File photo/The Herald-Dispatch Deemed unsafe due to a structural problem, Gallaher Elementary School was demolished in 1992.

Editor's note: This is the 223rd in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.

HUNTINGTON — Today's Gallaher Village neighborhood, once known as Gallaherville, was named for John B. Gallaher, who in the 1880s owned most of the land in the vicinity.

Gallaherville was made up of a cluster of houses grouped around a store and a one-room school. The school was located just off the James River Turnpike (now Norway Avenue) on a country lane now known as Gallaher Street. Two more rooms were later added. A December 1910 fire destroyed the school, but by the start of the next school year a new three-room frame school had been built.

The neighborhood was rapidly growing, and the school needed more room. In 1916, a brick building containing six classrooms and a three-room basement was built. The three-room frame building was moved back of the new brick structure and used as a rainy day playroom. As the neighborhood continued to grow, the old frame building was again fitted out for use as classrooms.

In 1938, four new classrooms and an auditorium/gymnasium were added. In 1950, four additional classrooms, modern restrooms, a cafeteria and library were built. Four classrooms were added in 1955, and a two-story 1963 addition added four more classrooms and a suite of administrative offices.

In 1989, Gallaher's original 1916 building tilted forward on its foundation, causing a safety problem and ultimately prompting the Cabell County Board of Education to order the school closed. Gallaher's 300-plus students were divided between Geneva Kent, Meadows and Spring Hill elementaries.

After two years of controversy and despite angry protests from some parents and neighborhood residents, the Gallaher building was demolished in May 1992. Today, a Cabell County Emergency Medical Services station is located on the site of the old school.

Do you enjoy the "Lost Huntington" series?

"Lost Huntington: Volume 1" is a hardcover, full-color book of some of the city's lost landmarks. The book is likely to be of interest to anyone who enjoys history and loves Huntington.

Books are $29.95 plus tax, shipping and handling. To order, visit media.herald-dispatch.com/ecom/ or call 304-526-2720.


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