During the mid-1700s, Edenton was as a major port in the American colonies. The Lord Proprietors requested that a grand house be designed for governmental business, including tax collection. In 1758 Francis Corbin constructed the Cupola House for the last of the Proprietors, Robert Carteret, Earl of Granville. At the beginning of the American Revolution, Dr. Samuel Dickinson purchased the house (his wife signed the Edenton Tea Party resolution).
The Dickinson family occupied the house until 1918, when a group of citizens formed The Cupola House Library and Museum, now known as the Cupola House Association (CHA), and bought the dilapidated house to preserve its unusual architecture. The Cupola House Library and Museum started purchasing land surrounding the house as early as 1921 and finished purchasing land in 1967 (the current property is as it was in 1967.) In 1971, the Cupola House was classified as a Registered National Historic Landmark and in 1973 CHLM changed its name to CHA and received federal approval to receive donations.
One of the oldest private preservation efforts in North Carolina, the CHA has maintained the Cupola House for all to enjoy and is a prime example of concerned citizens finding solutions to solve historical preservation problems.
The Cupola House Association, http://www.cupolahouse.org/ (accessed February 10, 2007).
By Troy L. Kickler, North Carolina History Project
See Also:Related Categories: Entrepreneurship
Frontal view of the restored house. Image courtesy of the Cupola House Association, Edenton, NC (www.cupolahouse.org).
The Cupola House as it appeared in 1918, prior to the restoration efforts of the Cupola House Association. Image courtesy of the Cupola House Association, Edenton, NC (www.cupolahouse.org).