First Concord State Normal School Building

May 10, 1875 - July 2, 1886

Third CSNS Building

Built at no cost to the State of West Virginia on donated land, this First CSNS Building was used from May 10, 1875 until July 2, 1886.  The artist’s rendering of the First CSNS Building is somewhat in contrast with the written eyewitness account of the building by James F. Holroyd, who attended classes in this building first as a student and then as a member of the faculty.  In his recollection written in June, 1910 and published in the Concord State Normal School Catalogue, 1912 – 1913, Mr. Holroyd wrote the following:  “The surroundings were not very inviting on the memorable morning, May 10, 1875, when the school was first opened.  Imagine the beautiful rolling lawn, upon the summit of which now stands the commodious and ample brick building of Concord Normal, then a wilderness of red brush, chinquapin bushes and stumps, in the midst of which stood a rough, unfinished wooden frame building, about 39 x 48 feet, two stories in height without either windows or doors, and you can have a faint idea of the outside appearance of the first school building, as it stood in the May sunshine guiltless of paint or ornament.  The inside was not more inviting.  There was a floor in the lower story, with a partition of rough boards across the building dividing it into unequal rooms.  With an unobstructed view of the weather-boarding without and the rafters over head, many of the boys for want of better seats, sat upon the joists and studied.  There was no apparatus whatever.  No stoves, or furnaces; so, on chilly days, the students, when not reciting, were hovering around fires made out of doors of the logs and debris which were bountiful.  There was no bell to assemble the students, the arrangement for that purpose being rather primitive, consisting of a cow’s horn, which in 1878 gave place to a small, but sweet toned bell.  The frame building was used till Commencement, July 2, 1886.”

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