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The Avenue of Academia: Unveiling the Origins of College Avenue; A Vintage Buckhannon Exclusive

Updated: Apr 12

April 11, 2023

Mountaineer News

Vintage Buckhannon

This week, it's another DOUBLE-SHOT exclusive straight out of the Vintage Buckhannon Vault.

Photo 1:

Looking Down College Avenue, circa 1908

Prepare to be entranced by this stunning photograph, capturing the rugged hillside that now hosts to McDonald's and its bustling parking lot, perched high above Route 20 from around current day Chestnut Street.

There is rich history etched into the landscape, embodied by the grand old West Virginia Normal and Classical Academy, standing stoically to the right of the high school building that was new at the time.

But the beauty doesn't stop there - gaze up towards the upper right corner, and you'll behold the breathtaking new main building of West Virginia Wesleyan College, its magnificence only rivaled by the stately Ladies' hall standing beside it.

This awe-inspiring image is a testament to the relentless progress and unwavering reverence for tradition that defines our cherished city.

Photo 2:

The West Virginia Normal and Classical Academy, circa 1885

Established by the United Brethren in Christ in 1882, the West Virginia Normal and Classical Academy was located on College Avenue, now the site of Academy Elementary School.

The avenue was named in honor of the institution, which comprised 10 rooms and offered courses in philosophy and classics that were equivalent to a junior college program, as well as a teacher's course or "normal" training.

The Academy was eventually renamed Union College and relocated to Mason County in 1897. The building's front view is seen in the photograph presented, circa 1895.

Revisit us here every Tuesday to see new additions as we build this virtual online pictorial for our community featuring the landmarks, people and relics of Upshur County's bygone days.

*Updated April 11, 2023 | Next Update - April 18, 2023

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