West Virginia Colored Orphan's Home

1924 Photograph of the WVCOH
Circa 1924 photograph of the WVCOH. Courtesy of the West Virginia and Regional History Collection, WestVirginia University Libraries in Morgantown, West Virginia.

The location of the Huntington East Middle School was once the site of an imposing brick building that served as the West Virginia Colored Orphans' Home. Established in 1899, and rebuilt in 1923 following a fire, the West Virginia Colored Orphans' Home was an important Huntington institution created by and for African Americans to care for some of the most vulnerable members of the community during a period of racial segregation.

The Colored Orphans' Home was closed in 1956 when orphan care integrated in West Virginia, and the building served many different functions through the ensuing decades. Following demolition of the building in 2011 to make way for the new middle school, Cabell County Schools created this website to serve as a permanent public record of the Home that honors the memories of the children who once lived there and encourages appreciation of the county's rich African American history.

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