Lakin Industrial Home for Colored Boys

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Lakin Industrial Home for Colored Boys
Established 1919
Opened 1924
Closed 1956
Demolished 2006
Current Status Demolished
Building Style Single Building
Location Lakin, WV
Alternate Names
  • Lakin Industrial School for Colored Boys


The Lakin Industrial School for Colored Boys was founded by T.G. Nutter, Harry Capehart and T.J. Coleman, three African American legislators that created several state-funded reform institutions for blacks between 1919 and 1921. This led to several structures being constructed west of WV 62 in rural Mason county. It lies just north of Lakin State Hospital. The familiar red brick building, built in 1924, was constructed of fireproof materials and is very sturdy, was the first building to be erected. A gymnasium was built in the 1940's; several smaller structures followed soon after.

The Lakin Industrial School closed in 1956, only two years after the Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas decision that led to the gradual desegregation of many public schools and colleges in West Virginia. Those who remained before its closure were transfered to the Industrial School at Pruntytown.

It was owned by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services, the same owners of Lakin State Hospital across the state road that slides between the two. The school property was deeded over to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture in 1976.

A fire in 2000 did very little damage to the main building; it is a testament to the brute strength of the building, even after 50 years of abandonment.

In November 2006, Lakin Industrial School for Colored Boys was demolished. The property is expected to become part of American Electric Power's River Operations.