West Virginia Industrial Home for Girls

West Virginia Blue Book


Superintendent; Edith L. Nicholson. Assistant Superintendent: Rosemary Squires. Financial Secretary: Margaret P. Hull. Capacity: 125. Enrollment: 91.

West Virginia Industrial Home for Girls is located one mile west of Salem, on U. S. Route 50. It was established by an act of the Legislature on February 18, 1897, and formally opened May 5, 1899. It Is built on a 61-acre tract of which 38 acres were donated by the citizens of Salem.

From Jones Cottage, the first building, the plant has grown to include the following: Silver Hall Cottage in 1914; Sutton Cottage in 1928; Ava Standard Cottage in 1942; Barron Hall in 1961. The Administration Building also built in 1942, includes offices and visiting rooms on the first floor. Living quarters for the Superintendent, with guest rooms comprise the second floor. Living quarters for the Assistant Superintendent and Business Manager are provided in Barron Hall. The plant also includes the school building erected in 1915, which is called the Johnston School, with a very modern gymnasium completed in 1951. A large four-temperature storage building was completed in 1953. The Home also has its own clinic.

The girls receive standard and first class high school training in a well-planned school program, with classes offered from second grade through twelfth grade, The high school has been in operation since 1937 and since that time 402 girls have been graduated from high school and 946 have graduated from the eighth grade. Some of the classes offered are: foods, clothing, home-making, English, Social Sciences such as civics, American history, geography. West Virginia history, mathematics, sociology, library training, biology, general science, business training, such as first and second year typing, general business, bookkeeping, art and music. The required subjects are offered for the grade girls. In the school building, there is a well-stocked library, with books on different reading levels, reference books, newspapers, and magazines. A well-equipped practice kitchen, sewing room, typing room, well-lighted and ventilated class rooms, and in each class room there is a wall screen for the showing of educational movies. A gymnasium and an auditorium which is used as the chapel for religious services, school programs, and movies. Each girl belongs to the Harrison County Junior Red Cross and aids in making programs, mats, and other things for the local hospitals. For two years, a well projected summer program of recreation, remedial reading, arts and crafts, and music has been in effect, with the help of the federal program, for neglected and delinquent children.

A program of rehabilitation is being carried out through the carefully planned work of the school in the dormitories in which the girls live, and the administration of the institution. As a part of this program there is a class in Food Service being offered to the girls in menu planning, short-order cooks, and waitresses. This is under the supervision of a Food Service Director. They also receive religious training with chapel services conducted by a full time Chaplain.

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