Using the old jail as the foundation, the Burgwin-Wright House was built in 1770 by John Burgwin, planter, merchant, and treasurer of the colony of Carolina. In 1781, "the most considerable house in town" was occupied by Lord Cornwallis as his headquarters shortly before his defeat and surrender at Yorktown, Virginia. In 1799, Joshua Grainger Wright purchased the house for 3500 Spanish milled dollars. Occupied as a residence until 1937, it was bought by The National Society of The Colonial Dames of America in the state of North Carolina. Today, the Burgwin-Wright House, beautifully restored, is the oldest museum house in Southeastern North Carolina.