The Alliance for Historic Hillsborough
150 E. King St., Hillsborough NC 27278 (919) 732-7741

Group Tours and Educational Programs


Guided Step-On Bus Tour
Trained Guides lead your group on a 1 - 1 1/2 hour tour through Hillsborough's historic district from the comfort of your own bus or van. The tour also takes visitors to the Commandant's House of the former Hillsborough Military Academy and the old textile mills and mill villages of West Hillsborough.

The step-on bus tour has three options:
• Driving tour - 1 hour tour without any step-off stops along the way
• Burwell School Tour - 1 1/2 hour tour with a twenty-minute visit inside the Burwell School Historic Site, home of an antebellum school for women.
• Museum Tour - 1 1/2 hour tour with a twenty-minute visit inside the Orange County Historical Museum, which features exhibits on Hillborough and the surrounding area.

Ideal for conference attendees, church and senior groups, organizations, and anyone interested in history, gardens, and architecture.

Step-on Bus Tours are available by appointment. Call (919) 732-7741 to arrange a tour. Please have a minimum of 10 participants and give us at least two weeks notice.


Guided Walking Tour
Take a 60-minute walking tour of Hillsborough’s Historic District on one of our 2nd Saturday Guided Walking Tours, offered on the second Saturday of each month at 11am. See calendar for this month's tour. Cost is $5.

Haunted Hillsborough Tour
A 90-minute tour of Hillsborough’s eerie side. Learn the ghostly stories of unexplained aromas, spirits that walk through walls, and outlandish tales of Hillsborough’s famous, infamous, and not-so-famous citizens. (Scheduled for October, around Halloween)

Revolutionary War Tour
A 60-minute tour of Historic Hillsborough’s colonial and Revolutionary War era sites. Explore the events leading to and surrounding the War of Independence. (Scheduled for February and September)

Civil War Tour
A 60-minute tour focused on the Southern home front experience in Hillsborough during the Civil War. A journey through the lives of women, children, slaves, and refugees during the conflict. (Scheduled for April)

Self-Guided Walking Tour
Purchase a self guided walking tour booklet from the Visitors Center, 150 E. King Street, for $3.50.

All tours EXCEPT the Bicycle Tour begin and end at the Alexander Dickson House (Orange County Visitors Center at 150 E. King Street).

Bicycle Tour (click for map)



Orange County Historical Museum 

  • Colonial Quilt Program
  • Description - Learn about Colonial life in Orange County and the importance of quilt making. The participants learn basic geometry and get to create their own quilt square by using fabric, glue and cardstock.
  • Length – 30-45 minutes
  • Theme – Colonial History
  • Age – grades K-5
  • Cost: FREE
  • Native American Junior Curator Program
    • Description - Learn about Native Americans of Orange County and get to experience their life first hand! The participants dress up as Junior Curators and get to handle reproduction Native American artifacts.
    • Length – 35-50 minutes
    • Theme – Native American History
    • Age – grades K-5
  • Mill Program
    • Description - This program talks about Mills in Orange County in the late 1800s. The students then participate on an assembly line.
    • Length – 30-45 minutes
    • Theme – Industrial Heritage
    • Age – grades 1-5
  • Civil War Junior Curator Program
    • Description - Teaches about the life of a soldier in the Civil War. The participants dress up as Junior Curators and get to handle reproduction Civil War soldier artifacts.
    • Length – 35-50 minutes
    • Theme – Civil War History
    • Age – grades K-5

Burwell School Historic Site

  • Then and Now Program
    • Description – Students visit the Burwell School’s 19thcentury school building, write on slates, participate in a school lesson and are given a tour of the home, where they are asked to compare and contrast what they see with their own lives. To conclude the students are given the opportunity to play a variety of 19th-century games.
    • Length – 2 hours
    • Theme – History of 19thcentury education and way of life
    • Age – 4thgrade
    • Cost—$2
  • Portals to the Past Program
    • “Portals to the Past” is designed to be flexible. Programs can include a single module or a series of modules and can be presented at the Burwell School or off-site. A minimum reservation of 10 participants is required.
    • Portals include:
    • All Dressed Up
    • A School Lesson with Mary Burwell
    • Herbal Remedies
    • The Extraordinary Elizabeth Hobbes Keckly
    • Exercise and Play
    • Architectural& Furniture Scavenger Hunt
    • Scavenger Hunt at Old Town Cemetery
    •  Length – 30-45 minutes
    • Theme –Various themes include history of 19thcentury education, fashion, medicine, exercise, African-American History and women’s history.
    • Age – 6-12
    • Cost –$2 per program
  • Girl Scout Patch Program
    • Description – Girl Scouts participate in a variety of activities based on troop level.  For more information please call the Burwell School at 919-732-7451 or visit their website at
    • Length – Each activity takes from 30-45 minutes and the total time is dependent on the activity selected.
    • Suggested troop size is 10 scouts or larger, however call us about smaller troops for specialized programs.
    • Age – Daisy, Brownie, Junior, and Senior
    • Cost - $ 5 per scout ($2 per program; $3 badge fee)

Alliance for Historic Hillsborough

  • History Fun Day – Elementary School
    • Description – Students rotate between four of Hillsborough’s historic sites – the Hughes Academy, the Alexander Dickson House, the Orange County Historical Museum and the Burwell School Historic Site - and participate in various activities at each site. 
    • Length – 4 hours
    • Age – grades 1-5
    • Cost - $5 per student
  • History Fun Day – Middle School
    • Description – Students take a tour of Revolutionary War Hillsborough and visit the Orange County Historical Museum and the Burwell School Historic Site, participating in different activities at each location.
    • Length – 4 hours
    • Age – grades 6-8
    • Cost - $5 per student
  • Our Town Civic Tour
    • Description – This tour shows students key municipal and county buildings such as the Old Courthouse, police station and the historical museum.  Activities range from a mock trial to a mock mayoral election.
    • Length – 1 hour
    • Theme – Civic and Community Education
    • Age – grades K-3
    • Cost - $2 per student
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