St. Albans Historical Society
School photos and History

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Some St. Albans Schools over the years ......

Warth School 1917

          Warth Elementary School ca. 1870 (far right) in 1917. later the site of Highlawn Elementary.

Shelton College 1876





Shelton College Now

                    (ABOVE) - Shelton College (c. 1874, College Dive). Located on College Hill in St. Albans with a panoramic view of the valley, this brick structure was named for T. M. Shelton, who help to fund it.  Originally called Coalsmouth High School, Senator Wm. E. Chilton attended there as well as two WVU presidents.  Purchased in 1941 by Dr. Russell Hamrick, after being abandoned for many years. He had the 3rd floor removed and created a beautiful residence and moved there in 1948. They moved in in 1948. Distinguished by its tall windows and 15’ ceilings.

Fairview Elem

1877Fairview School  (above) was first built on West Main St. near where the fire department is today. In 1926 a brick building was built on Virginia Heights where the building is still located today but used by the Fire Department for training. The school closed in the 1990’s.

1868 Tackett’s Creek School  (above) was located west of the Coal River. This was originally a one room log school.  This was the first “free” school in the area and students went there up to age 18 if they chose. Seats were homemade benches and a stove in the middle of the floor. Later a 2 room school was built and a large brick one in 1947. Closed 1972.

Highlawn Elem 1930's

Highlawn Elementary (left)

Highlawn Elem
Highlawn Elem 2003

Highlawn Elementary (above) -  (1920-2002) Built on land donated by Judge J. A. Warth, it replaced the frame Warth School on Kanawha Terrace and Walnut St.. Added onto in later years and demolished in 2005.

Central School

Central School - Built in 1900 and a second building added 1913. One used for Elementary and one for High School. Closed in the 1960 whenthe new Central Elementary opened in 1962. Demolished in 1963. Present site of Rite-Aid.

McKinley Jr High-1940's

                    McKinley Middle School (1940's photo) -

Built in 1932 and originally called Stop 16 School and for black students, renamed Carter Woodson Jr. High in 1946 and McKinley Jr. High in 1955.   “Jefferson District” is over the doorway...but was never called by that name.

Parkway Elem 1960



Parkway Elementary - Built in 1946, Ordnance Park students initially went to Highlawn Elem.  In 1948 they began classes at the Community Bldg. there and changed the name to Parkway in 1953. A smaller building was also used for awhile for classes at Roosevelt and Pfaff.

St. Francis School

                                         St. Francis Catholic School (ca. 1927) in 1960's (now kindergarten-7th grade) - St. Francis Catholic School was built in 1927 as a wooden building with 2 classrooms. A brick school was built in 1941 and added on in 1953.

High School 1960

                                               St. Albans High School (1960 photo).

A new High School was constructed in 1954 on Kanawha Terrace and the old building became a Jr. High. The school was rebuilt on its present site in 2003.

Shawkey Elem.


Shawkey Elem.. Named in honor of WV educator M. P. Shawkey and located off Lotus Rd. It became the Shawkey Center for mentally impaired student in 1968 and closed in 1990. Lakewood Elem. also built in 1961. 

St Albans Class 32

            St. Albans Class of 1932 outside the former High School...later the St. Albans Jr. High. 1924 – St. Albans High School.  A gymnasium and auditorium added in 1927. It became a Jr. High in 1954 when a new High School was constructed. Closed in 1990.

1830's --Mrs. Eliza Fry’s ran a school from her house along the James River and Kanawha Turnpike for young ladies. Board, candles, fuel, and washing... plus tuition, was $40 in advance".  Along with the basics, the girls learned crochet tatting,embroidery and cross-stitch.

Located at the site of the High School and moved in 1951's (Rosedale)(now demolished 2015)

Hansford Elementary

Hansford Elementary (1940's) - Opened in 1920 and demolished (partially) in 1977. A portion was retained and is now used as a senior citizens center. Street Car tracks used to run by the far right pole..removed in late 1930' Washington Ave.

Carter G. Woodson School

Carter G. Woodson Elementary School -  (now American Legion Building) (ca. 1912) A school for the local black students in town, it closed in 1932 when a new Jr. High was built across town. It was also named Carter G. Woodson School for awhile (now McKinley Middle School). The American Legion bought this masonry building and still uses it today. Called Stop 16 School by some.

Nash School for Young Men, formerly at Bangor Church (1945) and moved to Main St. in mid 1800's.

Town Hall School (Swamp College) – Built in 1867 where the 1st Baptist church is now. Called Town Hall School because the town council used it and also known as “Swamp College” by some because a nearby stream called Ram’s Horn flowed nearby.