The Burwell School Historic Site is owned and operated by the Historic Hillsborough Commission, a 501c(3) non-profit organization. The Commission was created by an act of the 1963 North Carolina General Assembly. The Commission's members are appointed by the Governor. Our mission is:
"To maintain and preserve the Burwell School Historic Site; to interpret the history of 19th century Hillsborough for the enrichment of the public; and to celebrate and promote the culture and heritage of Hillsborough and Orange County."
The Burwell School is a unique historic landmark in Historic Hillsborough, representing several key aspects of 19th century American and NC history. We offer guided tours and educational programs for school students, Girl Scouts, teachers, and the general public.
Through the efforts of the Commission the Burwell School hosts exhibits, concerts, and literary readings, and participates in townwide events which include the biannual Handmade Parade, the annual Holiday Home Tour, and Living History Days.
The Burwell School receives no state or federal operating funds. The Historic Hillsborough Commission must raise all funds annually to provide for the maintenance of the buildings and grounds and to carry forward stewardship of the site's unique history. This history is being recognized today as increasingly important to an understanding of the 19th century-- the "academy movement," the development of women's education in North Carolina, and the life of Elizabeth Keckly.
In the past year the site received grants from the Hillsborough Tourism Board, the Orange County Human Services Board, the F.M Kirby Foundation, and the Marion L. Stedman Foundation, as well as generous donations of funds or items/services from over 100 individuals and businesses.
The Commission is a member of the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough and participates in programs in coordination with the Alliance, the Orange County Historical Museum, the Orange County Arts Commission, The Hillsborough Arts Council, Ayr Mount, and other local organizations or sites dedicated to the special history of Hillsborough.
Recent program on Elizabeth Keckly with
Judge Beverly Scarlett, Publisher Elizabeth Woodman, and Professor Sheila Smith McKoy