The Mount de Chantal Visitation Academy in Wheeling graduated its last class of students on May 31, 2008.
Bishop Richard Whelan founded the school in 1848 after encouraging eight Visitation Sisters from Baltimore to establish the Wheeling Female Academy. During the 1840s, scores of Catholic Irish immigrants were pouring into the Wheeling area to work on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The school was initially located in downtown Wheeling but in 1865 moved to a new building on the former Steenrod farm, three miles outside the city.
Until 1982, Mount de Chantal was a boarding school, known for its strong academic and fine arts programs. Declining enrollment and financial support led to the school’s closing in 2008, ending 160 years of education at the Mount.
Architecturally, the Mount de Chantal building was a good example of eclecticism with ‘‘Mission’’ style features. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.
After the school closed, Wheeling Hospital purchased Mount de Chantal and demolished the building. Wheeling Jesuit University is establishing the Mount de Chantal Conservatory of Music in honor of the Visitation Sisters.