The story of a forgotten America.

Trap Hill School

Trap Hill School is a former school that served the Trap Hill district in Surveyor, West Virginia between 1930 and the 2000s.

Trap Hill served as a grade one through grade 12 school between 1930 and 1951, and as a grade seven through grave 12 middle- and high school until 1961. Between 1961 and 1977, Trap Hill served as a grade nine through grade 12 high school, and then as a grade seven and grade eight middle school. 1 During its tenure as a high school, Trap Hill graduated an average of 64 students per year for a total of 3,010. 2

The school was built in the Winding Gulf coalfield of Raleigh County, which began to develop in the first decade of the 20th century. The first school to be built in the Surveyor region of the coalfield was built in 1915 at Eccles. 2 It was soon too small for the growing town, and on July 21, 1928, a special election was held to decide on a $75,000 school bond for a new high school in Surveyor. The election results were 612 for and 324 against the bond.

Construction began in 1929 for a two-story school with ten classrooms, a chemistry laboratory, a home economics kitchen, a library, a gymnasium, and a vocational-agricultural shop. 1 2 Work was finished in September 1930 at the cost of $90,000. It was not until early 1931 that four coal-fired boilers were installed, and electric and telephone lines were strung to the new building. 1

It was decided that the school would be named after the trapping of animals for their fur. 1

A lighted playing field for football games was added in 1947. In the early 1950s, the vocational-agricultural shop was replaced with the addition of classrooms for the industrial arts, commerce, and guidance departments. A second gymnasium, named after principal Harvey F. Pauley, was built in 1965. The basement of the original gymnasium was remodeled to serve the music department and the original gymnasium was converted into a cafeteria.

The Winding Gulf coalfield began to decline in output by the 1980s and the population of the county began to decline. Trap Hill School closed circa 2000 and was demolished in late December 2013. 3



  1. Clyburn, Ruby. “Trap Hill High School 1930-1977.” N.d. Document.
  2. Clyburn, Ruby. “Reflections of Trap Hill High School.” N.d. Document.
  3. Underwood, Brandi. “Raleigh County Commission plans to consolidate PSDs into one.” Register-Herald [Beckley] 4 Dec. 2013: n. pag. Print.


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I attended there from 1981 to 1984..Lived in Glen Daniels not too far away, alot of fond memories running up and down those long stairways, going to Shop class in the basement and to band around the back of the building..

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