Old Main Virtual Museum Page

Pre-1838:   A log cabin, called Mount Hebron Church, built in Maple Grove. The cabin also used for a subscription school.

1838:   Virginia General Assembly established Marshall Academy, and the lot in Maple Grove purchased from James and Lucy Holderby for $40.

1839:   The log cabin razed and the first building for Marshall Academy constructed (two-story, four-room brick, 22x50 feet).

1856:   An addition constructed on the west side of the 1839 building (three-story brick, 30x60 feet). The first floor used as a chapel; upper floors remain unfinished for lack of funds.

1858   Virginia General Assemby changed Marshall Academy to Marshall College.

1867:   West Virginia assumed control of Marshall College as one of the state's first Normal Schools. The state completed the upper floors of the 1856 Building (classrooms and dormitory for men and women).

1870:   A new building (three-story brick, 70x40 feet) attached on the west side of the existing building, with a bell tower on the west side. [This is the oldest remaining section of Old Main.]

1895:   West Virginia Legislature authorized $25,000 for an additional building.

1896:   A new building (three-story brick, 88x55 feet) completed west of the existing building, with a large veranda and a tower with an open air observation deck. An open space of 75 feet separated the two buildings.

1897:   West Virginia Legislature authorized remodeling and reconstruction of the original 1838/1856 building, providing $12,000 for the work.

1898:   The 1838/1856 structures demolished and construction of a women’s dormitory, known as College Hall and attached to the east side of the 1870 building, completed.

1899:   West Virginia Legislature appropriated $15,000 for a new building to connect the 1870 and the 1897 buildings, as well as a complete remodeling the 1870 building. Work finished by the end of the year.

1905:   West Virginia Legislature appropriated $40,000 for a new building; work started that summer with the demolition of the 1896 building's tower and covered veranda.

1907:   The new building (three-story brick, 101x140 feet) completed early in the year and the building known as Old Main took on its present configuration with the distinctive towers on the west facade.

1937:   The name "Old Main" first appeared in a Marshall College Catalog. Prior to this period the building had no official name.

1973:   Old Main placed on the National Register of Historic Sites.

Page last modified 7 September 2004. | Maintained by the Lisle Brown, Curator, Special Collection
© 2003, Special Collections, Marshall University