In 1876 the Presbyterian Church and the Rev. J. J. Ashenhurst, first principle, founded the Thyne Institute for black students. This was the only institute in Mecklenburg County that offered educational courses to black students until 1923. Here students learned academic skills and values that enabled them to go on to earn higher degrees. Many of the teachers that taught in Mecklenburg County and surrounding counties in southern Virginia were trained at the Thyne Institute. The Thyne Institute transformed from a day school to a boarding school, attended by many out of state children. In 1946, the facility became a part of the Mecklenburg County Public Schools.
Our exhibit includes artifacts collected or donated by alumni. These include an organ, pulpit, teacher's chair, and a teacher's bell used in the school, as well as a yearbook, class rings, sweater, letter and papers including diplomas and report cards. The Thyne Institute is listed on the African American Historic Sites Database, where more information can be found on its origins.