I was asked several days ago if I had pictures of the Old Main Building in Summersville West Virginia. I do but I wanted to provide some new ones.
For a lot of us this was the junior high school. Up until this point we were used to spending most of the day with one teacher but junior high was a multiple building campus. Some of the busses stopped at the top of the but the majority lined up at the bottom. Which meant a climb up that ice covered road if your homeroom was in the Old Main like mine was. There was a science building and a vocational building ( now gone ) as well as the new building, a large gym and at the bottom of the hill the Red Brick Building. ( Also now gone. But the Old Main was special and it still is.
The Cornerstone was laid July 4th, 1913. The beautiful Renaissance architecture was the work of H. Rus Warne who seemed share my affinity for cut stone in place of bricks. By the early 80s the building seemed to have a few problems. It was damp and cold just like a proper castle. In fact, when I was there certain parts of the building was blocked off. The 3rd floor was a no go zone but that was because the board of education had some offices up there. The steam heating system seemed to always freeze up on the coldest days but high energy kids did pretty well with our padded coats.
The majestic old stone building had plenty of places to enjoy your lunch if you were a “brown bag” enthusiast. On warm days there were a few benches along this walk where I could sit quietly and watch my beloved nature. The one time I got in trouble though was when it was cold and a hibernating bat had slipped from its roost and lay in the snow unable to move. Always the prankster I collected said bat in my empty brown bag and carried it into class. That would have been bad enough but I was the first person back from lunch and my teacher’s desk was unguarded. How funny would it be if she opened her drawer to find the sleeping bat? Only by the time she opened the drawer the bat was warm enough to wake up and fly! It almost flew up her nose and began circling her head. I got away with that one until now.
The back of the building was oriented towards most of the campus and this is angle I most associate with. The kids in my clique all hung out on the steps to right between classes and with most of us being farm kids discussed important matters like fishing and hunting.
Today it’s a historic landmark which is awesome. As I understand it the Old Main now hosts senior services and an art center which I should probably look into. But the great thing is that it’s being maintained so that we’ll have it around for a long time.
Good night friends and be blessed throughout your days.
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