Located on East Main St., Romney, WV.
A little backround:
The Romney Literary Society, formed about 1819 to start a system of education and establish a library. The Society founded the first institution of higher education in the area, the Romney Academy, around 1820 for the teaching of the classics. It amassed probably the largest library west of the Blue Ridge Mountains with over three thousand volumes. The foundation of the original school and library building is believed to be located under the present building known as Literary Hall. The Literary Society began to raise funds for a new building and, in 1832, the Virginia Assembly authorized them to raise $20,000 by lottery. In 1846, they opened a seminary called the Romney Classical Institute. Hampshire County’s location on the ‘border frontier’ for the entire Civil War caused people to lose much of their private property. Desperate soldiers on both sides resorted to taking money and valuables as they marched through. There was also an organized band of robbers running about the area who were not members of either army, but stole from all and sold to the highest bidder. During this time the library collection of the Literary Society was almost all destroyed or carried away.
The Romney Classical Institute did not reopen after the Civil War and the remaining members of the Literary Society offered the building and its grounds to the state of West Virginia. They accepted it to house the West Virginia Institute for the Deaf, Dumb and Blind. This had to be established because West Virginia students were no longer eligible to attend the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind and the state had been paying tuition for some its deaf and blind students to be educated out of state while many of the rest were not being educated at all. Today the ‘Institute’ stands as the central part of the Administration Building of the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind in Romney.