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Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy


Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy in Wheeling was established in 1848 by Richard V. Whelan, first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling. Whelan invited eight Visitation Sisters from Baltimore to open a school for girls, the Wheeling Female Academy. The school was first located at 14th and Eoff streets but in 1865 moved to a new building on the former Steenrod farm three miles outside the city. It was named Mount de Chantal after Saint Jane de Chantal, co-founder of the Visitation Order.

Architecturally, the Mount de Chantal building was a good example of eclecticism with ‘‘Mission’’ style features. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978. A boarding school until 1982, the Mount was known for its strong academic and fine arts programs. Declining enrollment and financial support led to the school’s closing. Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy graduated its last class on May 31, 2008, after 160 years of operation. Mount de Chantal was listed as an Endangered Property by the Preservation Alliance of West Virginia in 2011.

Wheeling Hospital purchased Mount de Chantal in 2011 and demolished the building. Wheeling Jesuit University established the Mount de Chantal Conservatory of Music in 2013.

Written by Margaret Brennan