Company Sponsorship for a Class Field Trip is $200. This will pay for the tour and bus driver. For your support, you will receive a group picture; thank you letter from the class; company listing on our web site with class picture and a gift certificate for two. A $24 value with no expiration date.

Fund Raiser for Class Field Trips

Help us raise funds for send a class on a field trip.

Free History Tours and in class presentations for underprivileged and low income children in and around the Wilmington NC area.

Hello: My name is Lori Erwin; I own and operate Tour Old Wilmington. I offer history walking and step on guide tours in and around Wilmington NC. I love what I do; and it shows from my 5 star reviews.

I have studied and been fascinated with local history since I moved to Wilmington twelve years ago. My specialty has been the Victorian Era, 1837 to 1901. As a storyteller and performance artist; I enjoy dressing in one of my old fashion dresses to give fun history tours downtown. My dream is to create a Traveling History Show allowing me to bring my show to larger groups.

Tour Old Wilmington opened in 2009. Since then, the tiny business has grown steadily. In an effort to grow the business; I recently received approval from the state to give tours to school children. Some of these groups have included local Boy Scout troops, church groups, retirement homes and elementary and high school students.

With your help, we will be able to provide historical walking tours for all who would otherwise miss the experience.

If you fund this, you will allow our underprivileged area students to learn about local history and to develop an appreciation for history and learning. Additionally, you will be supporting a local Wilmington company with a great heart!


97% of Adults in America state that they are not interested or like history. From my public school experience, I would have to agree. It was dry, boring and full of dates to memorize. It wasn't until I went to collage and had a wonderful history professor; did I develop an interest in History.

I believe that if children can experience this excitement at an early age; the excitement for History can spread to all areas of their learning. With your help, thousands of children in the Wilmington area will have the opportunity learn about their local history. Help me make a living and spark an interest in History and Learning!

Company Sponsorship:

Company Sponsorship for a Class Field Trip for $200, this will pay for the tour and bus driver for an entire class. With this donation, you will receive a group picture, thank you letter from the class, listing on our web site with class picture and your company information with link to your web site. and a gift certificate for Two for yourself or to give as a gift. A $24 value with no Expiration Date.

I estimate that there are over 20,000 children in our area that could benefit from your funding. It is my hope that I will be able to reach all of these children over the next few years.

Other Ways You Can Help

For each Regular Adult Ticket purchased, we'll match it with a donation to the class field trip fund.


For the price of a coffee at Starbucks you can send a Two kids on a field trip. Hit the Donate Button and give what you can.

Please help me get the word out! Please forward an e mail or post on your Face Book or Linked In.

Any support is welcome!

Send a Class on a Field Trip

Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Literary Fund 1820s

Archibald Murphey promoted the idea of The Literary Fund during the 1820s, when North Carolina had earned a reputation (rightfully or wrongfully) as the Rip Van Winkle State.  The state lagged behind others in internal improvements and participated minimally in the ever-growing Market Revolution.  It seemed to be asleep.  Murphey worked to awaken the state.

In 1825, a bill was passed that established The Literary Fund, and the effort became North Carolina’s first attempt to establish public schools.  The program received funds from stock dividends, a retail liquor tax, and the sale of swampland.  Historian Milton Ready regretfully points out that The Literary Fund received what was leftover after the state had used stock profits for internal improvements.  Education was a secondary concern.

The Fund’s purpose was to help communities build common schools by distributing its monies across the state, county by county, according to the free population.  It was managed by the governor, the chief justice, both speakers of the both legislative houses, and the state treasurer.

The Literary Fund never accomplished its mission.  Efforts to increase its revenue were rejected time after time.  That may be in part because The Literary Fund was used for purposes other than education.  A decade after its beginning, the program had accumulated $243,000 and spent $239,000.   Only approximately 20 percent was spent for public schooling.  The government frequently dipped into the fund to pay for legislators’ salaries as the state waited for taxes to be received.

Another problem was corruption.  John Haywood, the state treasurer, for instance misappropriated $28,000.

The Literary Fund lasted until the Civil War.  It ran completely out of funds; the state had invested heavily in Confederate bonds.  

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