It started with a desire to save the dilapidated cotton gin building from scrap metal salvage. Owner Tommy Satterwhite, a history lover and hobbyist, is from Warrenton and has memories of the building and even playing in the piles of cottonseed as a child. Anne Satterwhite is an avid gardener, crafter, and DIY-er. Together, in their retirement, they have worked to save and renovate this unique space. In 2020, their son Scott Satterwhite, who has a background in the hospitality business, got involved to launch The Old Cotton Gin as a welcoming and inclusive wedding/event venue for couples and organizations. They have also renovated an early 20th-century octagonal barn on the property and an adjacent historical home which can be included as lodging for an elopement or rented separately via Airbnb.

Serving the Triangle & Northern NC

Looking south. Gardens in the foreground, the Overhang, the Seed House in the background.

Photo by Samantha Couick Photography

Photo by Cirque91

The Old Cotton Gin is a welcoming and inclusive place for memories to be made. Located just off Main St. in historic Warrenton, NC, a charming and idyllic small town located just 45-60 minutes North of RDU, the metal buildings create a unique backdrop or interior for your ceremony, reception, or event. The property is large with mature trees and gardens and space to spread out, and during the spring and summer months, the magical-feeling gardens are full of jaw-dropping blooms. The gin itself is a large steel industrial building with vaulted ceilings and covered outdoor spaces.

Long since a fixture of the town’s landscape and agricultural past, the gin is now restored as an inclusive destination for weddings, events, and community gatherings. Originally constructed as a tobacco prizery in the late 1800s and used by the Warren Cotton and Fertilizer Co. throughout the mid-twentieth century, it was badly burned in 1947 and rebuilt with American steel as the structure you see today. The property sat unused and overgrown for many years until 2015, when Anne and Tommy Satterwhite rescued the rundown, overgrown cotton gin. As a child, Warrenton-native Tommy played with friends in the overflowing piles of cottonseed stored in the siloed barn; now called The Seed House.

With copious indoor and outdoor space, The Old Cotton Gin is the perfect venue for anyone who loves rustic beauty and Americana. The venue also features overnight accommodations for up to 13 guests at The Seed House and Franklin St. House. The Old Cotton Gin is committed to providing a safe and welcoming space to individuals and couples of all types. We believe diversity is human and will treat all people equally with fairness and respect.

This blog has been adapted by the original author, from content on their own website. To see the original blog, click here.

Photo by Cirque91

Q: What’s your title/position in your business?

A: Scott Satterwhite, Co-Founder

Q: What’s a fun fact about yourself?

A: In 2008, I rode my bicycle across a big chunk of Europe with a friend.

Q: What is your favorite thing about elopements?

A: Elopements seem to run in our family! My grandparents eloped to SC in the 40’s to escape the disapproval of their parents, my folks had a small wedding after a six month engagement, and my partner and I eloped to the Durham County court house a few years ago, but shhh, that one is still a secret 🙂 So to answer your question, elopements are all about doing what is right for you, your partner, and your love and we’re behind that 100%. Not everyone has the privilege or the desire to throw a really expensive wedding with a ton of guests. There are infinite ways to express love and commitment and our little corner of NC is the perfect place to do it! The Old Cotton Gin is a unique, welcoming, inclusive, and safe space for the community and all types of loving people.

Photo by Cirque91