Carter Woodson School / American Legion
The first school for black students, Carter G. Woodson Schoo, had its beginnings in 1912 at Pennsylvania Avenue in St. Albans, WV, in what is now the American Legion Hall building. The second school for black students in town was also named after Woodson in 1940 is now McKinley Middle School on the east of town.
Backstory and Context
All of these black schools were closed in the spring of 1933 when the county school system was established. The American Legion purchased that building about 1938. The students were then transported to the new school in eastern St. Albans called Stop 16 School due the trolley stop located there and later Carter G. Woodson School in 1940 and then McKinley Jr. High in 1955. The current American Legion Hall is masonry and has been painted over the years and its front windows are bricked-in. The existing copula is still present.
Carter G. Woodson, known as the "Father of Black History," had ties to this area and holds an outstanding position in early 20th century American history. Woodson authored numerous scholarly books and founded Negro History Week in 1926 (precursor to Black History Month). Born to former slaves in Virginia, 1895, a twenty-year-old Carter entered Douglass High School in Huntington, WV, where he received his diploma in less than two years and in 1912, he received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. He served as dean of Howard University and WV State College.
"St. Albans History", 1992, pg. 212
Eugene Washingon paper