The Burwell School was one of the first schools for women in North Carolina. It was established in 1837 and operated for 20 years. It is named for the Burwell family, who founded the school. Mrs. Burwell taught the women, and kept many records, diaries, and other logs of activities here. So when establishing the museum it was easy to recreate life as they knew it.
The main house served as living quarters for the Burwell family and the Boarding House for some of the students. And it underwent a significant addition during the school years, changing it’s layout, so it is fun to see. It is decorated inside with goods from the time period, even if they weren’t originally in the Burwell house.
Outside there is the school house, complete with a classroom set up. Part of the school house has copies of the diaries from the girls, and a neat interactive station where you pick up a phone and hear a young girl reading a letter she wrote while a student at Burwell School. As C is into making anything into a phone right now, he truly loved this portion.
There are also beautiful gardens, and the original outhouse (all cleaned up and unused, but still kind of weird nonetheless).
We talked to the docent on site for a little while, but mostly meandered ourselves. You can do a docent-led tour. It is free.
I didn’t want to put C down inside the house for fear of wandering Toddler curiosity, but he was fine roaming the school house and the gardens.
This isn’t a large place, so it isn’t going to take too long to go through. But it was fun for us.
I would also recommend checking out the events they host throughout the year. They have art shows, Colonial Days where kids get to dress up in period costume, and their biggest event every year is the Easter Egg Hunt.
Burwell School Historic Site
319 N. Churton Street
Open Wednesday – Saturday 11 am to 4 pm; Sundays 1 pm to 4 pm. Closed Mondays and Tuesdays.