Elizabeth City Historic
The Elizabeth City Historic Neighborhood Association advocates the preservation of the historical and architectural heritage of Elizabeth City and Pasquotank County through education, fundraising, and restoration projects.
In 1985 a group of like-minded homeowners in the Main Street Historic District of Elizabeth City organized the West Main Street Historic Association as a direct result of another homeowner wanting to remove his house from the locally designated historic district. With interest spreading throughout town, the organization quickly expanded to include all six historic districts of Elizabeth City. In 1986 the West Main Street Historic Association became the Elizabeth City Historic Neighborhood Association (ECHNA). Although the preservation efforts have focused on the historic districts, ECHNA membership is open to all.
ECHNA’s early years were spent raising funds through membership, yard sales, and home tours. Funds were used to help save the Pendleton House and the Jackson-Jennings House, as well as contributing toward the establishment of Moth Boat Park, the Episcopal Cemetery restoration, the Antioch Presbyterian Church renovation and many other causes. ECHNA played a major role in saving the former Chesson’s Department Store building, now home to The Center which was completed in 2002. It was purchased from ECHNA and restored by Arts of the Albemarle. Most tragically, one of ECHNA’s salvage projects, the intended preservation of the historic Haycock-Spellman home, ended in a blaze set by an arsonist.
ECHNA has made contributions to the following historic preservation projects:
- Pendleton House Restoration
- On the Shores of the Pasquotank Book
- Jackson-Jennings House Restoration
- Moth Boat Memorial Park Establishment
- Antioch Presbytarian Church Renovation
- Episcopal Cemetary Restoration
- Reverend Forbes Marker at the Waterfront
- Main Street Lighting Project
- Chesson Department Store Restoration
ECHNA is now involved with projects to save historic buildings and maintain the integrity of historic homes and buildings. The most recent project is a house on Cedar Street that was donated to ECHNA in January of 2015. The Cedar Street house is used as a working classroom with classes offered about historic home restoration.
The annual GHOST Walk began in 1996, and remains ECHNA’s main fundraiser. The GHOST Walk invites locals and out-of-towners to visit historic homes in the area and meet local ghosts who teach guests about life in Elizabeth City during other eras.
ECHNA also runs an architectural salvage store and actively spearheads efforts to salvage architectural items from buildings that cannot be preserved.