About the NSCDA NC
The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of North Carolina owns and operates the Burgwin-Wright House and Gardens, which also houses the Society’s headquarters. The NSCDA-NC purchased the property in 1937, thus saving it from the wrecking ball. Restoration began in 1939 and was carried out in four phases over the course of several decades.
The NSCDA-NC has a long and proud, mission-driven history. Formed in 1894, the NSCDA-NC became the fourteenth state to join the National Society of the Colonial Dames of America, which was founded only three years earlier in 1891.
The mission of the national association and the NC State Society is to promote our country’s heritage through historic preservation, patriotic service and educational projects.
The NSCDA-NC owns three historical properties in addition to the Burgwin-Wright House:
North Carolina Dames have been instrumental in preserving many other historic sites around the state and beyond, including:
- The churchyard of St. Philip’s Church in Brunswick Town
- Rosedale Plantation in Charlotte
- George Mason’s home, Gunston Hall, in Virginia
- Dumbarton House in Washington, D.C.
- Sulgrave Manor, George Washington’s ancestral home in England
In the 119 years since its inception, the Society also has erected numerous monuments, plaques and historical markers, and has published several historical texts.
Patriotic service by the North Carolina Dames peaks during times of national and local crises. During World War I, the Dames organized a chapter of the National Special Aid Society and instituted a program called the Patriotic Penny through which they raised funds for medical supplies by making weekly door-to-door pleas for donations. During the influenza epidemic of 1918, Wilmington Dames used a block messenger system and patrolled neighborhoods to report outbreaks of the illness and communicate the needs of the afflicted. The Society also maintained a workroom where volunteers made mustard plasters and other sickroom necessities, maintained a pharmacy, and filled orders for milk, soup and whiskey.
According to a decades long tradition, each year every fourth grade class in the New Hanover County School System takes a field trip to the Burgwin-Wright House, where the students receive a tour that has been customized to complement their American History studies. There is no charge for this service, which provides a unique learning experience to more than 2500 children annually.
In 1923, the NSCDA-NC established the Florence Kidder Loan Fund “to help deserving young women achieve education.” In 1955, this became the Florence Kidder Scholarship Fund. The program has evolved over time and today is no longer restricted to women. Two students receive scholarships each year based on participation in an essay contest.
In addition, the NC Society provides stipends to three high school students to attend the annual Congressional Workshop in Washington, D.C. The NSCDA-NC also supports the National Society’s scholarship program for Native American nursing students.