Meadville Community Center, formerly the McKinley Institute

Historical Significance

In 1893, Caleb Robinson (1864-1950s), a Jamaican-born and Virginia-educated professor at Virginia Union University in Richmond, created the McKinley Institute in the Meadville section of Halifax County. The Institute was established to train African-American girls in reading, writing and industrial arts, and upon his death Robinson gave the land to the school's executive board to build a community center.

In 1975, three African-American Baptist organizations formed the Meadville Community Center, finally fulfilling Caleb Robinson's life-long intention to create a gathering place for African Americans in order to enhance and educate the community. His desires went unrealized until the Center was finally built and dedicated at a ceremony in 1978 which included the participation of Martin Luther King Sr. Today, the Meadville Community Center remains an important educational site in Halifax County.

In 2004 an historic marker was erected at the site by the Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail. 

Physical Description

The modern community center is constructed of red brick with a columned porch.

Geographical and Contact Information

7114 Chatam Road
Nathalie, Virginia
24577

Cite this Page:

Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, “Meadville Community Center, formerly the McKinley Institute,” African American Historic Sites Database, accessed August 21, 2017, http://aahistoricsitesva.org/items/show/272.
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