The Lakin Industrial School for Colored Boys, north of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, was founded by T.G. Nutter, Harry Capehart and T.J. Coleman, three African-American state legislators that created several state-funded reform institutions for blacks between 1919 and 1921.(1)(2) Several structures were constructed west of WV 62 in rural Mason County, adjacent to Lakin State Hospital. The primary school building, a three-story brick structure, was built in 1924 out of fireproof materials and was the first structure to be constructed.(1) A gymnasium was added in the 1940s, along with several smaller buildings.
The Lakin Industrial School closed in 1956, only two years after the Brown versus Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas decision that led to the gradual desegregation of many public schools and colleges in West Virginia. Those who remained before its closure were transfered to the Industrial School at Pruntytown.(1) The buildings were later owned by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Services and then deeded over to the West Virginia Department of Agriculture in 1976.(1)
An arson-attempt in 2000 did very little damage to the main building, a testament to the brute strength of the building even after 50 years of abandonment.(1) The Lakin Industrial School for Colored Boys was demolished in November 2006.(1)