Storer Hall, a freshmen men’s air-conditioned residence hall, was named in honor of Storer College that was located in Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. Storer College was founded by the Freewill Baptist Church in 1867. Rev. Dr. Nathan Cook Brackett, a Freewill Baptist minister, wanted to establish a school for former slaves. A $10,000 contribution from Main philanthropist Jon Storer allowed the establishment of Storer College, the first institution of higher education for African-Americans in West Virginia.
In 1869, Storer College was run as a Normal School or Academy and tuition was $3.00 per term and $9.00 per year. By 1928, Storer offered a four-year high school course, a two-year normal course for elementary teachers, a regular two-year junior college course, and special work in agriculture and home making. The curriculum included Reading, Spelling, Geography, written Arithmetic, Grammar, Penmanship, Recitations and Compositions, History of the United States, Algebra, Physiology, Moral Science, Natural Philosophy, Vocal and Instrumental Music, Ancient Languages, and Instruction in the Art of Teaching.
Storer College awarded its first college degrees in 1942 with the graduation of a class of seven. The West Virginia Board of Education accredited Storer College for the purpose of granting A.B. degrees in 1946. Degrees were issued in Elementary Education and Secondary Education in the fields of Science, Social Science, English, and Home Economics. For many years, Storer College was the only institution training African-Americans teachers in the state of West Virginia.
In 1954, the United States outlawed legal segregation in public schools in the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. As a result, federal and state funding for Storer College was discontinued and a year later the college closed its doors. At the time of its closing, Storer college had a 30-acre campus with 30 buildings. In 1960, Congress enacted legislation which incorporated Storer College facilities and grounds into the Harpers Ferry National Monument. Storer College merged with Virginia Union University in 1964.
The rooms in Storer have the following:
- 2 twin beds
- 2 desks with three drawers
- 2 four-drawer dresser
- Single rooms are approximately 12 x 15 feet.
- Double rooms are approximately 9 x 15 feet.
- Triple rooms are approximately 12 x 22 feet.