History of the Inn
Located in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, this impressively large 2.5-story brick Georgian Revival style residence recalls the popularity of the Georgian architecture of the Tidewater region of Virginia. It has a slate gable roof pierced by a trio of dormers containing round-arched windows and invigorated with modillion and dentil cornice with returns. A 5-bay facade focuses on a stylish semi-circular central porch with Doric columns that shelters a well-executed, leaded-glass entrance with elliptical fanlight. Above, on second story, is a Palladian window, a diminutive version of which is in the east gable. Brick soldier course lintels with keystones surmount 6/6 sash windows. The sides include an open porch on the east and glass-enclosed porch on the west, both topped in balustrades featuring a Smyrna cross motif. A 1.5-story, 3-car garage at the rear southeast is attached by a covered breezeway; its 2 dormers repeat those on the house.
William Culpepper (1884-1945) was a prominent local merchant involved with cotton oil, fertilizer, motion picture theaters, hardware, and automobile endeavors. He was also a postmaster from 1934 to 1945 and a member of the State House of Representatives in 1933 and State Senate in 1945. In the family until the 1970s, this was last of three houses Culpepper built on West Main Street, the others at 903 and 608.
In 1993, the home was converted to a bed and breakfast, providing Albemarle Sound lodging accommodations. Later, the Camellia Guest House was added, and the carriage house was converted into, "The Gathering Place", a social area for guests and a large 2nd floor suite. The Inn holds many mysteries, including the combination to a built-in safe. The large safe was installed when the home was built and can't be removed or opened. The home's original wood floors and ceramic tile baths retain the beauty of the home. High ceilings, graceful moldings, and crystal Waterford chandeliers give the home an elegant but comfortable atmosphere in keeping with the 1930's era of the architecture. The Audettes are the fifth innkeepers and have lovingly restored the home for the last four years.
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