner who lived between the worlds of slavery and freedom as he created striking houses based on a New England pattern book, we have a bit of everything! Delve in and enjoy the Edenton adventure, starting with our latest article!

What is Edenton to you? Let us know – we would love to hear from you!