The Yancey Collegiate Institute, a Baptist-sponsored secondary education institution, opened in Burnsville, North Carolina in 1901. The former campus is located on a prominent hillside, Baptist-Hill, approximately one-quarter of a mile from the Burnsville town square. The Yancey Collegiate Institute remained open until 1926, at which point the property was sold to the Yancey County Board of Education. The building was used by the Yancey County Board of Education to house Burnsville High School and later Burnsville Elementary School. In 1991, Burnsville Elementary School was moved to it's current location, and the Yancey Collegiate Institute building remained unoccupied for several years. The building was eventually remodeled and reopened as the Yancey County Public Library in July, 2011.
Yancey Collegiate Institute, a Baptist-sponsored secondary education
institution, opened in Burnsville, North Carolina in 1901. The campus
was built on a prominent hillside, Baptist-Hill, which is located
approximately one-quarter of a mile from the Burnsville town square.
The first two student to enroll in the Yancey Collegiate Institute
were James Hutchins and Joe Letterman. Hutchins and Letterman, were
also the first two graduates of the school in 1906.
1905 a girls dormitory was built. The Watson home for girls, which
was named for Mr. E.F. Watson, stood south of the the main building.
In 1907, Dr. A.E. Brown secured funds for an extension to the girls
dormitory. The extension was called the Annie Armstrong annex. A boys
dormitory was built in 1908. The Bennett home for boys was located to
the west of the main building and was named in honor of a local
family that donated the property for the dormitory. In 1914 the Brown
Dormitory for Boys was built northwest of the main building on lot
which was purchased from Mr. L.J. Carter. A new girls dormitory,
which included a dining room for the entire student body, was built.
11 November, 1918, the main building burned to the ground. Despite
the loss, classes continued to meet at the Bennett home. All of the
school's record and the well equipped library were destroyed by the
fire. A new structure was erected and commissioned for use the
following year. The new main building contained twelve classrooms,
two society halls, two music studios, a study hall, and a large
auditorium. The new main building was also equipped with electricity
and steam heat.
1922, the second main building partially burned and again destroyed
the school's record, library, and furniture. The school rebuilt the
structure using the foundation and the exterior walls. Despite
increasing enrollment following the second fire, the school began to
suffer from financial problems. Growing debt and an increase in the
number of public high schools throughout the area forced the school
to close. The Board of Trustees voted to close the school in 1925.
Later that year, the Yancey County Board of Education purchased the
property for $65,000, though the property was worth over $105,000.
The school reopened as Burnsville High School for the 1925-1926
funding was secured for the construction of a new high school in
Burnsville. The new Burnsville High School was built across the
street from the old Yancey Collegiate Institute. Construction of the
new high school was completed in November 1939, and Burnsville
Elementary School relocated from the old Brown Dormitory for Boys to
the old Yancey Collegiate Institute main building. The old main
building served as the location for Burnsville Elementary School
until a new elementary school was built in 1991.
the relocation of Burnsville Elementary School in 1991, the old
Yancey Collegiate Institute building remained unoccupied for several
years. Due to extended neglect, the building slowly deteriorated
until the building was remodeled for the relocation of the Yancey
County Public Library. The Yancey County Public Library officially
relocated to the old Yancey Collegiate Institute Building in July,