Kimball World War I Memorial

Kimball, WV

The Kimball World War Memorial was the first memorial built in the United States to honor African-American veterans of World War I. The Classical Revival style building, designed by noted West Virginia architect Hassel T. Hicks of Welch, was completed in 1928 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993. The War Memorial became the headquarters of the nation’s first all-black American Legion Post and hosted some of the state’s first NAACP meetings.

Originally, the building housed an auditorium with a small stage, a library, meeting rooms, kitchen facilities, a billiard room and a trophy room, with displays of plaques dedicated to veterans, and wartime memorabilia. It was a multi-purpose facility, hosting such diverse activities as American Legion meetings, high school proms, wedding receptions, and performances by Cab Calloway and other well-known entertainers of the day.

The Kimball War Memorial was a focal point of community life for decades, serving as a cultural and social center for all residents of McDowell County.

Presently, The Kimball World War Memorial was serves as a living community resource and is available for a wide variety of functions, including tours, training sessions, classes, organizational meetings, organizational dinners and receptions as well as social events.

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