The Nansemond Collegiate Institute (1890-1939), Historical Marker

Photo: January 5, 2013, Nadia K. Orton. All rights reserved

Marker text:

Here stood the Nansemond Collegiate Institute, founded in 1890 as the Nansemond Industrial Institute by Rev. William W. Gaines to provide local black children with an education, because free public schools were closed to them. Eventually the institute offered elementary, secondary and normal school courses of instruction. In 1927 a public school for black residents was opened; competition for students and a series of disastrous fires forced the institute to close in 1939.

Department of Conservation and Historic Resources 1988

Rev. William Washington Gaines (1857-1911), founder of the Nansemond Collegiate Institute, and pastor of First Baptist Church Mahan, rests in Oak Lawn Cemetery.

Nansemond Collegiate Institute, ca. 1908. Library of Virginia

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