Mordecai Historic Park

Deep in the heart of Raleigh lies a hodgepodge of historic North Carolina structures known as Mordecai Historic Park.

This 3.2-acre city park provided a beautiful backdrop for a Southern wedding reception I attended this weekend. The unique venue, once the site of the largest plantation in Wake County, was a delightful distraction for guests who were awaiting the arrival of the wedding party.

The largest building on the grounds is Mordecai House, which dates back to 1785 and is the oldest house in Raleigh still resting on its original location.


Mordecai House in downtown Raleigh, North Carolina

Behind Mordecai House is the Ellen Mordecai Garden, which harkens back to the family’s 19th century garden and is based on details that Ellen Mordecai provided in her book, Gleanings from Long Ago, first published in 1933.


Through this gate, the Ellen Mordecai Garden grows. — Mordecai Historic Park in Raleigh, North Carolina


Parsnip growing at the Ellen Mordecai Garden at Mordecai Historic Park in Raleigh, North Carolina

To the right of the garden sits Andrew Johnson’s birthplace, which was moved to this location. Johnson, who was Vice President under Abraham Lincoln and later ascended to the Presidency after Lincoln’s assassination, was born in downtown Raleigh in this modest but quaint house.


Andrew Johnson’s birthplace, currently located at Mordecai Historic Park.

Across from Johnson’s birthplace are several other historic buildings, including a 19th century law office and an 1847 chapel built by slaves.


Badger Iredell Law Office, built in 1810 and located at Mordecai Historic Park in Raleigh, NC.


St. Mark’s Chapel, on the grounds of Mordecai HIstoric Park, was built by slaves in 1847.

My time at Mordecai Historic Park was perfect: Carolina blue skies and gentle breezes. The perfect weather for celebrating the future of two people united in holy matrimony, and the perfect weather for reflecting on little pieces of North Carolina’s past.

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