north carolina highway historical marker program
North Carolina Highway Historical Marker Program



Marker Text:

     In 1755, Scotch-Irish immigrants first established what became known as Eno Presbyterian Church. The first church was built on the banks of the Eno River, in an area between the Eno and Haw Rivers known as the Hawfields. The religious needs of the Presbyterian settlements in North Carolina were met by missionaries from Pennsylvania and New Jersey—colonies with established and rapidly-growing Scotch-Irish populations. One of these missionaries, Hugh McAden, was sent on an extensive tour of Virginia and North Carolina in 1755 to promote the ministry in the southern colonies. McAden first preached to the Eno congregation in August 1755. His service is counted as the first formal organization of the church. McAden served Eno and other area churches until 1765.

     The first regularly installed minister was Henry Patillo (of the New Hanover Presbytery), who served from 1765 to 1774. Patillo was also pastor at nearby Little River and Hawfields churches. The first Eno church building was made of logs; the second was a frame building. The third structure (built in 1878) was destroyed by fire in 1893. The church was then moved a few miles away to the village of Cedar Grove, and a new building was erected in 1898. Readable stones in the cemetery date from 1789. The Old Eno cemetery, at the previous location, underwent restoration in the mid-1960s. The Department of Transportation was persuaded to build a road into the site, which had become a wilderness. The cemetery was cleared, and a new bronze marker was placed to commemorate the site.

A. A. Ellis and T. T. Ellis, History of Eno Presbyterian Church (1955)Herbert Snipes Turner, Church in the Old Fields (1962)
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north carolina highway historical marker program

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