More than 250 years of history have left their mark in the beautiful hilly area between the Smith and Dan Rivers that William Byrd II described as "The Land of Eden" in 1728. The citizens appropriated his estimation of their gracious Piedmont home when they consolidated the towns of Leaksville, Spray and Draper and central "Meadows" in 1967, and named the resulting city Eden.
Between the time that Eden was only a notation in Byrd's diary, to the present time when it has become a busy industrial and commercial city, many vibrant enterprises and colorful individuals have passed through the scene, leaving visible traces in the form of homes, neighborhoods, factories, schools, churches and commercial buildings. Some of these would have been impressive in any environment; some are outwardly unimpressive, but memorable and valuable for the stories of people and ways of life of which they are the only tangible evidence remaining.
Four particular areas of Eden have been judged to have such a high concentration of historically significant structures that they have been designated "Historic Districts" by the National Register of Historic Places. Similarly, seven individual structures have been listed in the National Register.