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

Thyne Institute

Chase City, Virginia


— Mecklenburg County —

Thyne Institute CRIEHT Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 18, 2010
1. Thyne Institute CRIEHT Marker
Inscription.  Thyne Institute was established by Rev. J.Y. Ashenhurst, United Presbyterian Church, and a group of local citizens to provide an opportunity for African Americans (known as “freedmen” in the late 1800s) to obtain an education. In 1876 73 students were enrolled. Dr. Ashenhurst began teaching from a tobacco warehouse when Mr. John Thyne donated five acres of land and built the first school building. The church named the school in his honor. In 1914 Thyne Institute gained high school accreditation by the Virginia Department of Education. Academics such as Latin, calculus, Bible and music, as well as a good practical education, were taught. Thyne Institute was so successful at delivering a quality education to African Americans that other schools throughout the South followed a similar pattern. Examples are Henderson Institute of North Carolina and Bluestone Harmony School of Virginia.

The church expanded the school in 1893, when the school started boarding students. Students from as far away as Ohio and New York attended. However, most of the boarding students came from the Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads
Dr. Frank W. Wilson, Vincent Hall, and Hunter Hall. image. Click for full size.
2. Dr. Frank W. Wilson, Vincent Hall, and Hunter Hall.
area of the state. Enrollment peaked in the 1951-1952 school year, with 650 students, a staff of 23 teachers and a graduation class of 140. Thyne Institute enriched the lives of over 5,000 students and their descendents and during its time, set the standard of quality for education for African Americans.

The school was eventually turned over to the Mecklenburg County School Board. In the 1970s the campus buildings were replaced by a new elementary school.

The accomplishments of Thyne Institute were not obtained without sacrifice and dedication to purpose. The school suffered many setbacks, including fires, financial difficulties and hostilities within the community among the white and black population. The Institute soared as an educational giant in an age and time when society did not recognize education as essential to quality of life, but rather as a deterrent to hard work.
Erected by Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail®. (Marker Number 36.)
Marker series. This marker is included in the Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail marker series.
Location. 36° 49.002′ N, 78° 28.345′ W. Marker is in Chase City, Virginia, in Mecklenburg County. Marker is at the intersection of Highway Forty Seven (Virginia
Thyne Institute Diploma issued in 1900 image. Click for full size.
3. Thyne Institute Diploma issued in 1900
Route 47) and Village Road (Virginia Route 874), on the left when traveling west on Highway Forty Seven. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 30935 Highway 49, Chase City VA 23924, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 8 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. A different marker also named Thyne Institute (approx. 0.2 miles away); Christiansville (approx. 1.3 miles away); Sgt. Earle D. Gregory (approx. 1.4 miles away); Lunenburg County / Mecklenburg County (approx. 4.1 miles away); Charlotte County / Mecklenburg County (approx. 5.3 miles away); Paul Carrington (approx. 7.1 miles away); Roanoke Plantation (approx. 7.1 miles away); Staunton Bridge Action (approx. 7.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chase City.
More about this marker. On the left are three photos with the captions:
"(Above) Dr. Frank W. Wilson served as Principal of the Thyne Institute from 1906-1942."
"(Center Left) Vincent Hall served as the girl’s dormitory."
"(Bottom Left) Hunter Hall served as the boy’s dormitory."

On the center is a "(Above Center) Thyne Institute diploma issued in 1900 to the wife of George Lancaster, Sr."

On the right is a photo of "(Above) Wilson Hall, Thyne’s Administration and Classroom Building named for Dr. Frank W. Wilson, principal for 36 years."

Photo of Dr. Wilson and dormitory photos courtesy of Virginia State University Archives. Wilson Hall photo courtesy of Mrs. Hortense W. Bouldin.
Also see . . .
1. Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail. Virginia's Retreat (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 

2. The Thyne Institute Memorial, Inc. The Virginia African American Heritage Program (Submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.) 
Categories. African AmericansCharity & Public WorkEducation
Wilson Hall image. Click for full size.
4. Wilson Hall
The Thyne Institute Memorial image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 18, 2010
5. The Thyne Institute Memorial
Thyne Institute Memorial Site image. Click for full size.
By Bernard Fisher, May 18, 2010
6. Thyne Institute Memorial Site
Civil Rights in Education Heritage Trail® Map image. Click for full size.
7. 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

More. Search the internet for Thyne Institute.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia. This page has been viewed 1,534 times since then and 118 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on May 21, 2010, by Bernard Fisher of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
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