Local History Events
The Burwell School also serves as a cultural
arts center, offering a variety of special events that
interpret local history.
Living History Events
Each spring, the Burwell School hosts an annual
Living History Event featuring professional re-enactors
portraying an aspect of the site’s history. The
events have included demonstrations of “high tea”
etiquette and a 19th century fashion show.
Annual Burwell School Living History Tea
Come see costumed interpreters at the School! Visitors will get a chance to glimpse into 19th century school life and learn about the daily routine of a girls' school in the antebellum south. Afterwards, depending on weather, enjoy tea and refreshments on our beautiful lawn or in one of our parlors. Admission is charged.
The 2006 Living History Tea: Life at THE BEEHIVE:
The Burwell School Historic Site came alive with this living history event exploring
the daily life of the Site's Civil War era residents. In 1862, the Collins family fled their coastal Somerset Plantation and
came to settle at the Burwell School. The Collins family was one of the
wealthiest plantation owners in the South. Life at the simpler Burwell
home proved to be a very different experience for them while the extravagant
lifestyle they had once known vanished before their eyes. Thirty family members
and several domestic slaves came to inhabit the Burwell School, which became known
as "the beehive" because of all the inhabitants. Costumed interpreters
interpreted the experience of the Collins family in Hillsborough and reflected on
several life changing events.
The 2005 Living History Tea, “A
Day in the Life of a Burwell School Student" followed
a student through a typical day, from running on the
front lawn to getting warm before school to doing morning
chores, to a school lesson in the original school building.
A two-year series of workshops, Crafting
Freedom: Thomas Day and Elizabeth Hobbes Keckly, Black
Artisans and Entrepreneurs in the Making of America,
have opened a new role for the Burwell School as a resource
for educators from across the nation.
Funded in part by a grant from the National
Endowment for the Humanities, these workshops bring
200 educators from across the country to learn about
the life and work of Elizabeth Hobbes Keckly.
Each year, the Burwell School develops a special
program for the annual Hillsborough/Orange County Chamber
of Commerce Christmas
Candlelight Tour. Past Candlelight Tour programs
have included a large-scale re-enactment of Christmas
1863, “Cards, Gifts and Santa: Three Christmas
Traditions Revealed,” and “Christmas at
The Burwell School develops specific programs
for the Alliance for Historic Hillsborough’s bi-annual
Contact us for more information