Lakin Industrial School for Colored Boys is a former reformatory school for African-Americans in Lakin, West Virginia.
Lakin Industrial School for Colored Boys was founded by T.G. Nutter, Harry Capehart, and T.J. Coleman, three black state legislators that created several state-funded reform institutions for blacks between 1919 and 1921. 1 2 The first building completed was a three-story brick building in 1924, followed by a gymnasium in the 1940s, along with other auxiliary structures. 1
Lakin closed in 1956, two years after the Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas decision led to the gradual desegregation of many public schools and colleges in the United States. Those who remained at Lakin before its closure were transferred to the Pruntytown Industrial School at Pruntytown. 1 The complex was later acquired by the West Virginia Department of Health & Human Services and then to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture in 1976 for use as storage.
An arson attempt in 2000 did very little damage to the school, a testament to the brute strength of the fireproof building. 1 After decades of abandonment, the Lakin Industrial School was demolished in November 2006.
[su_spoiler title=”Sources” icon=”caret”]
- Sergent, Beth. “Tumbling into history.” Point Pleasant Register 18 Nov. 2006. Web. 25 Nov. 2006. Article.
- Shawkey, Moris Purdy. “West Virginia In History, Life, Literature and Industry.” 1928.