Burgwin Wright House and Gardens
The Burgwin-Wright House, located in the Historic Wilmington District at 224 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401-4444, was originally built in 1770 by a wealthy merchant named John Burgwin as his home and business. Located on top of the first city jail, it is known for its unique architecture with an excellent view from the highest point of Wilmington. The house also has historical significance because many Loyalists (Tories) met there during colonial times to discuss politics among one another while they were being persecuted for their beliefs against American independence.
Burgwin was forced away from his home in Wilmington, NC, after the war. Lord Cornwallis occupied Burgwins’ house during a three-week period and used it to entertain officers due to its size and prestige at one point. The British had invaded this area as well, so that too may have influenced things for him being kicked out of the place he owned there.
In 1930, the house was in disrepair, and the property was put up for sale. However, Standard Oil immediately took an interest in a lot of gas stations. The community and NSCDA-NC campaigned for seven years before finally purchasing it to save one of the oldest structures in Wilmington by 1937. Over time, restoration efforts were made on this historic site which opened its doors as a museum to the public in 1951 where all fourth-grade students from New Hanover County have been able to participate since 1952 with free annual field trip supplementing their study of American history ever since.
Visitors may take a guided tour of the home on Mondays through Saturdays. Free, self-guided tours are also available in the gardens, which can be rented out for private events like weddings. The former city jail houses meeting spaces and gift shops as well now along with an exhibition hall area that visitors will enjoy browsing around in too.
The second floor of the Kitchen House is home to an archive that contains a vast collection of books, documents, scrapbooks, and photographs detailing the history of Historic Houses.
The Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens in Wilmington, North Carolina, offers a rare glimpse into the past. Visitors can experience what life was like during pre-revolutionary times from within this Georgian mansion that boasts 18th-century furnishings across its seven rooms. There’s also an acre garden filled with pomegranate trees, figs, kitchen gardens for growing vegetables as well as roses, among many more plants to explore.
The former jailhouse has cellars and outdoor cells, as well as a large kitchen with cooking utensils from the period. Guided tours share stories of inmates who lived here when it was still an active prison, along with visitors and community members who helped to save this landmark building from demolition.