Haines Normal and Industrial Institute
Women builders by Sadie Iola Daniel has a chapter on Lucy Craft Laney. The Augusta Chronicle covered many Haines Institute events. The National Register application for the Cauley-Wheeler Memorable Building contained a school history. The image of a young Lucy Craft Laney (right)is from the 1910 Home Mission Monthly, which covered Presbyterian-sponsored schools.
Lucy Craft Laney had planned to offer classes only for girls, but when two small boys joined her first class on January 6, 1886, she found that she could not refuse anyone who wanted to learn, so Haines began and continued as a coeducational school. From six students, Haines quickly grew. By the second year enrollment had reached 234. Enrollment in 1925 was listed as 781—301 in the high school. The elementary program was dropped in the 1930’s, but enrollment was reported to be 900 before the merger. In addition to industrial and normal classes, Haines offered one year of college-level work. Laney herself taught Latin. In 1909 President William Howard Taft visited the school and said that he “had seen nothing in the way of efficiency and of self-sacrifice that could compare with the work of Miss Laney.”
Student organizations included chapters of the Y.M.C.A., Y.W.C.A., and Christian Endeavor. Haines offered two literary societies, from which came the school’s strong emphasis on drama, debate and oratory. Class plays and pageants filled the school calendar. Not only did Haines students engage in the school debates; they also competed against students from Walker Baptist Institute and Paine College. Musical groups performed regularly as part school events such as recitals and graduations. They also performed operettas. Haines attracted prominent musicians to campus, including Marion Anderson.
Lucy Laney worked tirelessly to raise funds to support her school, “living on nothing” herself. She was able to secure some financial support from the Presbyterian Board of Missions, but during the Great Depression that support was cut. After the Richmond County Board of Education closed Ware High School in 1897, Haines, Walker Baptist Institute and Paine College provided the only public post-grammar education available for Blacks in Augusta until Augustus R. Johnson High School was founded in 1945. In 1949 Lucy Craft Laney High School was formed from a merger of Haines Institute with A.R. Johnson High School.
Cadets at Haines Normal and Industrial Institute. Image from the Library of Congress
Bricks and Mortar
Lucy Craft Laney opened classes in a basement lecture room of Christ Presbyterian Church in Augusta. Later, with more than 200 students, she was able to acquire a two-story “haunted” residence on Calhoun Street. In 1889 she received property at the corner of Robert and Gwinnett streets and $10,000 to build Marshall Hall, a four-story brick building. The main floor contained classrooms while the upper three floors provided dormitory space for the female students.
In 1906 Laney received $15,000 for the construction of McGregor Hall, another four-story brick structure, which became the administrative building. It provided twelve “light, airy, and convenient classrooms.” It also featured a chapel with a seating capacity of 1,000. Much of the furniture in the building was made by boys in carpenter classes.
In 1924 the Cauley-Wheeler Memorial Building was added to provide space for teacher training.
McGregor Hall. The chapel is just visible at the rear. Image is from the 1907 Home Mission Monthly.
In 1951 Marshall and McGregor were razed to make way for a new Lucy Craft Laney High School building. Cauley-Wheeler was placed on the National Register in 2008, but was razed in 2014.
Colors: Red and Black
Team name: Red and Black, Tigers
Haines played football as early as 1909 with a game against Knox Institute of Athens. Though primarily a high school, Haines often played against collegiate competition. In 1936 the Augusta Chronicle listed Haines as one of twelve members of the South Atlantic Association. Other members included Paine University, Benedict College, Allen University, South Carolina State University (now Claflin), Livingstone College, Morristown College, Seneca Junior College, Georgia State College, Morris College, Schofield Normal & Industrial School, and Voorhees School and Junior College,
By 1924 Haines was fielding girls’ basketball and baseball teams for games against Walker Baptist Institute and Cuyler High School.