Literary Hall

Literary Hall

Infobox_nrhp | name =Literary Hall
nrhp_type =


caption =
location= Main & High Streets
Romney, West Virginia
lat_degrees = 39 | lat_minutes = 20 | lat_seconds = 32 | lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 78 | long_minutes = 45 | long_seconds = 23 | long_direction = W
area =
built = 1870
architect= Unknown
architecture= Unknown
added = May 29, 1979
governing_body =
refnum=79002577 cite web|url=http://www.nr.nps.gov/|title=National Register Information System|date=2008-02-03|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service]

Literary Hall is the historic former site of the Romney Literary Society and currently serves as a museum featuring local memorabilia in Romney, West Virginia, United States.

Romney Literary Society and the First Literary Hall

In 1819,cite web|url=http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=462|title=Old Literary Hall|date=2008-02-03|work=The Historical Marker Database website|publisher=The Historical Marker Database] the Romney Literary Society was organized with the purpose of advancing literature and science in the South Branch Potomac valley. The Society was the first of its kind in West Virginia and one of the first in the United States.cite web|url=http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=462|title=Old Literary Hall|date=2008-02-03|work=The Historical Marker Database website|publisher=The Historical Marker Database] The first Literary Hall, according to its corner stone, was built in 1825.cite web|url=http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=462|title=Old Literary Hall|date=2008-02-03|work=The Historical Marker Database website|publisher=The Historical Marker Database] Prior to the outbreak of the American Civil War, the Society had amassed a collection of over 3,000 bookscite web|url=http://www.historichampshire.org/building/building.htm|title=Some Historic Buildings of Hampshire County|date=2008-02-03|work=www.historichampshire.org|publisher=Charles C. Hall] at its height making it the largest library west of the Blue Ridge Mountains.cite web|url=http://www.hampshirereview.com/Websites/HCCVB/countyinfo.htm#cibuildsite|title=County Information: Historic buildings & sites|date=2008-02-03|work=Hampshire County Convention and Visitors Bureau website|publisher=Hampshire County Convention and Visitors Bureau] In 1846, the Society completed construction of the campus for the Romney Classical Institute on East Main Street. During the Civil War, the Society disbanded and its collection dwindled to less than 400 books. Plundering by the both Union and Confederate armies during Romney's multiple occupations resulted in a similar fate for the county's 18th and 19th century records in the Hampshire County Courthouse. The first Literary Hall was destroyed during the conflict in 1862.cite web|url=http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=462|title=Old Literary Hall|date=2008-02-03|work=The Historical Marker Database website|publisher=The Historical Marker Database]

econd Literary Hall

The Society was revived on May 15, 1869 and construction of the second (and current) Literary Hall commenced later that year and was completed in 1870.cite web|url=http://www.historichampshire.org/building/building.htm|title=Some Historic Buildings of Hampshire County|date=2008-02-03|work=www.historichampshire.org|publisher=Charles C. Hall] While the Society reorganized and rebuilt its library, the Romney Classical Institute campus continued to lay unoccupied after the Civil War. In 1870, the Institute was sold to the state of West Virginia for use as the grounds for the newly-created West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind. Literary Hall remained the meeting place for the Society until its meetings again ceased on February 15, 1886. After the Society's final disbandment, Literary Hall served as Romney's Masonic Lodge.cite web|url=http://www.historichampshire.org/building/building.htm|title=Some Historic Buildings of Hampshire County|date=2008-02-03|work=www.historichampshire.org|publisher=Charles C. Hall] cite web|url=http://www.hampshirereview.com/Websites/HCCVB/countyinfo.htm#cibuildsite|title=County Information: Historic buildings & sites|date=2008-02-03|work=Hampshire County Convention and Visitors Bureau website|publisher=Hampshire County Convention and Visitors Bureau]

Literary Hall was restored after its purchase by prominent local attorney Ralph W. Haines.cite web|url=http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=462|title=Old Literary Hall|date=2008-02-03|work=The Historical Marker Database website|publisher=The Historical Marker Database] Haines purchased and restored numerous historic properties throughout Hampshire County including the William Washington House, built by freed slaves after the Emancipation Proclamation. Under the custodianship of Haines, Literary Hall was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 29, 1979cite web|url=http://www.nr.nps.gov/|title=National Register Information System|date=2008-02-03|work=National Register of Historic Places|publisher=National Park Service] and opened as a museumcite web|url=http://www.hmdb.org/marker.asp?marker=462|title=Old Literary Hall|date=2008-02-03|work=The Historical Marker Database website|publisher=The Historical Marker Database] featuring local memorabilia from the Civil War era to the present.cite web|url=http://www.hampshirereview.com/Websites/HCCVB/countyinfo.htm#cibuildsite|title=County Information: Historic buildings & sites|date=2008-02-03|work=Hampshire County Convention and Visitors Bureau website|publisher=Hampshire County Convention and Visitors Bureau] Literary Hall was featured on the Hampshire County Arts Council's first annual "Christmas in Old Hampshire" Christmas bulb in 1987.

References

ee also

*List of historic sites in Hampshire County, West Virginia
*List of Registered Historic Places in West Virginia
*West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind

External links

* [http://www.cometohampshire.com Hampshire County Visitors Bureau]


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