Potomac State College: Farm Shop – Keyser WV

Description

In 1935, the Public Works Administration (PWA) awarded $41,818 for the construction of faculty homes at Potomac State College (PSC), Keyser, West Virginia. The current Farm Shop appears to have been the “tool shed” included in the original contract for those homes.

The Tri-State Construction Company was awarded the contract to build the homes, and a report in April 1936 said that, “First signs of construction on the Potomac State faculty homes here are seen with the construction of a tool shed. Mr. Gates of the Tri-State Construction Company, Ashland, Ky., is here supervising the preliminary work” (Mineral Daily News and Keyser Tribune, 4-14-1936).

Information on the tool shed is not plentiful or easily available, but we believe that it is PSC’s current “Farm Shop.”  The Farm Shop is very close to the former faculty homes, it is built in a rustic stone style that was common for New Deal-era buildings, and there is a Westinghouse electrical safety switch in the building with what appears to be an installation stamp of June 24, 1936 (see photo in gallery below).

In addition, there is a faded engraved stone on the south side of the building, towards the rear, that reads, in part, “NYA Boys 1941-1942” (see photo in gallery below). This may mean that students of Potomac State College, who were enrolled in the New Deal’s National Youth Administration (NYA), participated in some improvement to the building, such as an expansion or repair. It is also possible that it was done simply for memory sake, similar to a person engraving their initials in a tree or sidewalk. We do know that the NYA was very active on the PSC campus, performing a wide variety of work (see, e.g., our project page, “Potomac State College: Tree and Grass Planting – Keyser WV”).

The tool shed / farm shop is just one of a number of New Deal projects carried out at PSC. Others include faculty homes, tree planting, athletic field improvements, landscaping, laboratory assistance, and maintenance of facilities.      

Source notes

“First Work Starts on Faculty Homes,” Mineral Daily News and Keyser Tribune, April 14, 1936, p. 1.

Groundwork Starts on Faculty Homes,” The Pasquino (Potomac State College, West Virginia), April 24, 1936, p. 1.

Work Begins on Faculty Homes,” Moorefield Examiner (Moorefield, West Virginia), April 15, 1936, p. 1. 

Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, Projects Division, Report No. 5, Status of Completed Non-Federal Allotted Projects, January 3, 1940, p. 78, Docket No. W1033.

Potomac State College, The 1948 Catamount (college yearbook).

Project originally submitted by Brent McKee on August 24, 2022.

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Location Info


Potomac State College
Keyser, WV 26726

Coordinates: 39.439825, -78.983961

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