A 1769 map of Halifax shows a large building on this site. This lot, along with three surrounding ones, belonged to Joseph Montfort, a man of high standing in 18th-century North Carolina. He served as Clerk of Court for Edgecomb and Halifax counties, was a member of the Colonial Assembly, colonel in the Militia, and treasurer of the Northern Province of North Carolina. He was one of the most prominent members of the Society of Free and Accepted Masons, holding the title of Provincial Grand Master of America.
Montfort family members resided in the house until 1785. Afterwards, many other prominent families lived here. The house burned sometime between 1862 and 1868, while being used as rental property. It was eventually leveled and the foundations covered with dirt. This area was used as a cotton field until 1916, when another residence was built on the property. The State of North Carolina purchased the property in 1972, as part of the growing historic site.
In 1973, archaeologists testing the area discovered the original structure. After ten years of excavations, the present shell was erected, which follows the basic shape of the exposed foundations. Because ther are no drawings or plans of the Montfort home, the building has features similar to others of the era. This unique archaeological museum was dedicated on April 12, 1984.