Council of Independent Colleges Historic Campus Architecture Project



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Institution Name: Bethany College (WV)
Original/Historic Place Name: Hibernia House
Location on Campus: Main St.
Date(s) of Construction:
ca. 1841original construction; basement
ca. 1845-1847addition of upper stories
Designer: unknown
Type of Place: Individual building
Style: Federal, Greek revival, Other (Glossary)
Significance: architecture, education, history
Narrative: see below
References: see below
Foundation: sandstone found locally and fieldstone with brick veneer exterior
Walls: brick
Roof: original standing seam tin coated with asphalt (house); asphalt shingle (attached apartment)
1840-2002private residence (and boarding house)
1841-1844other (printing office)
2002-present (2006)president's house

Although the Hibernia has not always been a college property, it is central to the history of the Town of Bethany and to Bethany College. The property was owned by Alexander Campbell at the time the college was founded in 1840, and it was in the high basement of this house that he operated a print shop, publishing among other things The Millennial Harbinger, one of the most prominent religious periodicals to issue from a frontier press. Deed work has yet to be done at the Brooke County Courthouse to determine when Campbell moved his press from Hibernia House to Bleak House.

The upper portion of the house has served intermittently as a boarding house or private residence from the time it was built circa the mid-to-late 1840's. It has provided housing for many visitors to the Town of Bethany, Bethany College students, a sorority, faculty, presidents, and vice presidents of the college. It is currently the home of Bethany College's President Patricia Lewis Poteat.


Browne, Henry J. Bethany Historic District [including Bethany College (WV)]. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1982.

Hiram Lester Papers. Accessioned items 259, 409, 432, 452, 453, 459, 475, and 476. Archives, Berry College, Mt. Berry, GA.


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Last update: November 2006