The building was first used on May 10, 1875. The cornerstone was laid on February 22, 1874. It was a small wooden building, about 39 by 48 feet, two stories high, with only four rooms. At first there were no doors, windows or heat. It was unpainted with rough wooden partitions between the rooms and bare rafters. The only seats were benches, made from boards left over from the building.

On chilly days, the students would go outside, when not reciting to warm themselves by fires built from brush and scraps of wood. There was no bell, but with pioneer ingenuity, the principle used a cow horn to summon the students to classes. Later, a wood burning stove was used, and windows and doors were added. A fine-tuned bell was placed on top of the building.

After the construction of the brick building, in 1885, the old wooden building was used as a barn for many years.

The First Concord Normal School Building

1875 - 1886

The Martins gave the original six acres of land on which Concord Normal School was built in 1874. Williams was born in Laural Creek in 1844, the son of Adam and Rebecca Scott Martin. He was married twice, his first wife signed the deed giving the land to the normal school with him. The deed was signed twice, the first time the land was conveyed to the State of West Virginia, which was not acceptable. The second deed was signed, conveying the "first campus" to the Regents of the State Normal School at Concord Church, on May 29, 1874. When asked how much he wanted for the land, Mr. Martin replied "Just enough calico to make Martha Ann a dress".

Martha died a few years later, and William married Mollie K. Holdren, on December 25, 1888. He served in the Confederate Army, in Company I, 59th Regiment of the Virginia Infantry. He was typical of the many early citizens of the state who were interested in progress, and his interest led him to make the gift of the land for the first campus.

When William Martin died, on January 20, 1909, classes were dismissed at Concord, and the entire student body marched in the funeral procession, to show the respect that the community and the school had for the donor of the land. He is buried in the Martin family cemetery, on a point of a hill overlooking Laurel Creek. It is on a road that passes through the Athens Cemetery.