Once upon a time, ladies and gentlemen enjoyed a slower, grander pace of life in Wilmington, NC. Families rested on wide porches and welcomed guests to their door under tall stately columns.
Life may be faster now, but a few of these elegant homes remain. Step back in time with a visit to one of Wilmington’s historic home museums: Bellamy House or Burgwin-Wright House.
503 Market Street
A gracious front porch lined with stately columns greets visitors to the Bellamy Mansion, a spectacular example of antebellum architecture on Market Street. Doctor and planter John Dillard Bellamy ordered the house built in the run-up to the Civil War, moving in with his wife, Eliza McIlhenny Harriss, and their nine children.
Bellamy House is now a museum of history and design arts. Visitors learn the story of the Bellamy family as well as stories from the slaves and free artisans who built this 10,000-square-foot mansion. Explore the Bellamy’s recreated gardens and the restored slave quarters. It’s an informative and lovely walk through history.
Guided and self-guided tours of Bellamy Mansion are given every day except Monday, and the space is also available for group tours, event space, corporate events, and public celebrations.
The museum is open for tours every hour on the hour (last tour at 4 p.m.) from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays. Self-guided audio tours and paper tours in English, French, German, and Spanish are available at other times.
For more information, call Bellamy Mansion Museum of History and Design Arts at (910) 251-3700, or email email@example.com.
224 Market Street
Within Wilmington’s large historic district, only a few homes remain from colonial days, and the Burgwin-Wright House is one of them. Its amazing Georgian architecture is on display to curious visitors, who can also learn about the Burgwins, the Wrights, and what life was like in 1770 when the house was built.
Even earlier than that, the Burgwin-Wright House site was home to a city jail, and vestiges still remain. The house is filled with antiques and rare objects that tell the story of what life was like in a Wilmington of long ago. And a huge enchanting garden includes fruit trees, a kitchen garden, a rose garden, terraces, medicinal herbs, and more. There’s even a kitchen house filled with the latest cooking technology of the day.
Guided tours of the Burgwin-Wright House are scheduled each hour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through
Saturdays (the last tour of the day is at 3 p.m.). Self-guided tours of the gardens are free; stop into the gift shop for a brochure. Group tours are available, and educational programs and community events are frequently scheduled. Burgwin-Wright House is also available to rent for your own special occasion.
Stop into the gift shop for books on local and Colonial history, arts and crafts, toys, locally crafted food items, post cards, and much more.
For more information about Burgwin-Wright House or to book a group tour, call (910) 762-0570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.