Huntington – US Civil Rights Trail

Memphis Tennessee Garrison House – A Home of Hope

To Memphis Tennessee Garrison, the modest two-story house in Huntington, West Virginia, was much more than a place for her to call home. After retiring from an ambitious teaching career, Garrison moved from Gary, West Virginia, to Huntington. But it wasn’t a quiet retirement at all. Garrison eagerly opened her doors to the Huntington community. Her house served as a meeting site for members of the African-American community to discuss obstacles to breaking down racial barriers and how to find solutions.

Garrison dedicated her life’s work to improving the lives of African-Americans. In Gary, her service as a teacher extended well beyond the schoolhouse walls. She educated the mining community and even brought explorers, plays and music to the town, creating rich cultural experiences for the citizens. Garrison was the first woman president of the West Virginia State Teachers Association, and in 1931 she was elected vice president of the American Teachers Association. Garrison was a vital component in organizing a new NAACP branch in McDowell County and served as the national vice president of the NAACP Board of Directors in the 1960s.


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