“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Nathalie in Halifax County, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)

Meadville Community Center

Vernon Hill, Virginia


— Halifax County —

Meadville Community Center CRIEHT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 18, 2010
1. Meadville Community Center CRIEHT Marker
Inscription.  Caleb Robinson was born in Jamaica in 1864 and educated at Virginia Union University in Richmond, Virginia. In 1893 he formed the McKinley Institute on land he purchased in the Meadville section of Halifax County. He imported northern teachers to train African-American girls in reading, writing and industrial arts at the school. On his deathbed Professor Robinson gave the land to the school's executive board. He had expressed to them his dream of an African-American gathering place to enhance and educate the community, but at the time, the community was a poor one, and his idea lay dormant for a quarter of a century. Then in 1975, three African-American Baptist organizations, along with local leaders, formed an organization chartered as the Meadville Community Center. Through determined community efforts, they financed and built the present Center, which was dedicated October 10, 1978. Dr. Martin Luther King Sr. was the guest speaker at that occasion. The building left the association in debt for over $90,000, but through sales and raffles, personal gifts, church assessments and school children's pennies, the debt was paid and the mortgage
Clockwise from top left: Rev. E.G. Williams, Vattell Coleman, and Lazarus Bates. image. Click for full size.
2. Clockwise from top left: Rev. E.G. Williams, Vattell Coleman, and Lazarus Bates.
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burned in 1991. Today the Center, which seats 400-500 people, is a significant educational and community focal point, enriching the lives of the residents of Halifax County and its neighbors.
Erected 2004 by Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail®. (Marker Number 32.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansChurches & ReligionEducationSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail, and the Historically Black Colleges and Universities 🎓 series lists. A significant historical date for this entry is October 10, 1775.
Location. 36° 50.158′ N, 79° 2.242′ W. Marker is in Nathalie, Virginia, in Halifax County. Marker is on Chatam Road (Virginia Route 57) 0.3 miles west of Meadville Road (Virginia Route 642), on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7114 Chatam Road, Nathalie VA 24577, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 12 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Halifax County War Memorial (approx. 7.7 miles away); Halifax County Confederate Monument (approx. 7.7 miles away); Halifax Court House (approx. 7.7 miles away); History of Halifax (approx. 7.7 miles away); Mary M. Bethune High School
Professor Caleb G. Robinson image. Click for full size.
3. Professor Caleb G. Robinson
(approx. 7.9 miles away); Green's Folly (approx. 9.1 miles away); Minister Who Married Lincoln (approx. 9.1 miles away); Washington-Coleman Elementary School (approx. 11.3 miles away).
More about this marker. On the left are several photos with the captions:
"(Left) Three men who were instrumental in creating the Meadville Community Center. Clockwise from top left: Rev. E.G. Williams, the first President of the Board of Directors for the Meadville Community Center; Vattell Coleman, Treasurer and construction supervisor who donated his services to build the Center; and Lazarus Bates, chief fundraiser and board member."
"(Below) The Meadville Community Center as it stands today."

On the right is an image with the caption, "(Right) Painting of Professor Caleb G. Robinson. Professor Robinson donated the land on which the Meadville Community Center now stands."
Additional commentary.
1. Could Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr., Have Spoken at the Dedication?
A reader telephoned earlier today to inquire if Dr. Martin Luther King, Sr. could have spoken at the 1978 dedication of the Community Center, as the marker states. The question arose because Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed in 1968. There is no reason why Dr. King Sr. could not have spoken at the dedication because he outlived his son—a burden no parent should have to bear—passing on in 1984.
    — Submitted November 6, 2017, by J. J. Prats of Powell, Ohio.
Meadville Community Center image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 18, 2010
4. Meadville Community Center
Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail® Map image. Click for full size.
5. Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail® Map
Appomattox County
1. Winonah Camp/Mozella Price Home
2. Carver-Price School
3. Education in 1800's Rural Virginia

Buckingham County
4. One-Room Schoolhouse
5. Carter G. Woodson Birthplace

Cumberland County
6. Hamilton High School
7. Rosenwald School at Cartersville
8. Jackson Davis

Amelia County
9. Russell Grove Presbyterian Church and School
10. Mrs. Samantha Jane Neil

Chesterfield County
11. Virginia State University

12. Earliest Known Public High School for African Americans in Virginia
13. McKenney Library
14. The Peabody-Williams School

Dinwiddie County
15. Southside Virginia Training Center
16. Rocky Branch School
17. Early Education in Dinwiddie County

Nottoway County
18. Blackstone Female Institute
19. Mt. Nebo Church
20. Ingleside Training Institute

Lunenburg County
21. The People's Community Center
22. St. Matthew's Lutheran Church Christian Day School

Prince Edward County
23. Prince Edward County Public Schools
24. R. R. Moton High School
25. Farmville Female Seminary Association
26. First Baptist Church
27. Beulah AME Church
28. Hampden-Sydney College

Charlotte County
29. Southside Virginia Community College - John H. Daniel Campus
30. Charlotte County Library
31. Salem School

Halifax County
32. Meadville Community Center
33. Mary M. Bethune High School
34. Washington-Coleman Elementary School
35. Mizpah Church

Mecklenburg County
36. Thyne Institute
37. Boydton Academic and Bible Institute

Brunswick County
38. Southside Virginia Community College - Christanna Campus
39. Saint Paul's College
40. Hospital and School of the Good Shepherd
41. Fort Christanna
Credits. This page was last revised on January 25, 2020. It was originally submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,111 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Richmond, Virginia.

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Apr. 22, 2021