224 Market St., Wilmington
HOURS: Tues.–Sat. 10 a.m.–4 p.m.; last tour at 3 p.m.
COST: $10 adults, $4 children 5–12
The Burgwin Wright House was built in 1770 on the foundation of the town jail. John Burgwin, a local merchant and treasurer for the colony of Carolina, built the Georgian-style home, which was occupied by Lord Charles Cornwallis as his headquarters until his defeat and surrender at Yorktown, Virginia.
The home was a private residence until 1937, when it was purchased by the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of North Carolina and restored as the oldest museum house in southeastern North Carolina. The home is filled with period furnishings and historic artifacts, including original paintings and a “crazy quilt” that was used to teach girls to sew.
A freestanding outbuilding tucked behind the home houses the kitchen and craft room. Open-hearth cooking demonstrations are held in the colonial kitchen one weekend a month. The jail is located beneath the cellar and has been opened for viewing.
There are several gardens surrounding the house; each is on a different level and enclosed with low walls. Original architectural structures, including paths, steps, and gates, remain in the garden, which are planted with native varieties that were available when the house was originally built.