Literary Hall is a mid-19th-century brick library, building and museum located in Romney, a city in the U.S. state of West Virginia. It was constructed between 1869 and 1870 by the Romney Literary Society. It now houses the Romney Academy, the first higher education institution of higher education in the Eastern Panhandle of the United States.
About Literary Hall in brief
Literary Hall is a mid-19th-century brick library, building and museum located in Romney, a city in the U.S. state of West Virginia. It was constructed between 1869 and 1870 by the Romney Literary Society. The land upon which Literary Hall was established was originally part of the Northern Neck Proprietary, a land grant that the exiled Charles II awarded to seven of his supporters in 1649 during the English Interregnum. Literary Hall is located in the center of downtown Romney, West Virginia, at the intersection of North High Street and West Main Street. The Old National Building is located to the immediate south of Literary Hall across West Main St. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on May 29, 1979. It is located at an elevation of 820. 3 feet above sea level. It has been used as a meeting space by the Clinton Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and the Order of the Eastern Star. It also housed a community library from 1937 to the early 1940s. In 1973, the building was purchased by prominent Romney lawyer Ralph Haines, who used it as a law office and museum. It now houses the Romney Academy, the first higher education institution of higher education in the Eastern Panhandle of the United States. The society’s library had to contain approximately 3,000 volumes, consisting of books on literature, history, art, science, and art history. In 1846, the society constructed a building which housed the Romney Classical Institute and its library. It transferred ownership of its Romney classical Institute campus to the West Virginia Schools for the Deaf and Blind in 1870 and in that year completed Literary Hall, where the society reconstituted its library collection and revived its literary activities.
On February 4, 1819, the constitution of the society was adopted, which provided that the organization should be known as the “Polemic Society of Romney” The society founded its library in 1819 with the acquisition of two books, and in 1861 its library was acquired by the society’s humble library. The Romney Literary society was the first literary organization of its kind in the present-day state ofWest Virginia, and one of the first in the United states. The group was organized by nine prominent men in Romney on January 30,1819. It became the first political party in the state, and was known as “The Romney Literary Party” It was organized as a political party by the members of the Romney literary society in 1820, and became known as ‘The Romney Liberal Party’ The society was organized in 1846 and was called the ‘Romney Literary Society’ It was founded in 1845 and became the ‘M Romney Literary Club’ in 1851. Its last meeting was held at Literary Hall in 1886, and it has been there ever since. In 1790, the trustees of the Town of Romney commissioned John Mitchel to draft a cadastral survey map of Romney. The map divided the town into 100 land lots of equal size, with four lots adjacent to the courthouse comprising the public square.