Completed in 1861, the Bellamy Mansion stands as one of North Carolina’s finest examples of antebellum architecture. It was built by both free and enslaved craftsmen for one of Wilmington’s wealthiest families, Dr. John Dillard Bellamy (1817-1896), his wife Eliza McIlhenny Harriss (1821-1907), and their nine children. The family only occupied the house for a few months after its completion before leaving the city, due to an outbreak of yellow fever and impending Union attack. After the surrender of Fort Fisher and Wilmington, the house was occupied by General Joseph Hawley and his Union troops. After the war, the family reclaimed the mansion in late 1865 and remained in the house until 1946. After undergoing restoration and preservation, the mansion opened in 1994 as a museum that focuses around the history of the house, its residents and workers, and its architecture. The museum offers tours, features changing exhibits, and provides venue space for weddings and special events.