What's in a Name?
Contrary to some belief that Elizabeth City is named in honor of Queen Elizabeth or for being the gateway to the Elizabeth River when navigating north up the Intracoastal Waterway, historians say that the city's name was given in honor of Elizabeth "Betsy" Tooley.
Betsy Tooley was a proprietress and barmaid at the tavern that she and her husband, Adam Tooley, owned & operated on the waterfront of what is now Water St. "Betsy Tooley's Tavern" was a stop that all of the sailors & tradesmen looked forward to due to her great hospitality & intoxicating spirits.
The Tooleys eventually sold the site of the tavern and the surrounding 55 acres to the first city founders. When the town was incorporated in 1793, it was called Redding, after a prominent farming family in the area. The Redding name was short lived, as it changed to Elizabethtown within the year, and then changed again to Elizabeth City due to the confusions caused by other area townships boasting the similar name.
So the legend has it that our great city was named after the prior owner of the land that Elizabeth City is built on (The Harbor of Hospitality) and now the waterfront community Tooley Harbor.
Tooley Harbor is a waterfront community and Elizabeth City is a mariner's town. Prepare to get salty as you explore water recreation just minutes from your new Carriage Home.
Government + Community Links
City of Elizabeth City – www.cityofec.com
Elizabeth City Tourism – www.visitelizabethcity.com
Elizabeth City State University - www.ecsu.edu
College of the Albermarle - www.albemarle.edu
Mid-Atlantic Christian University - www.macuniversity.edu