Elizabeth City Historic
In 1985, interested homeowners in the Main Street area 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. The neighborhood group saw a “domino effect” on the district as a whole. From that one action, the organization has grown into a community association. In 1986, the West Main Street Historic Association became the Elizabeth City Historic Neighborhood Association (ECHNA) since it served not only one district, but also all six historic districts within Elizabeth City. 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, home tours, etc. 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 is now involved with projects to save historic buildings and maintain the integrity of historic homes and buildings. The annual GHOST Walk, begun in 1996, invites locals and out-of-towners to visit area historic homes and meet ghosts connected with our history. ECHNA played a major role in saving the former Chesson’s Department Store building, now home to The Center, having been purchased from ECHNA and restored by Arts of the Albemarle. Most tragically, one of ECHNA’s salvage projects, the intended preservation of thehistoric Haycock-Spellman home, ended in a blaze set by an arsonist.
ECHNA also runs an architectural salvage store and actively spearheads efforts to salvage architectural items from buildings that cannot be preserved. In 2004 ECHNA purchased a commercially designated house located at 504 Hughes Boulevard as the new site for the store front operations. Members made repairs and cosmetic restoration of the house in the summer of 2004. The Salvage Store is open by appointment by calling any of the following numbers: Mickey 252-335-2484, Rick 252-340-1106, or Jean 252-333-7202. In 2005, ECHNA put its salvage team to work in preserving and recycling architectural pieces of three historic homes demolished to make way for the new library and municipal building.